Making my child's room as special as possible became my goal when I found out I was pregnant. The whole "nesting syndrome" hit me hard and I knew that I did not want just some wooden letters on the wall spelling his name. I love Pooh bear and decided that his room was going to be the hundred acre wood.
So I got out my sketchbook, my laptop and began to make notes and save pictures by the hundreds. I loved many of the pictures online but it was hard for me to print them and like the feel of them. so I went to the dollar store and got some coloring books for kids for Winnie the pooh, and there it all begins.
STEP 0: Google to your hearts content until you like a THEME. It can be as simple as a tree outline for your bedroom or as complicated as my child's full bedroom mural, it all depends on your time (and if you happen to know an artist, just ask them if they would not mind filling in the details)
Step 1: Step 1: Prep the Walls
Yeah, I know it sounds dumb. However when you are going to be spending hours and hours making sure that you can look at this wall and not cringe, it is important that your finished masterpiece does not come apart because there was oil on the wall.
- Clean the walls: Just grab a rag, spray some water diluted soap on the wall and scrub, then grab another damp rag and clean it. Acrylics and paints will adhere better to a clean wall.
- White out: White out any existing attempts at murals or kid doodles that are on the wall.
- Make your horizon: Since we will be making a full wall mural, a horizon will give us a guide to placement
Step 2: Step 2: Paint the Sky and the Ground
The sky is blue and the grass is green. Unless you are making floating mountains then just paint the whole wall whatever color the sky is.
- Paint swatches: Go to your local hardware or pain store and grab all the blues you like (at least 5, shoot for 20) and all the greens you like (at least 5, shoot for 20).
Go home and put them on the wall, look at them under whatever light the room will be under for most of the time. Incandescent was our room, yours might be daylight. Start narrowing down your colors. Pick 3 and leave them on the wall over night or for a couple of hours. come back and look at them and choose one blue and one green.
- PRIME:If your walls are a darker color than cream, you will need to prime the entire area with white primer before you paint the sky.
- SKY: Put a line of painters tape as the horizon line. Paint blue above the painters tape,and let it dry for a couple of hours. fans will help speed the process up. We did the entire sky and grass in one night.
- GRASS: Put another line of painters tape OVER THE BLUE "horizon line" and pain the grass green and let it dry.
- DO NOT PAINT ANYTHING ON TOP OF THESE THE SAME DAY. let them dry. paint over paint over paint will only lead to nasty looking walls.
Step 3: Step 3: SKETCH
SKETCH. I cannot emphasize this enough. find the pictures you like and use whatever means necessary to enlarge them to the size you like. you could use a grid system to draw pieces and make them larger. you could use a copier and enlarge segments and just tape the sections together. (or you could as that artist friend to draw them to size.)
- Waste an entire sketchbook in drawing and redrawing the right position and look you want in the images.
- Place them: after you have them the right size, just tape them to the wall.
- LOOK AT THEM: just step back and look. It might look good right on your nose and look crooked 3 steps back.
- TAKE YOUR TIME. : painters tape is wonderful this way, just re-position and the do it again.
Step 4: Step 4: Draw on the Walls
This was my absolute favorite part. Just draw on the walls.
- Take the drawing down, but mark with a line from the painters tape to the wall to the paper the position of the drawing.
- Take a pencil and outline the outline of the drawing hard enough that when you turn it over you "see" feel the lines.
- Take charcoal or graphite and make a reverse outline on the back of the paper
- Put it on the wall where you have decided to place it
- Re-trace the drawing hard enough that most of the outline will come out onto the wall.
- Take a red color pencil and re-draw the drawing on the wall
NOTE: geometrical items such as bridges and roads will require the use of a ruler. specially if you are drawing in a corner. The bridge took about 3 hours to draw, the same time as all the other drawings combined.
...or you know, abuse the artist friend and ask them to draw them....
Step 5: Step 5: One Color at a Time..
- Take all your actual images (full color) to your paint store and grab swatches.
- Bring them to the room you are painting and compare them to the picture IN THE ROOM. choose the colors.
- Remember that if pooh bear is yellow, you will need a darker yellow to give him some depth. I chose two colors for each character.
- Take the chosen paint swatches to your paint store and get the test containers. They are about 1/4 pint and cost about $3. they will be more than enough.
Don't rush. let the paint dry each time, before adding paint on top of it. use one color at a time.
- Take out every paintbrush you have ever owned and every small vessel you can spare. I used small stainless steel bowl from my birds :D they didn't mind.
- Begin with the color that most appears in your chosen drawings. For me that was yellow. There was a lot of yellow...rabbit...pooh...bees... honey comb...umbrella...
- while you are letting the first color dry. Pick the second, most abundant color and do it again.
- SLOW AND EASY WINS THE RACE
NOTE: do not add small details such as eyes, flowers, textures or blades of grass. finish all the major colors first.
NOW LET THEM DRY
Step 6: Step 6: Details
This is where that artist friend comes in. Tiny things like eyes, leafs and textures are hard to replicate if you are not used to it, so ask or Google.
- for the eyes I used the smallest paint brushes I could find and took forever doing it. look at the pictures every two seconds. paste it right next to your drawing. step back after each detail is "done" to make sure it looks right.
- for the leafs, We used a cut up sponge cut into three different sizes and three different greens to create the effect of depth and tree like canopy.
- For the bridge we did the same thing but with rectangles and grey/black paints
- for the tree trunk, we used a HUGE paint brush, dipped it into brown, painted a paper towel and when it barely had any paint on it, brushed the trunk. For the outline of the tree we used painters tape to outline it and not go outside the lines. same for the bridge. (if you look closely at the picture you will see the tree with the tape around it.)
Step 7: Step 7: Overlaping for Last
Save the overlapping items and background for last. just remember things that are farther away are darker and those closer by look lighter (as long as they are relatively the same color. so for hills and smaller trees, the smaller and darker they are: the farther back they look.
Step 8: Step 8: DONE!!
Enjoy your new mural. Try smaller ones or just say "I will not do this again, but I did this one"
Thanks for reading.