My childhood friend Jeremy Smith is having his first baby boy, who is expected in July. Jeremy asked me a few months ago if I would paint a mural for his new baby’s bedroom. As the kids honorary uncle, I thought what better way to introduce him to the world than with Kung Fu Panda!
Crane and the Jade Palace. The crib is going in the corner where crane is, and the dresser will be under the palace.
Jeremy and his wife originally wanted an orchird theme to the room. I later suggested, because it’s for a kids room that we add some cartoon characters to liven it up.
The corner for the crib and the over hang of the peach tree, which goes all the way around the room.
This mural didn’t actually take off until I actually showed up to their house. We only had two days to paint this, and originally it was just going to be one mural on the back wall. But what I decided to do instead was take up all the elements from that one mural image and spread it around the room. It was a big suprise, and when it was finished it turned out amazingly well.
The Jade Palace.
The remaining Furious Five sillouetted on the front stairs.
Po taking a little trip down the stairs.
To get the mural done in time, I had the help of Jeremy and his mom Deanne, who concentrated on the background elements and the peach tree while I mainly worked on the characters.
A peach bops Shifu on the head while Po catches it in his basket.
Since they wanted an orchird theme, I went with the peach tree from the film, and the mural is inspired by the sequence in film where Ooguay is teaching Shifu about letting go. It’s a beautiful scene, my favorite part of the movie, so it was a lot of fun trying to capture that moment.
Po, painted on the closet door.
Master Shifu needing some asprin.
Master Ooguay at the peach tree.
I was amazed at how fast we actually got this done. Jeremy did a great job on the peach tree, while his mom painted mountain the temple sits on. Because of the light I couldn’t get many great photo graphs by the window, but we had some flowers painted underneath the window, while Jeremy did the rest of the peach tree going over the top. I did the falling pink leaves and sunlight surrounding Master Ooguay below, but the rest of the peach tree was done by Jeremy.
It was a pretty great weekend overall. It goes to show, as always, how something can start off as one thing and turn into something completely different by the end. I didn’t expect how much of the mural would change when I got up there, especially since I had to drive from L.A. all the way to Woodland, Ca. (about 10 miles outside of Sacramento). But I’m happy I did it. A big special thanks goes to my friend Sergio Rios, who helped design the colors for the mural. I couldn’t have done this without him. This mural was my gift to the baby, so I didn’t charge them for painting it. All characters in the mural are copyrighted by Dreamworks Animation. There is no charge for awesomeness. 🙂
Sunflower painted by the baby’s grandma Deanne.