Friday, June 26, 2015

Pasadena Chalk Festival Day 1 - Saturday part 2

It's time for part 2 of Saturday's Pasadena Chalk Festival. Ruston and I are hard at work trying to get our mural on the ground.

It's been a rough morning. Our pattern didn't go down like we'd wanted, we're having problems getting the chalk to stick to the sidewalk, and some of the chalk we did buy isn't working well. Add on a super hot day and like I said, it's been rough.
Neither of us have eaten since 8am this morning and it's already 2pm. Rubio's is super busy, but Ruston and I still managed to find a table. I must have downed 3 Dr Peppers before our food even came out. I think I'm a bit dehydrated.
As we were finishing up, another artist asked is he could share our table and we made small-talk. He's been doing the festival for 17 years now and has something going on in animation alley. When he asked what we were doing, we told him it was Ducktales and how we're crushing the chalk, mixing it with water and painting it on the ground. That was certainly the wrong thing to tell him. He told us how that wasn't really chalk art, but more like regular painting and it infuriated him when people did things like that. Well that's not the kind of talk we were hoping to hear. Let's get out and see what other people are working on.

Up near the Cinemark theater, many artists are doing tribute to famous movies. This artist is reproducing the poster to My Fair Lady.

I really liked this Wile E. Coyote. He's flattened into the concrete with a giant anvil on top of him.

The team working on the Spread the Love mural has some amazing colors that are super saturated and nice and even. Ruston and I spoke with them for a few minutes and they were happy to share some suggestions for how to make our Ducktales mural better. As we've discovered, they said white is one of the most difficult to put down smoothly, and suggested mixing in some light blue to help smooth it out. Sarah in particular was very nice, even stopping by our mural later in the day as we were working on it, offering encouragement and kind words. After our morning, those were definitely welcome.

I'm not sure if this is an original creation, or something I just don't recognize, but as you'll see later, Ruston was taken with it.

Moe Notsu is often one of the people's choice favorites year after year. She regularly throws down beautiful, photo realistic portraits that make you stop and marvel.

Wow. This eye looks great.

I'm looking forward to seeing this Finding Nemo tribute finished. Marlin and Dory both look good.

A tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

An interesting composition of a planet with many of the popular landmarks of the world surrounding it.

Someone's been busy. What looks like a plesiosaur seems completed.

Whoa. This layer of black is super smooth and even. No one was around to ask how they did it, but their material is still sitting out. Ruston's checking it out to see what it is so we could possibly add it to our repertoire.

This piece is a family work. Darth Vader and Lego? I'm interested in seeing what it looks like when it's finished.

Shocking that Jem isn't wearing any pants! Let's hope they fix that before too long.

Ooh. A classic Star Wars poster. Definitely excited to see this once it's done.

Let's check in with some of the paintings in the silent auction. Every artist was asked to provide a 1'x1' painting. Ruston happened to catch someone taking a photo of mine. And it already has a bid! $35!

A view from the 2nd floor courtyard looking down into the lower courtyard. Right in front is the main stage. To the left is the auction tent, and that little umbrella right in front belongs to Ruston and I. The 2 hour break we took helped renew our spirits and we're ready to tackle the 2nd half of our mural. The sun has also gone behind a building, leaving our mural in the shade. That should make everything a little more pleasant.

Learning from the first half, before starting, we put a very heavy layer of chalk on the back of the paper. Both Ruston and I traced over each line 5-6 times and crossed our fingers we'd see something when we pulled the paper up.
And... it worked! I slowly pulled the paper back while Ruston had a piece of black chalk in hand, ready to trace the faint lines. Thankfully it wasn't necessary and we were left with a perfect pattern, ready to be filled in.

Time to start putting down gray! I don't know if it was the way I mixed the chalk, the cooler pavement, or what, but Ruston and I both agreed this side went down a lot better than before.

Me hard at work crushing and mixing white chalk. For this 2nd side, I took a little more care to completely crush everything to a fine dust. That helped reduce clumps when mixing and made for a lot better paste that went down on the ground.

Having complete the white, it was time to put down the background and make everything pop. At the moment, I've only got 3 sticks of each background color, so we're having to ration it. I'll hope to find more tomorrow so we can make everything smooth.

By 7:30pm, we're feeling pretty good about our progress. We still need to fill in the black, but we can save that for tomorrow. On Sunday we'll also give everything a touch-up and have something we can be proud of.

Before we go, Ruston put our team number on the bottom so people could know who we were. In tiny letters, he also put New Artist because besides the usual awards given out, this year there's a new award for Best New Artist. Ruston and I just doing this for the fun and experience though and have no delusions that we'll actually win anything.

Now that the sun has gone behind the buildings, we can see the art without hard shadows falling across them.
Joan of Arc is coming along nicely.

Spider-Man seems to be crawling off the pavement towards you.

Just putting a little finishing touches on John Lennon. Kidding. But wow does that look incredible.

This classic Star Wars poster looks great, but still has a bit more to finish.

Stacy Nalapraya's take on Magdalen of the Night Light.

I don't know the name of the style, but it's something Star Wars.

Sesame Street's Ernie and Bert, where Bert finally popped the question.

One more look at our work from the 2nd floor.

Ruston's exhausted.

We take one last look at our work before finally taking off for the night. It's funny. We've had a lot of ups and downs with this so far today, and our emotions have gone from low lows when things weren't going well, to high highs when people are telling us how happy they are to see Ducktales and the chalk is going down well.

Tomorrow we'll add black to the right side, sharpen some lines and clean everything up. We've got some trepidation leaving our mural exposed all night. We've seen some artists covering their works with tarps, and others putting up barriers and creating fences out of tape. But for every one of those, we see some of the spectacular artists doing nothing to their work. Time will tell what the right move was.

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