Cheltenham Art

Andy Lloyd's Murals 3


Photo by Tracy Minors

Star Wars Mural March 2009

I've been a fan of the Star wars epic since the first movie came out, and I used to spend happy hours as a kid drawing X-wings and TIE-fighters. So perhaps this nostalgia was the reason why I was so pleased to accept this commission for a family in Cheltenham. 


I was given a large blank bedroom wall with just one pointer: the mural had to be about Star Wars.  Beyond that, I could paint what I wanted. 


I started with a freehand drawing, which you can just about make out on the first photo, and painted in the first spaceship just to give the family an idea of what to expect.  That took about 4 hours. The next day I worked a very intense session, creating this asteroid belt, planet, and detailing of a further series of spacecraft.  Ten hours in, and the mural looked like this:


I was very pleased with this work so far, as was the family, and particularly their son, whose bedroom featured this artwork.  The next section of the mural was tricky, although not as detailed.  However, it contained a selection of features whose colours needed to be amalgamated, and I needed to experiment quite a bit to get the lighting effect to a satisfactory level.  The central characters are about five foot tall, and must seem very large to a 4-year old. 


But I wanted to achieve this effect, to build an iconic feeling to the battle.  So I kept the horizon very low, and used the sky around the light-sabre duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to merge into Space.  Time taken to get to this point was 16 hours.

The horizon smoothly moves from Tatooine to Mustafa, from cool blues to hot reds.  There is a lot of movement to the central part of the mural, and I kept the paintwork loose to create the feeling of clashing, battling warriors.  The sky around them is full of furious light.

The next session involved painting the Darth Vader mask, which involved smooth contouring, and strong differences in tonal quality to create a metallic effect. Putting so much black onto a wall would not work in every room.  Fortunately, this room is large and well lit - otherwise the deep colours of the Star Wars mural would rob the room of light.  Below the Darth Vader mask I painted Anakin riding his Tatooine speeder, using the sunset of the two suns to create the low light source for the mural. 



It became clear at this stage that the two central figures needed to be elevated above the landscape for the overall effect to work, so I created a rocky outcrop below their feet, and was very pleased with the igneous rock effect.  The colours integrated others used in the mural.  These bold colours also allowed me to add more red into the Mustafa lava mountains behind the two figures.  Time taken up to this stage was 22 hours:

The final session involved completing work on the remaining spacecraft, which were mostly from the first Star Wars movie.  Inevitably, I touched up bits of the mural here and there - I could very easily spend several hours working on various details to make them more realistic, but this would not necessarily enhance the overall effect.  You have to stop somewhere! 



If you live in the Gloucester/Cheltenham area and are interested in commissioning me to paint a mural in your house, school or business premises, please email me for a quote  Finally, here's a video clip On YouTube of the mural, showing the overall effect and many of the details of the artwork:

Written by Andy Lloyd

Photos by Tracy Minors


Andy Lloyd's Main Art Webpage