HP Construction
auto shop mural


The first step, after it was agreed upon to do a mural, was to examine the building for a location.  This side of the building was chosen for easy access, and good visibility from passing traffic on the adjacent busy street.  We examined the building, taking dimensions for planning purposes.

 The view from the street revealed the upper right corner to be the most visible spot to a passing car - so that's the spot we wanted to utilize.  Like many businesses on a busy street, a large number of people drove by every hour, oblivious to the auto shop they were passing.  Perhaps we could change that...

Once the location for the mural was picked, a design was worked up, then a line drawing was transferred to the building with the use of a grid.  This was done from a 12' ladder, and became the basis of the mural. 

The painting of this mural was to be no easy matter.  The location was 15' off the ground, the surface of the building was extremely rough stucco, and we had to paint over two 2x6 "plan-on" trim pieces that ran the length of the building.

A 10-foot scaffold was brought in, and working from the platform, the colors and shapes began to give our drawing form.  Slowly, the illustration began to take on a life of its own.  We spent a little extra time in the detailing on the front end of the car, because if there's one thing vintage car buffs know, its how their favorite cars are supposed to look! 

The effect we sought was a "trompe l'oeil" illusion, making the car appear to burst from the wall.  While the stucco appears broken around the car, we didn't strive to make the scene look like an actual accident scene.  The car is pristine, not a scratch or a dent on it. 

What we really wanted was the drama of a 3D car coming out of the wall, looking as if it were staged to get people's attention.  The passerby below stands casually looking up as he were looking at a store display.  But the presence of the cones and the yellow caution tape is there to cause a double-take, to draw the viewer into the picture, sorting out what is real and what is an illusion.  The building becomes the canvas for the painting, and the viewer has become part of the artwork.

The completed mural appears at the top of the page.  You can see it in person at Automotive Technical Services, 3118 Union Ave., Bakersfield California. 

You can see more pictures of how the mural progressed by clicking here or here.

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