I’ve written a little bit about getting commissioned to paint a mural while I was living in Cambodia. While that was a great little project, this one is especially memorable to me because I got to stay & work on Songsaa Island. Songsaa (which means ‘sweethearts’ in Khmer) is an amazing little private island near Koh Rong, a few hours’ ride by speedboat off the cost of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. And it is insanely gorgeous. So before I share any of my actual artwork with you, I am going to show off some photos of the island, because, wow.
I was picked up at the docks near Sihanoukville and driven by speedboat to the island. It took a couple of hours, if memory serves correctly, and I was joined by Hun Sen and his family. That’s the president of Cambodia. Friendly enough, but also possibly not the world’s nicest human being. Ahem.
The boat stopped at the end of this jetty.
I hadn’t expected to stay in an actual bungalow (staying on the island costs about $500 a night I believe), but I guess I got lucky! This is the inside – though this photo doesn’t really do it justice! The place was huge, and perfect in every way. The incredible view from the balcony doors got over-exposed here, because I am not a proper photographer!
Here’s the balcony, with my own private infinity pool, well-hidden from any neighbours while having a wonderful view…
… and here’s the playroom, where I painted my mural – you can see the silhouette of a hornbill and some branches on the wall inside! The animals and plants featured in my mural are all native to Cambodia, from gekkos to elephants.
I started off by drawing my design (originally sketched on paper and approved by the island’s owners) up on the walls, and filling in the largest areas of colours with acrylic paint – the blue water and a few different shades of green for the leaves. You can see where the water lilies and animals are going to go later!
Once all the blue and greeny background shades were done I started to fill in the basic colours for the animals. The scene wrapped right around 2 walls of the playroom, so impossible to photograph all in one go!
Once all the flat colours were done, I outlined everything & added details with a permanent marker. Here are a few close-ups of showing the detail… click for a better view!
The mural took a good 5 solid days to complete!
Me just after completion..
…. & me relaxing after a hard week’s work!
I’m sure you can see that this was an incredible place to work on a really fun project, and I feel pretty lucky to have had the chance to work on this. I did work really hard, and it was quite intense – I had to make sure I brought all the paints etc. I could possibly need, plus a little extra, as I imagine the closest art shop would be over 100 miles away by sea & land! So guys – if you happen to have your own private island (or somewhere less glamorous) in need of a little sprucing up, I’d be more than happy to help out! Just drop me a line 😉
Hope that was interesting and not too image heavy! Have you ever had the chance to work on a project in an unusual/awesome place? I’d love to hear about it!