This is a painting that was rendered in a little girl's room. The notion of having a picket fence and shutters painted seems like a simple concept... but it's actually quite involved.
Step 1: Constructing the Fence
I started by painting out the register with a faux wood texture.
The next step was to paint the horizontal board that runs behind the vertical slats. I marked where they would go along the length of the horizontal tape and then filled the space where the horizontal board would be visible.
Three things to keep in mind:
1.) this board is behind the vertical pickets, therefore a little darker.
2.) it has a horizontal plane that catches more light, therefore is brighter.
3.) where this board passes behind the vertical pickets it gets a little darker (shadows and the appearance of weathering / dirt). Because this little bit of darkness is going to be painted over, you can be a little bit sloppy here. Just make sure the painting goes past the marks on the tape.
The vertical pickets are painted next. Use tape to define the shape. I pained a little darker shape at the top to define the depth of the picket. Normally I would also include a side to the picket as well but these ones were to be viewed straight on as per the reference material. A wood texture was painted over the surface of the pickets to match the radiator.
Step 2: Constructing the Shutters
1.) tape the outline of the shutters in perspective coming forward including an edge that is receding. Eyeball the size so that they seem like they should be the right size to fit the window when closed. Paint the edge first.
2.) tape out the slats of the shutter. Because the shutter is at an angle the space between the slats will be narrower closer to the window. Tape the top parallel to the top of the shutter and the bottom parallel to the bottom of the shutter. I know this isn't the true perspective but... close enough for the kiddies. Divide the left side by 12, then the right side by 12 - this will make the shutters appear in perspective. The horizontal tape defines the bottom edges of the slats (except the top, that's the top of the top slat)
3.) the triangular shadows were roughed in for future reference. Don't paint too heavily because the tape separating the slats covers part of this shadow.
4.) start with the bottom edge of each slat and blend up to a medium shade.
5.) remove the tape and free-hand a darker shadow that touches the light edge of the slat above and blend down into the medium shade.
6.) paint in the triangular shadows, re-defining the shape of the slats closest to the window. The outer edge of the slats is hidden behind the frame of the shutter.
7.) the bottom, top and outer edges of the slats can be defined with a thin, scumbled shadow line.
8.) remove the tape from inside the shutter shape and paint the flat surface of the shutter frame.
Step 3: Ready to Add a Garden
Yay! The fence and shutters are looking great. Time to embellish with a garden.
For natural elements I sketch them onto the wall with crayola chalks. Whatever lines are painted over disappear into the paint. Whatever lines are not used wipe of easily with a damp rag.
Step 4: Embellishments
Foliage softened the look of the faux shutters and fence. The top was dressed with an ivy swag. The flower motifs came from textiles that already existed in the room. The sunflowers were inspired by a reference image supplied by the home owner.