Aquarium Murals - Marvels and Mysteries

I recently changed jobs and had a baby, so I’ve been rather busy lately. I haven’t posted a lot of what I’ve been working on lately, so I’m planning on fixing that with this series of posts. One of my last projects at the Aquarium was to do a whole bunch of exhibit murals. I never did post the finished products. This one ended up turning out a lot better than I was hoping. It’s kind of hard to see some of the detail in the photo of the illustrations. The octopus was from another mural that ended up needing to...

Watercolor Seahorses

I’m starting to really like working in watercolors. It’s a lot quicker than working in gouache. It’s nice not to have to worry about covering up the underlying sketch, plus mixing the colors is super quick. This piece was supposed to originally be done in gouache. These two seahorses are pot-bellied seahorses (Hippocampus abdominalis). Here are some progress shots. The first shows the original tracing paper sketch overlaid. I don’t normally do tracing paper, but I had originally intended doing gouache which hides any sketch underneath once you start putting values down.

Aquatic Oklahoma

Done! I digitally super-imposed it over a shot of the space were it will be going. Now time for the weekend.

Sea Horse Sketch

The power went out at work last week, so I took the opportunity to go draw some fish. They were the only ones with full power because of the back up generators. My eyes hurt after drawing in the dark ambient lighting.

Predator Prey Opening Title

Here is a video of an opening title I’m working on for an interactive kiosk. The fish move based on an algorithm I wrote, it’s not a pre-set animation. It’s modified off of my webcam motion sensitive algorithm I’ve posted about previously which I’ve posted (and subsequently improved). This will play in Flash on the kiosk, but it might be fun to experiment programming animations for more traditional things.

Arapaima, Sea Nettle, and Crab Mural

It’s been awhile since I posted much here. I’m going to post some of the things I’ve been working on here in the next few days and try and catch up a bit. Here is a mural and gallery title graphic that I put together. The requested direction for the graphic was to have a bunch of animals on a mural that would draw visitors into the exhibit galleries. The mural is printed vinyl and PVC on vinyl for the gallery titles. I produced the actual artwork on paper with gouache, colored pencils, and ink. I then photographed it, and prepared...

Aquarium Brochure

A design I did for the Aquarium brochure that was used primarily in brochure kiosks in the surrounding region.

Shark Ramp Airbrushing Numero Dos

This side shark ramp has been a blitzkrieg of work. I’ve airbrushed the ramp and had the murals installed in two days. I still have a little bit more blending and stencil work to accomplish today, but really this ramp has flown by. All hands have been on deck and we’ve been working like crazy. I’m stoked. That’s me airbrushing on the lift. That’s one big shark! The graphic is 16 feet long I blocked off the graphic and then blended around it with the airbrush. The megalodon is rather menacing!...

Shark Exhibit Mural Artwork

I also haven’t posted the artwork of the other murals so I might as well do them right now. This was a fun guy to make. I took a photo of a great white, and then painted over him with my computer tablet in Photoshop to change the proportions and details. I moved a lot of stuff around and added muscles here and there. It was nice to have a photo to directly sample from. I think it helped acheive a good level of realism, plus I worked on adding a lot of texture details to the smooth skin surface along...

Left Shark Ramp Soft Opening

We had a soft opening for the left ramp on the shark exhibit. We just switched over to the other side to start painting and getting that side ready. I can’t wait until we get the rest of the graphics and exhibit items installed in the ramps. This is exciting! Oh and also I’ve been working on finishing the fiberglass casts of sharks. I ordered unfinished cast blanks that I have to sand, fill in, and paint myself. Oh a postcard… for me?! Oh look a shark. Time to sand down and finish that puppy. I’ll post some more photos once I get...

Shark Exhibit Airbrushing Progress

Further progress on the shark ramps. I’m started to airbrush the walls in order to create a smooth gradient of color. I will add more details after this. As can be seen here the walls are painted in bands of blue in order to provide good coverage when I airbrush. So far this process is working really well. Meek Litho made it out again today and installed another backdrop, this time the entrance mural. Now I think this space says “exhibit” and “experience”. It’s weird how similar the photo looks to my original renderings (even though I did change the artwork on...

Oil Rig Vinyls Going Up

The oil rig vinyl backdrops started going up today! I love how transformative backdrops are. I can’t wait until they are all up, the tunnel is painted, and it gets lit. I also finished the last graphic bubble today. Progress!...