Thursday, July 15, 2010

Simple Mural Making

It's flashback time ...
It was the year 2007, and I was a
young(er) lady moving to the big city.

In the two-level loft I was to share with 4 lovely yoga instructors, all of our 5 bedrooms came equipped with homemade lofts.

When I arrived, my room was a bit dreary.

But it was nothing a little dab of paint couldn't fix!

First, I decided I'd make life easy and only paint the bottom portion of the 18' walls.
I chose a calm blue color ...

It's easy to get a clean paint edge across the top.

- Just mark off the height you want in pencil, grab a leveler and trace a line at that height around the room.

- Then, carefully run a strip of BLUE painter's tape (the blue kind is the type meant for these jobs: it will stick enough to allow a clean painting edge, but won't pull up the paint underneath when you remove it).

- Roll 'er on. This job took three coats.

Voila! A two-level effect.
It was nice, but lacked oomph. So I decided to go around the border (with a step ladder) and free-hand some trees, using the same color (but a smaller brush) ...
(I was terribly lazy and didn't tape up those cracks ... but I was young, we must forgive me.)

Free-handing trees is EASY.
It helps to have look at some reference images.

I drew out a rough sketch of my (really simple) technique:
- Start from the bottom and pull the brush up; let the trunk split off into branches that taper.

- Just repeat that type of stroke until the branches look full. The most important thing is to vary it, and keep adding more smaller branches.

In this type, the branches don't overlap, for a more stencil-y feel.

Meanwhile, upstairs was now looking stark.

So I went for a simple tree-house look; with a darker blue in the same family, and with a larger brush.

I loved my tree house! From the loft level, just the light blue tree border showed, and the darker branches around me completed a calm, wintry scene.

Other murals I've done in the past, for fun & practise (I'm definitely not a mural-expert (like our friend, the Mural Maker!)):
An island scene

Picasso-inspired guitar player

Just a hole in the wall

Cheers and happy painting!


  1. Wonderful mural! Trees have to be the most often requested mural for me. You did a wonderful job. Love the tone one tone effect.

    I'm happy to be your first follower! Keep hanging around BlogFrog and you'll get lots more.

    Also, link your mural up to some linky parties. You'll find loads of fun projects, as well as supportive bloggers there. If you need a list, let me know.

  2. Wow! I'm impressed. That is such a cool idea to make all those little trees across the top in the same color paint! I think you did an excellent job and it was really pretty too!

  3. Thanks! Wish I'd thought to take better pictures, but there will defintely be more painting in the future!

  4. I love looking at these pictures! You are multi-talented!

  5. The last one is my favourite, love them all.