Large Scale Art

Posted by on 3/30/2014 to Art Tips

Large Scale Art

Thinking about the next "big" thing? Whether it is a mural, a sculpture, or a treehouse, the larger the project, the more detailed your plans should be. Take inspiration from the way an architect or an engineer approaches creation: plan your approach with tactical precision so that your creativity is unbound by the laws of physics.

Tip: Plan your project in detail on paper first. Design it to scale, on graphing paper and in pencil so that you can redesign and correct mistakes easily.

Pro Tip: While you're in the planning stages, now is the time to determine whether the size of your tools are adequate for the size of your project. Bigger work means bigger tools, so take inventory and decide if you need to upsize your toolbox with larger brushes, clamps, strong adhesives — whatever your art tool needs might be.

Once you determine what medium you will be working with, you must decide how to create the foundation. A large painting will require canvas that is strong enough to hold the necessary amount of paint you will be applying. A sculpture will need a strong base, possibly made of concrete, in order to maintain the strength needed to hold itself together. An installation work will need a custom approach to foundation, depending on the materials used to construct it.

Will your canvas be stretched on a frame, or will it wrap a wall? Maybe it is meant to hang. The next step in planning you big work is to determine the structural elements. Think of the structure as the bones of you artwork; the structure will give form to your piece, and determine how much it weighs, where it might need to be constructed, and what kind of material you will need to create the form.

Pro Tip: It helps to know where your piece will ultimately exist once it's finished. If your piece will be displayed indoors, consider whether it will fit through said doors once it is complete. If you are unsure as to where it might be ultimately displayed, then you might consider constructing it in a way that can be dismantled into smaller, easier to move pieces, and then reconstructed inside the space.

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