Before my junior year ended, Mr. Shoop approached me about painting a mural of a tiger in the hallway. I was kind of intimidated by such a large project, but I was excited to give it a try.
The first step was coming up with a sketch. I used a stockpile of reference images of tigers in order to figure out how I wanted to draw it up. Once I had an idea down, I took the sketch to Mr. Shoop and we were ready to roll.
A few days after school ended, I went back into the school to start the project. I began by sketching out the basic shape of the tiger on the wall with chalk, using my drawing as reference. It took a lot of erasing and redrawing before I finally got it right. The whole process reminded me how annoying proportions are. To finalize the chalk sketch, I made one last outline with pencil.
After that, I was ready to start painting. I started with a coat of a base orange over the whole body of the tiger. For several weeks after that first coat, I came into the school for a few hours at a time. I added more paint and more details each day. I ran into some obstacles along the way and had some enlightening conversations with the janitors who were cleaning over the summer. When the mural was finally finished, I felt satisfied with the work I had done. It was a great experience to be able to do something I enjoy and leave a mark in the school that I love.