Surf's Up on the Down Stair Case!

Carol Orr has ranked high on my favorite client list. And it is not because her order was easy to create, it was quite challenging as a matter of fact. 

There were two parts of her order, and I will do two articles on her projects.  The first ties into a family-oriented, Thanksgiving theme, because it is about her dad. We often like to find ways to remember our fathers, but this one takes the cake!  

The original Black and White photo

The original Black and White photo

You see, back in the 1950's her father loved to surf at Waikiki.  This was long before there were all the high-rise hotels, and the surfboards were long and heavy!  So Carol mailed a picture of her father to me, surfing with Diamond Head in the background. It was black and white and was going onto a wall where the other walls were already painted.  So the first step was have my graphic specialist Kathryn Tyler prepare the photo to match the color of the walls, which was Benjamin-Moore's light tan, called "Albacore." This is a bit tricky because you have light and dark values in a photograph, but Kathryn made a perfect match with the mid-values of the photograph. 

We changed the color to Benjamin-Moore's "Albacore" to match Carols walls. The area at the top bounded by the red line shows the "sky" that we needed to manufacture.

We changed the color to Benjamin-Moore's "Albacore" to match Carols walls. The area at the top bounded by the red line shows the "sky" that we needed to manufacture.

The next challenge was the wall itself. The original picture was in a landscape format, but Carol's stair-case wall was definitely in a portrait format.  Also, it was a wall that partially descended a staircase, and the idea was to make it look that her dad was about to surf down the stairs.

But that wasn't all.  There was also a round window to negotiate.  At this point, I could not help but notice that in the picture of her father, his right arm is posed in a partial circle.  

Would it look cool to have her dad's arm match the circle of her window?  Carol agreed!  But that meant making his partial arm circle appear concentric to the round window that he was framing. To accomplish that, we needed precise measurements to the fraction of an inch, and a number of proofs until we had it right.  The next illustration shows how we worked with Carol in designing the layout to achieve that look.

Here is how we used layouts to match the surfer to the window.

Here is how we used layouts to match the surfer to the window.

Being as the format changed to portrait from out landscape photo, we needed more sky.  Kathryn Tyler and her amazing graphic skills created more sky digitally; sky that that did not exist in the photograph.  She made a new canvas and added more clouds in the sky on the final layout.

The result is, as you see below is , a masterpiece!

At the risk of sounding like we are bragging, the fact is that we know of no other custom-wallpaper company other than ours who can, or is willing to do this kind of detail.  But that is what "custom" should mean.  At Nautical Chart Wallpaper, we have no higher goal than to give our clients precisely what they want in a mural.

Next week we will go to Carol Orr's basement, and we have another story about creating a mural from something that doesn't quite exist.

Please watch for our Carol Orr article, Part Two, after Thanksgiving and Black Friday!