Monday, August 25, 2014

A Really Big Potato (A Large Art Project)

From time to time I am called upon to create a piece of artwork to fit a certain circumstance.  I have designed and painted art for parade floats, store windows, and seasonal d├ęcor for businesses.  Jobs like these keep my life from ever being boring. That was the case last week when I was asked to create a standing display for the Colorado State Fair.

This piece was commissioned by the Colorado Potato Administration.  He is 5' tall and 3' wide.  He is a "Colorado Spudman" and will be used in their booth at the Fair this month. 

I started out by taping large sheets of butcher paper onto my garage door.  This allowed me to have a large surface to draw on.  It also proved beneficial so I could stand back to see if I had the proportions right.  Drawing LARGE is probably the most difficult part of jobs like this.

Even though he is a "LARGE" Potato, he could not look like another famous toy Potato (copyright laws were involved).  He had to be "cartoonish" and maybe just a little cute to appeal to kids who would be visiting the booth and asked to respond to the question, "What does agriculture mean to you?"

I used a sheet of 4' x 8' 1/4" tempered hardboard.  I cut the shape out with my old trusty jigsaw and then painted him using acrylic craft paints.  I specifically made his colors bright since potatoes are basically brown all over.  His green gloves represent the fact that farmers have green thumbs.   His work boots have bright yellow laces and his red baseball cap has the Colorado Potatoes logo painted on it.


After all the paint was on, I used a Black Sharpie for the line work and then gave him a coat of MinWax Spray Polyurethane in Semi-Gloss to protect him from the elements!

Hubby helped out tremendously and welded a metal stand and hinged it to the back of him.  He will be weighted down with boxes of potatoes behind him, making him safe for kids to be around.  The sides of the stand fold in flat so he can be transported easily, if anything 5' x 3', can be hauled easily???  (Sorry, I failed to get a picture of the metal frame)

He is scheduled for his appearance at the State Fair and then to also show up at the Potato Festival held locally in September.  Projects like this one are always fun and remind me to never take myself too seriously!

Happy Potato Harvest

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