Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Murals - Hello Kitty Princess and Planets, Moon and Rocket

A few fun children's murals to work on the last few weeks! It's so easy to make a three year old happy! (Until they are unhappy and then it's impossible!) Fortunately, I have teenagers now. Haha! (If you've raised teenagers, you know why this is funny. If you have toddlers, you probably don't get it.) We started with the little boys room. He loves space and planets! We decided to paint the room in a beautiful sapphire blue to simulate those beautiful mornings just as the sky changes from pitch black to dark blue. We selected a Sherwin Williams color called Commodore SW6524 in a Matte finish so that it would still clean well and look beautiful on the wall. Then, the fun began. Robin (my trusy, fine art assistant) and I laid out the location of the planets, in the order we learned in school, minus pluto, since it's not a planet any more. (I think there's a few new ones but we're old school, so those don't count.) We used paint buckets, paper plates and bowls to draw our circles in varying sizes. Robin loves detail, so she began to paint the planets in the appropriate colors. I went to work creating galaxies, the milky way and lots of stars and shooting stars. And we couldn't forget the red rocket! Winston was soooooo excited when it was complete! Check out the final pictures.

Next up was the little girl's room. They are twins by the way and she loved the space theme! But Hello Kitty is her favorite. Mom and Dad didn't want to get too crazy with the princess theme, so we decided to do a beautiful bubble gum pink pearly shimmer on her walls. We picked a cute Hello Kitty Princess to replicate above her bed. I printed the picture on multiple sheets of paper and taped them together so that Kitty was about two and half feet tall. We wanted to "bling" her out a little, so I mixed up a irridescent silver glitter for her princess banner and added Swarovski crystals to her crown. Here's a few pictures in process and the final. So perfect for a little girl's room!

Hope you love seeing these simple murals as much as the kids did! To see more examples of murals check out this link Check back in, I'll be featuring Robin next with an awesome Peter Pan mural!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bronze Verdigris Mirror Color Match

I had a small color match challenge this week. My task was to transform an already beautiful and very ornate wall mirror, to match a stunning, bronze verdigris pair of wall sconces. I could tell there were alot of layers of color, most of which I knew wouldn't be an issue. Here's the mirror before, on the left. It was more gold and bronze with some silver and a gray wash. Very nice, but it needed to match a pair of sconces that had more red and bronze with a verdigris wash.  So I mixed up some of my awesome furniture grade primer base coat to be a reddish brown color. I was my basecoat and my primer to ensure adequate bonding. Here it is in process, below right. I would say the color is pretty close to a PPG Porter Paint color called Chianti.

The bright metallic gold was easy. I used Modern Masters  metallic paint in "olympic gold". I used a very dry bristle brush to add a touch of color to all the high places in the ornamentation. I then used a burnt umber glaze to tone down the red and the gold and give it a bit of a tarnished look. I was getting really close to the final product. The sconces had an overall satin finish, but the verdigris was very flat. So, once the glaze was dry I applied the satin polyurethane to the entire mirror frame.
Now the fun part! Getting the right color of green for the verdigris. The illusion against the darkness of the mirror is that the green is pretty light. But once you start making the green wash, you realize it's actually a fairly dark green. I used a flat paint base and just kept adding until I got it dark enough. The color actually ended up being very close to a Porter color called Griffin Gray. I mixed one part paint to parts of my favorite flat glaze. I washed on the verdigris and wiped it off all the high points. Artfully adding a little more here and there. Here's a few shots of the finally match, mirror beside sconce. The client was thrilled with the match!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Whimsical Tree of Life Wall Mural

Another fantastically fun project I completed last week, was a tree of life wall mural. My wonderful client with fabulously, eclectic taste had a vision for a beautiful painted tree on a very bare hallway wall. She has plans to fill the tree with vintage family photos framed in small, unique frames. Her vision was for the tree to blend in style with her worldly and unique collections. When I first meet with her at her home, I arrived to a dining room table fully set with delectible desserts! Mmmmmm! For me? Yes and no. They were resin/polymer clay replicas! How cute! (But sadly, no dessert for me.) Her items were similar to these I found online at
Fun Original Hot Pink and Black Polka Dot Chocolate Fake Cupcake Cherry,  Birthday Party Favor, Decor, Gift, Home, Display Stage Photo Prop  Fake Faux Chocolate Turtle Cake Chocolate Caramel Drizzle Pecan Slivers Cherry on Top House Staging, Home Decor Centerpiece Stage Photo Prop
So we discussed the tree size, color and definitely a few lady bugs. I love scrolls and had found a tree of life picture with scrolling branches. She loved it! So that's what we decided on.

With a plan to start this, I spent several hours laying out the "bones" of the tree. The photo at the left is just a a sheer underlayment of the final product. It allows me and the client to see the scale and location of everything very quickly. My client was at work, but I was able to photograph this and send it to her. (Loving technology!) With her approval, I continued to the details. I added some dimension to the branches and trunk, using lighter and darker acrylic paints. Then added the leaves and grass blades, using 3 different colors. And of course the lady bugs! Finally it was complete!

This a was a quick fun project. I hope you enjoy seeing it! If you want to see more of my murals, check out my decorative painting website at Thanks so much for stopping by!
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