keeps Hand Painting Graphics Tradition Alive
Gym and Architectural Graphic Services in Houston
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Houston, TX: Gym Graphics are a specialty of Houston based commercial artist Ray Gatica. When it comes to laying out and hand painting large gym graphics the artist uses the old time pouncing process which goes back to when big billboards and large architectural graphics and signs were hand painted by accomplished, talented artist. No longer hand painted, these billboards are digitally produced.
The above artists were employed by the likes of Eller Outdoor Co., and other, similar outdoor advertising companies. Back then, in the seventies and, as recently as the late eighties, all billboard were hand painted. It wasnít uncommon to look up towards a billboard 70 feet in the air and see a human painting the boards. They used oil paints. Remember seeing the old style Seagramís 20 X 40 Ft. billboards when they showed fancy, sexy dressed models juxtaposed a Seagram or Bacardi bottle. It was excellent art.
Back then there was a particular process to get the design the size you needed and to transfer the design to the billboards to ready to paint. First the design was created. Then using a projector, the designs were first enlarged on to large paper patterns, which were projected to the required size. The patternís design lines were then made with a pounce wheel, which leaves a fine perforated line on the pattern. (The pounce wheel is a small-wheeled instrument that is used to transfer a design onto a surface by leaving a perforated line on intended surface. It is the same instrument used by your mother or seamstress when they used to make sewing patterns.) The pattern/s are then placed on the wall where the sign or graphic are to be painted. After placing it properly they would then use a pounce bag (a fine, graphite filled bag) that was tapped on to the patternís perforated lines. This would transfer some of the fine graphite powder through the perforations, thus transferring the design to the intended surface- where it would then be painted.
Most of the outdoor billboard companies today still provide their services, except the billboards are not hand painted any longer - but are digitally designed and created. The printers that print these twenty feet by forty feet billboards are twenty feet wide. The boards are painted on vinyl/media that is virtually indestructible and highly durable. The large printers paint the vinyl very similar to your desktop printers attached to your computer. Finally, they are transported to the site where they are hoisted to about 70 feet in the air and then stretched and tied to the billboard frame.
Gatica has been involved in the hand painted architectural graphics, murals, and gym graphics for over 15 years. He painted about approximately, 20,000 square feet of interior design graphics at the Texanís Stadium, 8000 square feet of architectural graphics at Houston SPCA and, 8000 square feet at various Katy ISD, schools.
The designs are usually painted in colors specified by the architects or, what the design calls for. Sometimes scissor lifts are rented to reach twenty feet in the air in some gymnasiums and interior walls. It usually takes him around ten to fifteen days to prepare, enlarge the designs and paint the work. After the painting is done, Gatica finally cleans up and touches up the designs to sharpen edges to finalize everything. The results are large sharp crisp images even on a block walls.
Experience: Over the years he has worked with Architectural and Interior design firms, and has sub contracted to commercial painting companies.
See: George Ranch High School Project