Just Enough Detail

I’m painting a brick wall; the back wall of an old building in New York, and I want to know just how much detail to show. I know how a brick wall is built and I know why it’s built in the way that it is. I don’t think I have to show extensive detail about the way it’s built but I need to show the detail that some people expect. I’d like it to be detailed enough that a bricklayer will accept the imperfections that I know must be there, so It needs to be representational, not photographic.


This is the only YouTube video I could find that shows why some of the bricks appear smaller than others, it’s stronger to lay some of the bricks at 90° to the others thus keeping sections together. This is an old video from the 40s or 50s, I suspect that this method is no longer used much and now metal banding is used. The building, or rather the rear wall, is an old building in New York so the techniques are relevant.

OK so a bricklayer looked at it and her only comment was “messy job”. She was talking about the brick laying job not the painting. At least that is my story.

So, the bricks aren’t perfect but they look a little like bricks and should enhance the reality illusion.