Monday, August 1, 2011

Paint a Mural on It, Yo.

Let me let you in on a little secret: I am not a photographer. I never took classes and my camera is just ok. I appreciate a great shot, but feel no burning desire to recreate the magic in that arena. So, my photos are not what you might call spectacular. As I don't even use hipstamatic, they're not even what you'd call cool. But they get the job done.

So... we live in a 2 bedroom apartment, and chose the smaller of the 2 rooms as our bedroom. As all it's for is sleeping and keeping clothes in, it made sense to have the other room be the office. But painting such a small room was a conundrum, and living in a solid cream box was getting to me (see earlier posts for more accurate color descriptions). Painting an accent wall in a 10x10 room was kind of a non-starter. Plus, despite what you might have been led to believe, I don't love bucket-and-roller painting.

As such, I decided to paint a 5'x5' mural of a green-striped lotus (see: imaginary shit I make up) on the wall with the most blank space. This is a step-by step of that process. It took me 7 months, but if you don't just stare at it for weeks in between layers, I imagine you could get this done in a weekend. Maybe 3 days. But I'm not knocking the sit-and-stare-at-it process. Works just fine for me.

Step 1: Sketch it out on paper, yo. I did mine in Sharpie.

Step 2: Trace it out on your wall in pencil. (On semigloss paint you didn't have a prayer of seeing this in a photo, so just imagine it for a moment.)

Step 3: Paint the whole damn thing white. Then edge it in green. (Or whatever colors blow your skirt up, it's your wall).

Note: I upped the contrast so you could see what was happening here.

Step 4: Paint some stripes in your first shade (of green for me).

Step 5: Much like step 4, paint some stripes in your second shade.

Step 6: Similar to steps 4 and 5, paint some stripes in your third shade. You might be done with stripes at this point. If you are, bear with me. If not, you are of my tribe.

Step 7: See steps 4-6, fourth shade.

Step 8: No more stripes! Give the flower some depth. I used a watered-down pink blush to make it look alive. Then I watered down some gray to make it a bit more realistic. Shade in the shady bits, perk up the central bits.

Step 9: Give it some reproductive junk. Stamen time. Make a thinned-out pool of brownish-yellow at the middle bottom of the stamen area before you start so that it looks deeper. (I kind of forgot and had to do it after the fact.)

Step 10: Admire your work! Or, you know, obsess over it for a few months and randomly add/subtract bits. Whatever your process is.

See? And that only took 7 months! (Ok, I have MUCH higher hopes for you). And there you go!

Have a lovely day.

1 comment:

  1. That...looks...farking AWESOME!!! I want to come over and take a picture next to your wall!