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|Thinkers Coffeehouse Mural -detail 3
The colour palette for the Thinkers Coffeehouse Mural is very limited, six colours at most. John decided instead to concentrate on tonal values. The coffeeshop had large glass windows facing the street which provided natural light. But the windows were facing south and the mural wall was facing east. Very little sunlight reached the mural (these pictures are much lighter than the actual mural). The artificial lighting was adequate for the space but not too bright.
John's approach to the lack of good mural lighting was to switch to a style that was less painterly and more lineal (or more early renaissance than high renaissance). A lineal approach made the figures stand out more clearly because of the sharper outline. But his backgrounds looked very atmospheric due to his application of multiple layers of semi transparent paint to achieve great tonality of value.
Notice the plain-looking coffee mugs. This was intentional. Always the businessman, Chuck Diamond figured that he could raise additional funding to further decorate the coffeeshop by selling advertising and having it painted on the mugs -in an artistic way. After a good laugh, John though this was a brilliant idea as long as he got to paint the advertising on the mugs -and get a cut of the profits! People tend to forget that John has never been an artist who does business; he is a businessman who does art.
See the other images of this mural to continue the commentary.