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Unfinished Mural -detail 1

           After the success of the Thinkers Coffeehouse Mural at Cleveland's Playhouse Square, Mr. Chuck Diamond commissioned John to paint another mural addition. The new panels would connect with the existing mural to form one continues composition. They would represent an upper arched gallery with celebrity guests looking over the balcony.

           The new series of panels never got beyond the "grey-paint" stage when the project was abandoned (read the final entry on the previous thumbnail). The pictures shown here were taken at John's studio. They illustrate his working procedure of painting all the figures in tones of grey before the addition of colour.

           In the above detail are the portraits of Beatle Ringo Star and Catherine Deam, one of the darling dancers who play the mice in Cleveland's yearly holiday presentation of the Nutcracker. Even at this stage John's modelling of tone and values is absolutely fantastic; the portrait of Catherine is as lovely as a Leonardo angel.

           Portions of the panels in pink are areas of the background and architectural details still unpainted. Instead of applying the natural white primer, John generally tints it with another colour for two reasons: it diminishes the "eye glare" from light bouncing off the white, and it helps him gauge better the intensity of the painted highlights on the portraits.

Commentary is continued on the next image.



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