When looking for inspiration for the poses for the figures in my mural at Barnes Hall Sri Lanka, one of my first references was the ceiling paintings of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). I’ve studied his paintings many times over the years and still marvel at them.
There was a group of figures on one of his murals in particular that I was drawn to, so I decided to recreate something of this. I loved the dynamics of the figures and the composition they created.
I photographed models in similar poses and for further reference looked at Indian dress for the period the painting was to be set. Painting them in life size on canvas was a case of collating all the images and referring to different aspects of each. I couldn’t be quite as expressive as Tiepolo was with the billowing of the fabrics and the solid nature of the clouds. The final mural after all had reality constraints! But I was very happy with the final painting.