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The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Fifteen

Here is the current state of the modern San Diego wildlife mural. As you can see, now that the birds and mammals are pretty much done. I am rapidly progressing on the plants and landscape.

Modern Mural, Section One

I think this is perhaps the best sycamore tree I’ve ever painted. Note how it looked sort of cartoon-y in its early lay-in. Hopefully, it looks more natural now. I detailed the red cedars just to the right of the sycamore. I also worked on the poison oak behind the black bear, and a little bit on the foreground prickly pear and the bunch grasses to their right.

Modern Mural, Section Two

I paid more attention to rendering the mid-ground yucca here, as well as the palmettos between the yucca. I added detail to the misty distant mountains, too.

Modern Mural, Section Three

The ground beneath the bobcat has much more texture and interest now, especially since I added the datura flowers just below the bobcat. I haven’t yet painted their leaves, though. There is more rendering in the sagebrush and the foreground prickly pears. I softened the edges of most of the painting’s flying hawk and eagle wings, and brought some of the sky color into them to make them more a part of the picture.

Modern Mural, Section Four

The foreground prickly pear on this side of the mural has received more detail, and the flowers of the century plant/agave are no longer just a big, pale blob. I still need to detail the leaves at this agave plant’s base. I added more specific detailing to the distant mountains, too. I haven’t yet enlarged the size of the flat top buckwheat flowers above the yellow-billed magpie.

That sort of airbrush-y sky in the upper right corner is not the way the painting looks right now. When I shot this, I didn’t notice the shadows of the leaves of the tree the painting was leaning against until I had downloaded my photos. I didn’t feel like re-shooting it just for that corner, so I did a quick, crude, crappy touch-up in PhotoShop.

I’ll be more careful next time…

Next: More Refining of This Painting

2 thoughts on “The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Fifteen

  1. Just gets better and better. A lot of life emerging as the coloring tightens up and values are solidified.

    Very cool!


  2. Bill,
    I’m just wondering, will there be another Mural book in the near future? I know I need to get to San Diego to really take this all in but once again I’m not getting out there this year.
    Thanks for this presentation for those of us unable to visit for now.


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