Ice Age Edmonton Mural | Royal Alberta Museum
When the Royal Alberta Museum was searching for a digital illustrator to create a huge image to complete their new Ice Age hall, I was honored to get a query, and jumped at the opportunity to do this dream project. The Pleistocene is my very favorite era to recreate, for it's simultaneous familiarity and yet alienness, with animals that look like they should still be around today.
This mural presented a unique challenge—at nearly 60 feet long and 13 feet tall, it was by far the largest digital mural I've attempted in either digital or traditional media and required a huge time investment and customized computer set-up to process such a large digital painting, as well as very particular business/liability bona fides, so I was thrilled when I was able to take the project on as part of my regular role at Blue Rhino Studio.
The concept called for a very specific perspective of the local river curvature, and more than a dozen Pleistocene species (including Woolly Mammoth, American Mastadon, Short-faced Bear, American Lion, Jefferson’s Ground Sloth, Bison Antiquus, Caribou, Muskox and Ice Age Horses, as well as birds and characteristic plant communities).
I wanted to make sure that the final art didn’t have any telltale signs of digital creation (like blurry transitions, sampled photo-textures, round brushes, or pixelation) and in fact replicated my traditional mural painting style as closely as possible, so that when the final image was printed on canvas, visitors would not be able to tell the work was created on a computer.
The final mural was printed onto a canvas-replicating wallcovering material and installed in the summer of 2019.
Because I spent sooo much time creating a myriad of little details and moments in extremely high resolution across 780 square feet of space, please enjoy this truly gratuitous number of close-ups: