How to Paint a Mural | Anina Rubio | Skillshare

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How to Paint a Mural

teacher avatar Anina Rubio, Visual Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro to Mural Painting


    • 2.

      Toolbox Essentials


    • 3.

      Cleaning Brushes


    • 4.

      Types of Surfaces


    • 5.

      Types of Paint


    • 6.

      Scaling the Design


    • 7.

      Sketching Tools


    • 8.

      Brush Control


    • 9.

      Blending and Layering Techniques


    • 10.

      Start Your Mural Project


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About This Class

Hello aspiring muralists! Here's an online crash course on mural painting so you can kickstart your mural painting journey at home, in your bedroom, in your backyard, or wherever! The techniques I'll be teaching are based on years and years of mural painting experience but I will run through lessons on different surfaces, paints, and other information that I find useful for anyone who is interested to start painting murals. 

1. Types of surfaces
2. Tools needed and how to care for your brushes
3. Types of paints
4. Mixing colors
5. Scaling techniques
5. Brush control
6. Blending Techniques and Layering
7. Painting your mural and color blocking technique

Disclaimer: Please note that the paints used in most of the videos are acrylic latex (waterbased, industrial grade). The videos for cleaning brushes by using water only apply to this type of paint.

This class is ideal for beginners.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anina Rubio

