Sculpted Mural

Definitely not the prettiest mural I’ve ever found,

… but the most interesting technique.

The image is chipped, sculpted out.

Upon close examination, I see the original old brick wall.

There appears to be a thick layer of grey plaster, covered by a smooth, thin layer of off white plaster.

Not sure if the bits of colour are old layers of paint over the old brick, added at the end for effect or a combination of the two.

Once the image was sculpted out, a yellow sepia paint was added.

Makes me think of when I was a kid at school. We filled in an entire page of paper with a wild array of crayon colours.

Then we covered the colours with a thick layer of black crayon.

Then we made an image by scraping off the black, and leaving a design.

Pics take by Resa – April 5, 2022

Toronto, Canada



Click on pic to visit

132 thoughts on “Sculpted Mural

          1. I struggle enough on a sheet of paper to get the “feel” of the sketch. (Pencil and a lot of eraser!) I can’t imagine how they project the entire thing from their mind to the biiiig wall.
            take care Resa… 💕

                  1. Ballpoint straight on. That’s very brave. I’m still a bit insecure. There is also the fact that I love the feel of the pencil on the paper, almost like a form of music.

    1. I figured if I didn’t post this now, I never would. There is a lot more sweet/neat art out there. Yes, the technique is fascinating.

      I found 2 neat murals yesterday, but they are on south facing walls. I have to go back on a totally cloudy day, in order not to get the shadows of poles and wires and other buildings.

      On the wall where I found “A Long Stemmed Rose for Holly”, there is now a whole bunch of roses. I’ve got to get back…maybe Monday! xoxoxo

  1. I like it, maybe because of its strangeness….and the technique is unexpected, so I like it, even if I would agree that you did show more beautiful ones, must have been messy to do, maybe not but seems likely…:)

  2. The technic is interesting , Resa .
    The face that is sculpted and painted is special. I observe the man has a window in the right part of his forehead. Probably this means he has a spirit open to the world! 🙂
    Love ❤

  3. I’m sure that must invalidate any weather-proofing warranty for the render… 😉

    You mentioned wax crayons; this also brings to mind scraperboard art…


  4. Fantastic mural! I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this process and the marvel of the big picture. You did a great job photographing it, Resa, and showing the beauty in its entirety.

  5. That is very cool! As you said, maybe not the prettiest, but perhaps the most fascinating street art technique ever. Very well done for the artist and for you for capturing it.

    1. Thank you! Turns out the artist is famous & the art is of social political importance! I put the Artist’s name, VHILS at the end of the post. If you click on the small image under it, it will take you to the article. Been looking for your House of the Rising Sun on Youtube.

      1. I wasn’t 100% sure what the art work was about, but guessed it had a social or political message to it. I’ll try to make it back later to find out about the artist.
        I see your comment from later which I am assuming means you found the HotRS video.

  6. You know, this is still fantastic< the faces still have something . As for the technique???? I keep thinking one wrong scrape, and…well,,,, I've got bright green paint patches on a bit on the side of our house like the blue here. It's where our loggia is and has prob been an old washouse wall and the brick is exposed there too slightly. Still can't figure was the deal was.

    1. The faces are good! Lol… one wrong scrape.
      I love old buildings. I live in one!
      I’ll bet your place is quite cool.

      I’m so close to finishing the gown. maybe 4/5 days. Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

    1. You are welcome, dear John!
      It turns out the artist is famous, VHILS. There is a story behind it. I put a link at the end of the post, should you be interested.

  7. Hi Resa, this is very unusual and interesting. The method is not that attractive from up close but works really well from a distance and it is also interesting that newspapers are featured in the design. The method is grainy and reminiscent of cheap methods of printing on newspaper. It would be good to know who the artist was and the purpose of this artwork. It seems that it might have had a specific purpose.

    1. You are correct, Roberta!
      The mural is of social and political importance.
      I found out after I posted. The artist is VHILS. He is a famous artist.
      I put a link to the info at the end of the post, rather than in every comment.
      Have a great upcoming week!

    1. Vhils… someone else commented it looked like his work. Crazy, but years ago, I did post one of his pieces. What an honour to have this in Toronto.

    2. Oh! Thank you for this, Marina! I wondered what the political context was. I had no idea that there was a large Portuguese community, and that so many of the women had been cleaners, the Cleaners’ Strike, or any of that.

      1. I wondered too! It seemed political. Crazy thing is that the Portuguese Community in TO has been doing a series of murals around the city for a couple of years now.
        It’s like a treasure hunt finding them all. I have posted a few, and keep looking for more.
        Turns out this is one of them.
        What an honour to have a mural by VHILS in our city!
        Thank you Marina, and Merril for being so interested!

      1. Thanks for the link 🙏
        Years ago I used to have one of his screen prints where he had also used ink and bleach! With the destructive powers of bleach it seemed like a bold move and something I’d never seen before. Vhils was an artist with great ambition from a young age and his work continues to inspire.
        Best wishes

  8. Chiming in with my “the technique is interesting.”
    I had to look up what it is commemorating. Turns out to be a strike by the Portuguese immigrant cleaning women in 1984 which is apparently a significant piece of Labour history.

    1. Thank you!
      I thought it was something like that. There are quite a few Portuguese murals popping up around Toronto. There is some kind of celebration/ centennial/or?
      I must look up that piece of Labour history!

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  10. Wow, this is very different. It’s a little strange close up, but from a distance it’s impressive! I can’t imagine creating this. Artists have a special talent for visualizing things. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Lol!!! Bugs… I can see that.
      It’s a social political mural by a famous artist, VHILS. I added a link at the bottom!
      Janet, crazy but every time I see an unknown fleck or spot in the house, I think bug.
      I lived with cockroaches for years in my youth. It left its mark on me.

  11. It is really interesting, the technique and history. Thank you for sharing and Marina for the article.
    I used to like doing those drawings, too, where you colored over the colors with black and then etching something out on top.
    Do you know there are also blackout or erasure poems, where people take (or “etch out”) words to create a poem from a larger text?

    1. What a find!
      I thank Marina, and others who are not just interested in pretty murals, but also murals with social context.
      Ahh “blackout poems”. I have read a few. Have you done any Merril?
      I’ll bet yours would be fab!

  12. Resa – As you do with all your posts, you combine excellent subject matter, wonderful photos, attention to detail, and enjoyable commentary to make these posts fascinating. Thank you!

  13. Astonishing. At a quick glance it first looked like decayed places in the building’s surface. It makes me wonder if there actually were bad places, and someone decided they looked like a face — and then thought of the mural. Regardless, it’s an amazing piece of artwork. Thanks for sharing it, Resa. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Okay, you changed your pic again. NICE!
      It’s a great piece of art. Art…. no boundaries in its execution.
      Who knows what VHILS (the artist) took advantage of in his work.

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