In my previous post, I dealt with planning and sketching out a mural. All that remains is to paint the real thing but, just before we get into that, you need to draw a grid over your sketch. This can be as fine or as coarse as you think best suits the drawing, but I hope that you’ve chosen a design that is simple enough for just eight to twelve cells in the grid to cover adequately.
The grid separates the picture into several smaller areas that will be easier to deal with one at a time. Now scale up the grid to full size and sketch it on to the surface to be painted. So, if for instance your sketch has squares of one inch per side, you might have squares on the wall or pool bottom of one foot per side.
Now we can begin to paint, outlines first. Study each square of the grid so that you see the shapes contained separately from the whole picture. Using a small brush and a light color (so that it is easy to cover with another color if you make a mistake), repeat the shapes in outline within the corresponding square on the full size grid. When you have done that, move on to the adjoining square and repeat the exercise. And keep doing that until all the squares are filled.
Now when you stand back to get an overall view, you should see your originall drawing magnified upon the surface of the wall or pool. If there are areas that don’t seem quite right, adjust the outlines by re-painting them, then painting over the errors with the background color. When you are happy with the outlines, go over them with a black or dark grey so that they stand out.
Finally, it is merely a matter of mixing to get the colors you decided upon and filling in the relevant shapes. If you’re doing a pool bottom, watch where you’re putting your feet so that you don’t stand on a line and smudge it. Work from the top of the drawing downwards and you’ll not have to stretch over a recently-painted area to reach something in the middle.
And that’s all there is to it. You should now be the proud owner and creator of a huge work of art. Congratulations!
Have you ever wanted to paint a mural? Or maybe the bottom of a swimming pool? It’s not nearly as difficult as it seems and, even if you’re a bit short on artistic talent, the results can be very effective.
The most important part of such a project is planning. Measure the area you have to paint and then draw a rectangle to scale on a piece of paper. Decide on your design and sketch it out, then fill in with color.
Example of a simple pool painting
The simpler the color scheme, the easier it will be to achieve once you come to paint the real thing. Probably the best is to aim at a cartoon style with its flat areas of color and no shading. The reason for this is that the more colors are used, the more mixing of paint you’re going to have to do. When working with large quantities, that can be very messy and time-consuming if you’re struggling to get subtle nuances of hue. Cartoons also outline everything and this is easy to reproduce as the basic sketch on the final surface.
When I say cartoon, don’t think I mean the kiddy Donald Duck/Mickey Mouse kind of thing. As an example, years ago I was asked to paint a picture of a mermaid and dolphin on a swimming pool bottom (it’s hard holding your breath long enough to do that – no, I lie, the pool was empty). I sketched out the design and then emphasized the important outlines with bold lines, filling in with flat color afterwards; it wasn’t Walt Disney but nor was it Rembrandt. Think of it rather as simplified reality.
Don’t be too fussy over exact shades of color to be used. When you get to the store to buy the paints, you’ll have to accept a few basic reds, blues and yellows that you can mix to get the colors you want. Theoretically, you should be able to mix any color you want with those three but it can be a painstaking task to get precisely the shade you want. Go for a few more colors that are at least close to what you had envisaged. Be sure to get a couple of cans of black and white too.
Okay, now you have the sketch and the paints (and your trusty brushes that you cleaned so thoroughly after decorating last week) and the daunting surface you’ve decided to release your artistic endeavors upon awaits. Frightening, isn’t it?
But be of good cheer – once you get started you will enjoy it immensely and in the end you will have something to amaze your friends with. But that must wait until my next post…
Nothing to do this weekend? It is still hot; I think it is hot everywhere now and staying inside in the air conditioning and doing some family crafts seems right up my alley. Brave the heat long enough to go up to the hardware store and pick out some pretty tiles. Get large enough ones to work on the surface, say a foot square or so, and then head to the craft store and pick up some decoupage and a clear sealant. The rest is going to come from things in your own home and your imagination.
Old photographs are a nice touch on these tiles. Glue the photograph down and run your hand or something over it to remove any bubbles. Many decoupages are meant to use as the glue and will bubble less; I prefer those. Just be sure to remove the air bubbles from under the picture. You can use magazine photos, antique photographs, seed packets (just the front layer)… anything you like.
Once it is sealed on, follow the instructions on the decoupage bottle and then on the sealant container. Be sure you are in a well ventilated room. Then you can attach hangers and display your work or you can use them as trivets for hot plates (don’t put anything too hot on it to protect the photograph if it means a great deal to you). I would recommend if the photograph is one of a kind and cannot be replaced, that you spend a few dollars and have it photostated by a professional photocopying service and save the original in a safe place.
These tiles will make great gifts and a great memory of a fun day. These crafts are easy, inexpensive and totally individual to each crafter.
Now this is a great idea! I wish I had thought of it. If you buy CD’s and don’t leave them in the original case, but put them in a larger binder or whatever, you probably have wondered what you could do with all of those cases. They seem like a craft just needing to happen. I keep my CD’s in a big leather binder and I have often wondered that but unfortunately didn’t keep them! Now I see what could have been done with them. Get the family, Girl Scout Troop, class, Sunday school members, or whoever together to turn these CD cases into photo frames!
This is a wonderful craft for kids. It is also a fun one for adults. It is quick, easy, inexpensive, and would be so enjoyed by so many. Kids could make these for grandparents or people who reside in nursing homes to remind them they are not forgotten. A graduating class of elementary school kids could make these with a collage of their friend’s pictures. And what a great gift for a teacher that would be! No excuse for the lack of a Mother’s Day present now! Make a little nature scene out of things you find on the beach or on a hike.
There are so many ideas for this that I am sure you will come up with even more. What is best is that this is essentially a free craft; the CD case probably would have been thrown out and all of the trims and paints you will already have. Instead you will be recycling something into a meaningful and quite charming gift.