I am back in business! It has been quite a while since I have been able to paint a nursery mural. Business has been slow for me here in NY. I have not minded too much though, because I run 2 other small businesses – DPK Virtual Assistant Services and DPK Graphic Design. Oh, and I am also 7 months pregnant with #4, so I have had my hands full.
Well, I would like to walk you through the process of how to paint a simple tree mural. My client wanted something very basic to go along with her brown and blue nursery decor for her twin boys (who are do any day now). She showed me a picture of a tree silhouette that she liked, but she wanted me to use 3 shades of brown to add some shadowing and highlighting. She also wanted to hang letters (the boys names) from the tree branches above the cribs. We picked the colors from a Benjamin Moore color chart that I had. The colors tie in with the crib bedding nicely.
Before my client moved the cribs away from the wall that I would be painting, I asked her to draw some reference lines of exactly the placement of those cribs so that way I could make the tree fit perfectly over both cribs.
I started the job, by using white chalk to hand draw the outline onto the wall making sure the branches reached out far enough over the cribs. If you are not confident enough to hand draw the tree outline, then you can also print out a tree outline onto acetate and then use a projector to project the image onto the wall. This is great if you have trouble with keeping the correct dimensions.
I then got my 3 paint colors ready (I used latex paint) and painted the edges with the darkest brown, the medium in the center areas and then highlighted with the lighter brown. A trick to keep the paint movable on your brush is to use a matte medium which is available in any craft supply store that sells acrylic paints.
It is really pretty simple once you have the outline done. It is almost like coloring in a coloring book. All you have to do is fill in the outline with your paint. The complicated part is knowing where to add shadow and highlights with your paint.
Always be aware of your light source for highlighting with a lighter color. My imaginary light source was coming from on top, so I used my lighter color on the tops of the branches and leaves. Once the job was complete and nearly dry, I took a damp paper towel and touched the areas where the white chalk with showing on the edges.
My client was very happy with the outcome. They moved the cribs back the next day and I was able to come back and take a few pictures. This job only took me a few hours to do from start to finish.
So, what do you think? Do you think you can paint something like this? I think you can!