Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Painting Project at St. Leo's Grotto

I was asked to direct a group of volunteers who offered to paint St. Leo's grotto, which is located in the basement of the church. The grotto hasn't been used for a number of years, and it's time to spruce it up.

I suggested that the volunteers paint the grotto with a basecoat of a neutral color.  The picture above shows what the grotto looked like when I arrived.

The statue of the Blessed Mother is all wrapped up to protect it from paint.  There used to be a waterfall directly below the statue, and the parishioners are hoping to get it flowing again.

Let the painting begin!

The right-hand side of this photo shows where the painting began. Trying to look like stone and rocks wasn't too difficult because the surface was already sculpted to look like rocks. We just had to make sure that everyone used the same values of gray.

My paint of choice is Americana because it's easy to work with, it's not too thick, and it's easy to blend. It also provides a nice matte finish.

The rocks are starting to take shape. The sea sponges served as the best tool to paint the surface of the grotto. A paintbrush would come in handy to get into tight spots, but for the most part, a sea sponge did the trick.

We made a lot of progress today. I'm really proud of the volunteers, especially those who've never tackled a project like this before.