Visual Artist

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro to Mural Painting: Hi everyone. My name is any new bu and I'm a visual artist and we're list-based in the Philippines. I've been painting murals, both indoor and outdoor, public and commercial for the last five years. Everything I will teach is based on the things that I learned through the years of painting a lot of walls using acrylic latex pains. Primarily, each artist has his or her own style. So feel free to experiment with the methods that will work best for you. Hopefully, after this class, you learn something new and you can start your very own MIR project at home. Have fun. 2. Toolbox Essentials: I keep a couple of things in my toolbox which I consider essentials for my mural projects. I have basic cutting tools like scissors and cutter and also a pain can opener. These come in handy when you need to open big containers. I always carry reusable mixing sticks for on-site mixing. A small leveler in case I need to check lines if they are straight. Writing tools like pencils and chalk for when I need to sketch my design on the wall. Strings come in handy and I use them as guidelines are compact if I wanted to draw perfect circles. I also have a painter's tape or a masking tape, and an assortment of brushes. Ferocious used for enamel paints should be different from Russia's used for acrylic latex paints. 3. Cleaning Brushes: So mirror painting as a humble ether. Also, it's very, very easy to make a mess, but it's even more difficult to clean everything. After. Always rinse your brushes and rulers everytime you are changing pink colors. Wipe off excess water with a reusable cloth rag to prevent watery drips on the wall when you use a brush. Once peat dries on your brush, it'll be almost impossible to remove. So keep a bucket of water, hand the onsite so you can clean your brushes on the spot, but don't leave them soaking for too long because the bristles will eventually deformed. Unused wash brushes shouldn't be laid flat or upgrade the dry. 4. Types of Surfaces : You can paint a mural on any surface, but knowing which type of surface will help you identify how to prime it and what peak is best to use. Here are some of the different types of surfaces that you'll probably encounter in your mural projects, both indoor and outdoor. Concrete walls are the most common type of surface that clients will require you to paint on, whether it's interior or exterior. This material is durable and easy to clean. It'll be able to absorb any type of pain for that matter. You can use enamel, acrylic, latex or sprayed rates. Would, on the other hand, is mostly found on interior shaded areas or areas with roofing. Wood is very porous and prone to moisture attention. So it's very important to prime this before painting to seal off the base surface. Now acrylic and spray paints work best with this type of surface. Metal. Although it's really rare for me to paint on this surface, is a bit more key dissipate on if you're using a beans, metal surfaces should be primed and finished really, really well to prevent dress and oxidation. And now milk or oil base beads are the perfect match to this type of surface. A wall that is not primed with definitely have lot of issues like moisture, water leaks, or bubbles that will end up disjoin your artwork. Paint will peel off. Priming the wall is very, very important. This method increases the paint adhesion. While repainting the entire wall isn't always necessary and cost efficient. Especially for massive outdoor or public Wall projects. It's important to choose industrial grade betas at ourself priming. You can also mix it primer or a flat length. Explain, assuming you're using, they'd explain all the way to your base callers at it acts as a primer. Apart from priming, make sure to wipe off any dust or clean the surface to ensure proper paid adhesion. As an added layer of protection, seal off your murals with an acrylic emulsion or a spray varnish. If you can. 5. Types of Paint: Paint availability varies from one area to another. So it's nice to just do what's available. I personally use acrylic latex in 98% of my projects. But here's a quick run through on different types of paint that you can use for your mural projects. Spray paints or modern spray cans are widely used in murals all over the world. It covers a wide area fast and gives that soft and smooth blending for an additive effect, most spray cans are a pink enough and will no longer need a white background prior to painting. The downside is you need a lot of cans because once breakdown can only cover around two square meters, meaning it's more expensive and it produces a lot of waste. Two, also, it hurts the fingers so much. And enamel paints are oil based paints at our best use endures and for metal surfaces, ideally on areas that require a lot of maintenance like kitchen and bathrooms. It has a glossy finish once dry. While most enamel paints have a quick drag characteristic, these paint's still take longer, around six to 24 hours to dry complete. I do not use this bank because it's more toxic and has an odor that's really, really nauseating. Also, it's very tedious to clean because you need a lot of chemicals like paint thinners and paint strippers, as opposed to acrylics that only requires soap and water. Acrylic paints are late explains drive fast and have less intrusive odor compared to enamel paints. These vanes are water-based and non-combustible. Thereby, they are more or less toxic. Latex pains are also flexible so they don't crack like enamel paints, making them a better choice for outdoor applications. There are also a lot more color variants for acrylic labor expense. This is personally my paint us trace. 6. Scaling the Design: So you have your design, you have your wall. Now the question is, how do you transfer that design onto that wall? I personally use a projector and freehand alternative V. But here are some of the common scanning techniques used by various artists worldwide. Projector method makes use of a projector device to display the design on the wall. You need to digitize your design or take a photo of it, projected and then trace it. It saves the artists a lot of time. The good thing is, again, it's the fastest way to scale a design onto a wall, weather, daytime or nighttime. And it gives you a very accurate scaling of the design. Because again, all you need to do is trace. However, first and foremost, you need to have a projective review and projectors are not really cheap. You can buy as an investment or you can borrow. Outlet for plugging is not always available, especially outdoors. And projector dwelled distance is a limitation. When you are sketching a design on a narrow corridor, it's almost impossible to use a projector. The grid method is where you split your design into proportional squares that will fit their, they mentioned of your wall. You can either use strings or actual lines to make the grid. Grid method takes a lot of time, but it will give you an accurate rendering Earth scanning method. It's good for small walls, but it would be very difficult to do a grid in walls that are more than three floors high. The scribble method, on the other hand, is a fun way to mark a wall by drawing doodles, taking a photo, overlay your design digitally. And then this Kerberos will act as your guides. I have seen a lot of international muralists do this method, especially when they're trying to scale their design on a massive outer wall. You don't need to measure and make proportional squares like the grid method. But of course, this will also take a lot of time because you need to do on the wall. As an artist, you need to be flexible enough to use various scaling techniques because not all merely locations are the same. It helps to constantly stepped back and check your designs. But what if you don't have enough room to step back? This is when the Freehand or Aibo method comes in handy. It's also useful when your design doesn't require strict proportions or perfect lines. This method is my personal favorite, and I use this more than any other scaling techniques. There are no added steps like making grids or scribbling doodles. However, you guys should take note that in order for you to be able to pay all the design properly, you have to study the artwork, the designed, the shape. And you have to constantly check once in a while. Sometimes you can get a less accurate rendition of your design and it's more prone to mistakes or bad scaling. There is no single method for scaling. You can combine multiple techniques in one project. You just need to be flexible enough to adjust. And the only way to master a particular craft is through concept, trial and error and practice. So you can experiment on which design or scaling method you are more comfortable with. But it would be nice to try up these all of the methods disgust in this lesson. So you have an idea more or less, which one works well for you. 7. Sketching Tools: In sketching the design on the wall, I use chalk, pencil or paint. Chalk is good if you're painting the design shortly after sketching because there's a possibility that it could get washed off. It's also erasable, but the dust sometimes mixes with the pink pigment leaving stains. I always use a chalk color that similar to the shape. For example, I'm going to sketch a green leaf using a green chalk. Pencil can be useful too, although I rarely use this because of the need to sharpen it frequently, and it's more difficult to erase. I sketch with paint directly, especially if I'm using a projector or if I have memorized the design or the actual artwork shape. Because using paint means there is less room for sketching mistakes. They, sketches or outlines are ideal for outer walls, especially if you need to paint in the span of a few days, because this means that your outline will not be easily erase or washed off even if it rains. 8. Brush Control: Knowing how to control your brush is a basic skill needed when BD murals. By varying the amount of pressure you apply or by adjusting the orientation of your brush. Line width can be varied. It's important to master the tooling, optimize its use in order to be more efficient in painting. In this example, you see that one way to create thin lines with just the edge of the flat brush is to let only the tip of the bristles touched the surface and allowing a minor band while dragging the brush. So it creates a line. For thicker lines, use the brush horizontally for maximum bank coverage, using the entire brush width. Try practicing brush control first on piece of paper before painting your wall. Similarly, when using a round brush, applied pressure if you want thicker lines and release pressure when you want a great thinner lines. Take note to always wipe off excess paint to prevent drips and they buckling. Exhaling as you draw lines whether curved or straight, allows movement or brush strokes to flow with the breath. Breathe. As a way to practice, draw points a to b on a sheet of paper. Take your pencil and slowly exhale as you draw your line. 9. Blending and Layering Techniques: But techniques that I'll be showing is what I normally use when I've paid my rears using acrylic latex paints. Acrylic paints are thin enough to be blended. There's no need to do, for the most part, but they do drive very fast to be mindful of your pace when you blend your colors on the wall. For general blending of gradients or color transitions. I use the wet on wet technique. In this manner. Both pigments that I want the bled should be wet. First, I put the pigments that I want to blend. Second, I get the clean brush or a brush with the color of the base. And then just using the tip of the bristles, ice bread that baby lightly until I get the blend thing that I need. Switch to clean versus from time to time to avoid making the colors look muddy. The direction with which you paint is also important. If the details of the metals, for example, are pointing south west, then I brush in that direction so that the strokes of the brush already create the illusion of details. The videos that I'm showing are all shot in real-time. So watch and observe carefully. This is my method of blending, but feel free to experiment on Race to blend when you paint your own projects. Okay. Here are some more examples. Again, take note of the blending direction. To add texture. I used the dry brush technique. I dipped a clean dry brush and the paint wipe off excess paint and then Bain slowly on the wall just making sure that it's only the bristles that touch the surface of the wall. You will see here that the bristles create that added texture, which is also nice for details. A mural is rarely, ever just one layer of paint. As with any painting, you'd be a def and DDOS by adding layers. Layering should be done when the previous layer is dry. Otherwise, it would just continue spreading and you won't be able to achieve the depth that D8. Continue building depth and detail as necessary by adding more news using multiple techniques. 10. Start Your Mural Project: Now that you have knowledge on surfaces, fades, scaling and bathing techniques, you are now ready to start your mirror of project. Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure that you're wearing clothes that you're OK to have banks ladders on because this is inevitable. Keep a handy rag in your pocket for when you need to wipe your hands or the paint drips on the wall where harnesses or helmets as necessary. Remember safety first. To be more efficient. Lay out the tools you need before starting any Mural Project. Labeling things containers with their corresponding purpose also helps you find the color that you need when you need it. Keep up, print out handy and a color swatch. So you always have a reference. Sketch your designs carefully, and then start painting. The first layer of my mural is a color block. Layer. Color blocking is a process of painting the base layers in different colors that match the design. I use this technique to help me identify the object that I am painting, especially if there are multiple overlapping details. For example, you would color block a blue flower with a blue pane, and then the yellow bird with yellow paint. As you can see here, I've laid out the first layer of my mirror in different colors. Now it's easier to identify which part is which. Once the first or base layer is Zhai, you may now add more details through layering and buy a blank. All of the techniques that we learned in the class. Mural painting is fun, but it requires a lot of effort to just be patient. Mistakes are okay third degree, when we can edit or find a work around, but sometimes everything is even more difficult. So you just need to be precise and make less mistakes when they did waltz. Learning is definitely part of the process and you will get better with more practice and experience. Clean up after working. Take lots of photos and videos to document your progress. And most importantly, have a lot of fun.