Archive for May, 2011

The Great Mural Project-Creatures n’ Completion

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011



This was an intimidating prospect for me as I generally paint landscapes and not creatures.  It required a lot of pre-sketching and general research.  On a tree I can move a limb and no one knows… you can’t exactly move a fin on a whale and not notice the difference.  For each creature I looked at approximately 5-6 different images, practiced sketching them and then just went for it.  I have found that once I say that the image doesn’t have to be

perfect I can enjoy the process of creating each creature.  If I say it has to be perfect I stress out and don’t enjoy the process of painting a creature.

I opted to paint fewer creatures than originally planned because I ran out of steam, but also because it was getting increasingly difficult to squat/sit for hours in front of the wall.  I chose to paint a belugah, a pacific northwest octopus, some cool jellyfish and a small pod of orcas.


Lessons Learned: This is definitely the time to bust out the acrylic paint and the good paintbrushes.  It will be much much easier to paint these critters if you have the control and color selection offered by professional acrylics.




At the end of the day my plan was to create a mural that I enjoyed, that my son would hopefully enjoy and I believe I have a success.  This mural was a much larger project than I initially understood, however, I’m proud of the results.  Maybe after I give birth I’ll add in some ocean floor and ocean floor creatures.  But that part of the project will have to wait until I can bend over and paint near baseboards.

The Great Mural Project-Land Ho!

Thursday, May 5th, 2011


This is where I opted to use house paint instead of acrylic paint.  I definitely saved money but it was way harder to use house paint here.  I believe that acrylic paint would have made it more luminous and I wouldn’t have had to recover the drips from the blue ocean.  But I made it work anyways.  I went for a stylized landmass that referenced the San Juan Islands (one of my favorite parts of this world).

Lessons Learned:  1) If you can afford it use acrylic paint… it’s way way easier!  You won’t have the drips I did off the landmass area.   2) I wouldn’t use expensive brushes because the house paint will trash the brushes but the professional brushes definitely made a difference in the ease of painting my landmasses.  That being said I found some fabulous brushes at Daniel Smith on sale that were fabulous.  They were cheap but similar to brushes designed for use by a professional artist.



Note: on this image you can see the white chalk outlines of what else I was going to add.  This was my secondary sketch of the mountain area.  I used white charcoal because it wiped off with a damp cloth!



When I planned this I decided to have a line of mountains that would make the viewer either think of the Olymipic Mountains or the Cascade Mountains.  I had a great time painting these mountains and definitely went overboard.  When I was done I realized that I created a field of mountains more reminiscent of a Glacial field than a mountain range… whoops!