Ceiling Ornament in New Orleans

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The fifth wall is a neck-breaker but it well worth it for the visual impact.  This center ornament was painted on a wood ceiling in New Orleans.

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The ceiling in this grand room is high, so we agreed on this French ornamentation pattern along with a color palette that is aligned with the Cajun heritage.

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We created a quarter of the design in a  pounce pattern.  The pouncing was then done in 4 increments – in the sticky July heat!

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Can you see the pattern?  Anyway, we saw it enough to get the outline.

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The basecoat was painted in using a synthetic, pointed ornamentation brush.  It’s important that your paint has a good flow (viscosity) when basecoating ornaments.

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I’ve got all my tones mixed, but before the trompe l’oeil begins, we had to establish a light source – see the arrows on the blue tape.

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The halftone is the first color I mixed.   This transparent color is applied graciously to all areas that are even remotely touched by the shade.  I used a soft, synthetic, pointed brush for this step.

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After the first pass, we continued building up the shadow with reduced layers of the tone.

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My second tone is the accent color.  I used this to emphasize the darker areas.

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Sorry the pictures are bad, I blame it on the bad lighting (and fatique).   The super accent was applied to the most darkest areas.

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From the shadow, we moved to the light and added the highlight and super highlight color.

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Added the outline on the entire design (new color).  Much needed definition to allow proper viewing from the floor.  You can use a pointed synthetic brush for this, but I used a synthetic lettering brush (fantastic for ornamentation).

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The last step is the drop shadow – lighter version of outline color.  I love this step because it very impactful and it’s means I’m almost done!

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Reads nicely, huh? If you are interested in learning this technique, take my 2-day ornament and painted molding class at the IDAL convention on October 9, 2013 in Indianapolis.

Comments

  1. Where in New Orleans did you paint this beautiful ceiling? I want to go see it in person!

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