Even in painting, go big or go home! We’re talking about large scale art, the hottest interior design and home trend to hit Australia, and for good reason. Not only is it visually stunning; it also has a lot of cultural value, and no Pinterest board, Insta feed, or style blog worth its salt should go without it. Even Kylie Kardashian tried to keep up!
There are a number of reasons why large artwork is so popular now. For one thing, its dimensions allow for a more immersive experience. In that sense, this art trend, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages, can create a sense of community. Moreover, people are always looking for ways to express themselves in a way that is unique and personal, and large scale art allows them to do just that. By creating artwork that is large and visible, artists are able to share their creativity with the world and inspire others.
What is large scale art?
Large scale art is created on a massive scale, often using unconventional materials. These pieces can be very striking and awe-inspiring, and often require a lot of planning and coordination to create. It can be used to make a statement or to simply create a beautiful piece of art.
Large scale art follows the tradition of monumental masters like Botticelli, Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, and Klimt. Especially popular in the 18th century, it was used to depict scenes of history on large scale wall art. Thus, for its sheer size and themes, this type of painting was considered “more important” than portraiture, still life, and landscape.
Take Pollock’s “Lavender Mist”, for example. Doesn’t this feel like a warm, giant hug?
Types of large scale art
Large scale art is more than just a painting that happens to be oversized. By design, it is larger than life, often massive enough to fill a room. Its impact is deliberate and it is meant to overwhelm by itself, command a space, and dwarf everything else that comes near it.
While public art can be in any size, it is typically large-scale and meant to be seen from a distance. They are found in outdoor spaces so that people can enjoy them while they walk or relax outdoors.
One popular type of outdoor, large-scale art is mural painting, which are meant to be displayed on walls or other structures in public places. Many artists enjoy creating murals because they can be very creative and expressive, and they allow the artist to share their work with a lot of people.
Site-specific art is meant to be displayed in a particular location, including private spaces like a corporate office. The artist may work with the space to create a piece that responds to the surroundings or that incorporates elements of the space into the artwork.
Site-specific art can be in any size, from a small installation to a large-scale sculpture or mural, and created using a variety of mediums, including sculpture, painting, and installation art.
Environmental art pertains to a wide variety of art practices that are inspired by nature, while others may use environmental themes as part of a more general approach to their work. Either way, the goal is usually to create art that helps people see the environment in a new way or that encourages them to take action on behalf of the planet.
Large Scale Art Examples
There is no shortage of large scale art in Australia, with some of the most impressive being in public spaces. From murals to sculptures, they all have one thing in common: They’re meant to be seen by – and impress – many people at once.
Public large scale wall art
Often, murals can be very beautiful, because they tell a story or depict a scene from history or nature. Sometimes, they can also be used to make a statement about politics or social issues.
If you’re in Melbourne, you need not look far to find large scale art projects. There are countless examples of public murals right on AC/DC Lane, Hosier Lane, Meyers Place, and many other laneways within the city.
Site-specific large artwork
Site-specific art creates a unique experience for the viewer and can be interactive, to transform an ordinary space into something special and unique.
Often designed to promote tourism, this type of large scale art can also encourage people to discover new areas of their community, thus, helping boost the local economy.
Environmental large-scale art
Large-scale environmental art can take many different forms, from land art installations that are visible from miles away to sculptures made from recycled materials that can be seen up close. Some artists even create temporary pieces that disappear as nature reclaims them.
Whatever the form, the goal is always to make people think about their relationship with the environment and how they can make a difference.
How to produce large scale art from scratch
How much is a large scale artwork worth, do you think? Well, big wall meets big art, and so, it’s probably heavy on the pocket. But why buy it, when you can make it yourself?
Creating a DIY large scale wall art can be a daunting task. Because of its size, a painting is designed to command attention. While they take time to create, the results are worth it because it’s a mighty impressive way to make an impact. In addition to the power of scale, large-size paintings are also sometimes used to create an illusion of depth and dimensionality, by adding a foreground element or subject matter in the distance that is not visible from any other vantage point.
So how do you go about creating large prints for wall display?
Step 1: Prepare the canvas
The process of creating large paintings is not as simple as just slapping paint on a canvas. The first step is to prepare the canvas by stretching it onto a frame and priming it with a base. This will ensure that the painting is sturdy and will not warp over time. It is also important to use the correct type of primer for the type of paint you will be using. Acrylic paints, for example, require an acrylic primer.
Step 2: Plan the painting
When working on a large scale project, it is important to use a grid to help keep your work aligned. By using a grid, you can easily map out the placement of each element in your painting, and make sure that everything is in proportion. Another advantage that you get when you use this grid technique is that it will be very easy to change the size of elements in your painting or give individual elements a different color value. These will ensure that your piece is symmetrical and will look professional.
Step 3: Sketch out the composition
When starting a large scale painting, it can be helpful to sketch out what you want the piece to look like or use a photo reference to help you plan out your composition. This will give you a general idea of what colors to use and how the painting will flow. It is always important to take into account the size of the surface you are working on, but what’s special about large scale art is it can hold way more detail than a smaller painting. Thus, you do away with the usual problems related to size, like a small canvas looking too busy or cluttered.
Step 4: Paint the background
Now that the canvas is primed, you can begin to work on the painting by applying several layers of paint. The first layer is usually a flat white or grey paint. This creates a background that serves as a foundation for subsequent layers. A second layer of paint can be applied to add more depth to the painting. Multiple layers of paint can be used for all sorts of effects like shading and adding highlights. The third layer is usually a dark, rich color (often black).
Step 5: Paint the foreground
Large scale paintings can be a lot of fun, but they do require a bit more work than smaller pieces. Once the last background layer has dried, you can begin the foreground of your painting in the center of the canvas. As you continue to paint around this central area and add layers, make sure to leave some areas blank so that the background will show through later on. Work from the center of the painting outwards, and take care to keep your colors consistent.
Step 6: Add your finishing touches
Many painters will work on a painting until they feel it is complete. This may mean working on the painting for days, weeks, or even months. There is no set rule for how long to work on a painting. At that end point, you may need to make some final adjustments before calling it finished. Is there anything that needs work? Is there anything you would have done differently? Do you need to add more detail or fine-tune the colors? What if you cut the background out and painted over it with a different color; how would that change things?
When you’re finally done with your tweaks, stand back, take a look at your large scale art, and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Not everyone has the heart to take on an art project this epic!