Introduction: Trompe L'oeil Airbrush Murals

Here's an airbrush mural project I did for an office that had no interior windows in the reception area.  The owner wanted to give the feeling of openness but also wanted an artistic impression, not a photorealistic trompe l'oeil (trick the eye).  I used a Badger airbrush and home made stencils for this project.  A laser cutter would be ideal for cutting out stencils for detailed projects.  

Materials
Canvas-to hang on the french doors and on the wall( i used pre-stretched gessoed canvas from Michael's)
Paint-Acrylic artists paints that were dilluted
Frames-2x2 pine was used
Trim-window casing was used here.
1x3's for window frame
Staples
Nails
Wire & picture hangers.
Cardboard stencils-home made
 
Tools
Airbrush
Compressor
Paintbrush
Hammer
Stapler

Step 1: Sketch Out Design

I took the canvases directly to the office and taped them up in place.  I wanted to get the proper perspective by standing in the middle of the room where most people would see the murals from.  The idea was that the two doors would lead out to a balcony and on the right side there would be a window looking out on the Chicago shore line.  So I eyed up the vanishing points and did a quick overall sketch while the canvases were in place.  Then I took them home and hung them up in my garage in the same position as they would be in the office.  

Step 2: Start Painting

I worked on all three canvases at the same time to have a uniformity throughout.  I wanted it to show a sunrise on lake Michigan shining on to the balcony with the rest of the city still kind of in darkness.

I taped off some sections that would be painted last (closest to you). Airbrushing is not like painting with a brush that uses opaque layers of paint.  It's more like water colors in that you build up the color gradually using many layers.

I used a larger paint gun for the overall background.  I made some cloud stencils by ripping paper in fluffy designs.

Step 3: Keep Painting!

As airbrushing is done in layers, it takes some time and planning.  I don't have a whole lot of pics of this part cuz I was kinda in a zone.

Step 4: Fin

Having used pre-stretched gessoed canvas I re-stretched them onto the frames I built using window casing and 1x3's.  Make sure if you do it this way you give yourself extra canvas to wrap around the back side to staple into the frame.  

Once done stretching I hung the canvases in the office using picture wire and heavy duty hangers for drywall.  You don't want it coming down once you leave.  

Comments

author
randomray (author)2013-10-03

Sweet . I don't know how to use an airbrush but this gives me an idea where to start . Thanks for posting .

author
ecsaul23 (author)2013-04-24

Huge improvement in the space for sure! way to go!

author
joelhunn (author)2013-04-24

Well done! I've been wrestling with a similar problem in a "dungeon" basement...Would love to do this, but for the requirement Kenbob pointed out :) Thanks for posting

author
marcosrocha2003 (author)2013-04-23

fantastico parabéms artista digno de Salvador Dali

author
Phiske (author)marcosrocha20032013-04-23

Muchisimas gracias! Es mi artista preferida aunque fue muy egoísta pero un genio.

author
kenbob (author)2013-04-23

step 0, be an artist:) I love this! great job.

author
Phiske (author)kenbob2013-04-23

he he...thanks for the compliment.

author
mgin2 (author)2013-04-22

This is amazing. Truly gives off that open feel the owner was probably going for :) Nice work!!

author
Phiske (author)mgin22013-04-23

Mil gracias!

author
Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-04-22

That is beautiful! Amazing job!

About This Instructable

5,727views

43favorites

License:

Bio: Whatever you do take care of your shoes
More by Phiske:Tooled Leather BriefcaseCarved Vegetable Ivory (Tagua) BraceletKnife Making With Basic Tools
Add instructable to: