Paint a Mural! Interior wall art using brush and spray paints | Liz LaManche | Skillshare

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Paint a Mural! Interior wall art using brush and spray paints

teacher avatar Liz LaManche, Artist/Designer

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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.



    • 2.

      Planning & Designing


    • 3.

      Surface Prep


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Spray Painting


    • 7.

      Brush Painting


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Roughing Out from a Projection


    • 10.



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About This Class

Demonstrating the basic steps and skills needed to plan and execute a large artwork on an interior wall. Covers site evaluation, planning the art, surface prep, materials and tools, Projection method for transferring your design to the wall, spray painting and brush painting tips and techniques, shading, coloring in. Use the design provided or crate your own!

Meet Your Teacher

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Liz LaManche



Creating public art installations, graphic design and art direction.

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Related Skills

Art & Illustration Painting

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1. Intro: Have you ever wanted to work bigger? Put your design on the whole wall or transform a space? I'm Liz Lamont. I'm a painter and muralist, and in this course I'm going to show you some basic techniques that you can use to start mural ing on larger areas Right away. We're going to cover identifying a space, planning your arts, transferring the art to the wall. Ah, surface prep, basic brush and spray paint techniques and later protecting your artwork. I hope you can use this tutorial as a guide for creating your own project. By following these steps and techniques, choose a wall that you have permission to use and give it a try, even if you don't have access to a wall. A piece of plywood is a great start for practice. Well, let's get going 2. Planning & Designing: for this project. We're going to use this section of wall up here. The long rectangle. Um, I photographed it just with my cell phone. Ah, By going straight away from it and getting a flat on picture, I'm going to use that to bring to the computer and plan the arts. We also want to get a sense of the space and how the image is going to look As you walk around the room. I'd like to talk about planning the art. The reason I chose this wall is that it's nicely visible through the whole space, and it's free of ropes and equipment because that patch of wall could look a bit isolated. I wanted to do something visually light that would tie in with the rest of the beige walls and create a sense of movement. This is a gym space, so people are here to move, and they want to feel a little bit energized. Taking a phone picture of the wall into photo shop, you get this blank canvas to work with. Try to fiddle with your picture so you can make it a nice flat rectangle and stay within the dimensions. Designing the art. Of course, you're free to create anything you like. Indulge your creativity in making the sketch. All you need is to make a digital image that we can project onto the wall. You do have permission to use this design if you want, but you can also use your own. My process was this from a rough idea of what I wanted and a thumbnail sketch. I photographed a real piece of Tauron paper and then photographed some model butterflies and drew some others in photo shop. I combined them and push them around until they looked like this swarm that has a nice sense of movement coming up from behind the Tauron part of the wall. I used a wide, soft airbrush on a separate layer to give it a more three D shadow effect and sense of reality. If you'd like to use this design, you can download it at Earth. Sign dot com images butterflies dot jpeg 3. Surface Prep: basic surface prep. I'm just making sure that this surface is clean and dry and ready. Teoh, except paint. If it's if it's got a lot of dust and dirt on it, the paint won't stick, so I want to make sure it's at least wiped off right here. There's a fair amount of so we're making that go away. If this was really super dirty, I would be using a sponge and TSP tri sodium phosphate, which you can get at the hardware store to wash the dirt off. Luckily, I don't have to do that this time. If I wanted the final image to be nice and bright, I would give this a coat of interior White House paint. But this design, we want to make it look like the wall is the background, so I want to make it stay the same as the other walls. Um, so for this one, all there is to do is wipe it off and make sure it's not dusty 4. Projection: here. I have my sketch projected up on the section of wall. Um, amusing. Ah, pretty cheap projector. And my laptop. Um, I just got it suspended on this little ladder and pointed in the right way. Um, you don't have to be to precise or professional with this. I just sometimes duct tape it onto a ladder ASL long as it works, as long as it gets you the layout that you want. If you're just starting out with this, you can always borrow a projector from a friend. There's no need to get into a lot of expense. If you're just trying this out, here's the projector set up. You may need to fiddle with it to get it level and get it the right size and make it fit into the space. In many spaces, the hard part will be to get the projector right out in front of the wall. If you're a little low or a little to the side, you could do some correction with the keystone in control on the projector itself, it looks like this This slider makes the image bigger on the left or right in case your projector is to one side of your wall. These buttons make the image bigger on the top or bottom in case your lower or higher than the wall center. Your equipment may be a little different, but these icons are pretty standard. Now that we've got that all set up, I'll show you some of the tools were going to be using the paints and some basic ladder tips. 5. Materials: I wanted to introduce you to all the materials you might need. First of all, a nice drop cloth. You always should protect the floor from spills and spots. I like to use a sturdy canvas one. Sometimes you can use the plastic ones, too, but sometimes the paint drips dry off on that and then conf lake up again and give you a lot of extra floaties. Um, a nice canvas drop cloth will grab the paint and make everything cleaner. It also stays put where you put it. Um, if you're starting off with big areas of color to fill, it's nice to have Ah, roller and pan. Um, we didn't have to use that for here, but it's a good way to fill large areas of color. And if you have a problem surface like bad paint or stains, um, or even bare wood or something, it's good to start off with a nice, sturdy primer like this. We didn't have to do that here, either, but this is one of my favorites in terms of paint. If you're you need to think about light Fastness. If you're anywhere that has natural light coming in near a window or anywhere that's gonna have UV light. Um, the paint is subject to fading, so you want to choose a nice light Fastness alike. You want to choose a nice light Fast one. Look for this one rating light Fastness one. The better paints will have that rating. Um, some of the pigments are a two or a three, which means they fade easier. So try and stick with the ones in terms of tools. Have a nice selection of brushes, whatever you feel comfortable with some stirring sticks, things to mix paint in some water from mixing, Um, and for finishing up, Um, in case you choose to go over it with a protectant, some kind of a gloss varnish also in a high UV area. There's this, um, gel topcoat with UV protectant that can really help from fading as well. If you're going to be using ah, spray paints, you can use the hardware store kind. Ah, the Montana gold is actually better on the gold. One is a low pressure. Easier to control one. Um, and these air very nice pigments. If your spray painting you should have breathing protection and you'll probably want a selection of things for masking tape, newspaper cardboard and paper towels. Rags for cleaning up, especially with the acrylic paint. If you mess something up, you can quickly go over it with ah ah, wet rag and do a little tidying right there before it drives. Okay, that's it. Let's get started. Luckily, I have access to a nice big ladder. Ah, my lawyer is telling me to remind you that anything that involves heights also means risk of injury. So be very careful. Stay in your comfort zone and always have a buddy. Your assistant in the room with you also only stand on the steps that are really steps, not the tiny under other side over here. And don't stand on the very top. So just be careful here. More ladder tips. Ah, always keep your center of gravity over where you're standing. Be sure and have nice, safe, grippy shoes. And don't lean too far out. If you're working over here, you probably should just get down and move the ladder. It's OK 6. Spray Painting: I'm starting out with the shadows of the butterflies, and those are kind of indistinct and spread out, so the right thing to do for that is spray paint. When your spray painting this stuff is nasty, please use an organic vapors filter mask there only about $15 from the Lowe's or Home Depot . It will help a lot. Don't get a headache. Don't get cancer and nastiness of the lungs. So I have shaken this for a minute or so. Make sure it's nicely shaken up. I'm going to go up here and a mask off the rest of the wall so I don't get oops over spray on the part of the wall that I'm not painting. And I'm just going to follow where the projection says that those shadows are who, yes, made it go some quick tips on using spray paint. Keep the can upright, and for a soft shadow like this, stay at least eight inches away from the wall. Sweep with smooth strokes and don't pause in one place. Aim for a soft, overall effect. Practicing beforehand on water. Cardboard is good for developing a smooth technique. Try to follow the projected picture as you go. In this case, I made a second projection off only the shadow layer to make it easier to follow. Making the shadows of the curled paper a good spray technique is to put the cam closer to the masking tape and pointed away in the direction of the background, causing the spray to feather out gradually like a real shadow in choosing a color. For this, it's tempting to go with black, but that would really be a little too contrast. E. I'm using a light to medium grey. You wanted to be a bit subtle, and now we're done with our shadows onto the next step. 7. Brush Painting: The next part of the painting I want to do is the black space that shows behind the thorn paper because, um, it's a little bit neater for me. I just want to do that in acrylic paint. Um, this is one of my favorite brands, but you can for indoors. You can really use anything that's reasonable quality, not the bottom with the line. Um, these do well outdoors as well, and they're pretty workable. Um, I'm just adding a little water to a bunch of it. So it'll be a nice spreading consistency with a medium brush, and we'll go from there. I'm just working back and forth in little diagonal Brush Oaks just to make sure to work it into the entire surface of the wall. We've got a little eggshell finish on the existing paint here, and I'm sort of dabbing at it to make sure I don't get little white spots in between. My black. You can see there's a little bit of texture here. That's where you have to go back and forth and work it in. I'll be doing some stars on top of this, but I wanted to be a nice flat black to start with and because people are going to be able to see this from the ground, I want to have a nice little detail of doing this all the way into the corner. Its little attention to details like that that make it a good thing. Here's some more brush technique for working paint into a textured wall. Keep the tips of the brush going in different directions to work it in. Always keep the paint on the end of the brush. Don't let it seep down up into the binding that will get messy and shorten the life of the brush. So just work it along like this, filling in an area that is on the edge of masking tape. Strope away from the tape or along it. Don't stroke into the tape or you could get drips filtering underneath. Here, we're creating the teir in between the paper. I want to make that a nice, uh, sharp line, and I'm just using judgment to figure out where the paper looks like. It should go stroke along or away from the masking tape. This is where we get to remove the tape. It's pretty satisfying, and we'll show you the nice sharp line off the Tauron edge. It really looks like torn paper this way. Don't leave this even this blue tape on for more than several days because it does get stickier and stickier as you go along here. We're removing the masking tape from the other side. You can see what a nice, sharp line it makes you can see here. I had a, um, area that was not masked off, so we got a little bit of over spray into the paper zone. I'm going to cover that anyway, with some color making the paper look like it's a nice round curl. That black is looking pretty good. And while I let that dry, um, I need to wash out the brush. Always be sure and do that. Or it will be a X brush. Just always put it in water or go to the sink and wash it out right away. Thanks. What do you do that one more time 8. Shading: Now I'm going to make those curls of paper like a little more three dimensional. For that, I'm choosing a yellow Oakar, Ah, raw number and ah white to mix together to make various levels of the shadow. And I'll probably give a layer of white right up in the middle to make it pop a little bit more. Um, that's not going to exactly match our wall color, but that side sort of this magical universe. So it could be a little bit brighter. See how it goes, putting in a quick white highlights. So I know where it's going to be just using a little chip brush. Now I'm using a chisel brush to outline the edges of the paper. This is the darkest spot cause it's on the bottom of the curl. As you go along, you're going to blend the colors from Docker, the lighter to make it look around. I've got a pan of different paper colors here, and I'm just blending quickly as I go, adding some slightly lighter colors and blending them in, keeping the edge nice and sharp stroke up or sideways as you go. Um, this is going to look a little bit brushstroke e. But from far away gives it a nice, lively texture, and it really looks like paper keep blending, so it's smooth and their arts areas of color that separate from each other. This is the right side. I'm using a slightly darker color. Ah, to make a sharp line, angle your handle away from the line that you're making and push on edge of what paint along with the edge of the bristles. I'm using a slightly darker color here because it's going to look a little bit more rounded again. We're blending lighter colors in as we go along. This is still wet so I can keep on blending as we go. Nice, smooth, sideways strokes some more sharp edges and blending it fast so it all stays wet and we'll mushed together. Here. We're approaching the light beige of the wall, and I'm covering the last little bits of that over spray that's a little bit much yellow, so I'm going to add in some more white. There we go. That's a nice color and keep lending that's going to look nice and round. I'm showing you a preview. Ah, this was done at the very end. But a little pop of black outline is going to really make it look sharp, especially from a distance. It's not super realistic, but it will read as much sharper from down on the ground. I'm using the very edge of a sharp chisel brush some nice wet paint, so it's, Ah, sharp line, and I'm varying the line so that it looks kind of numbly like torn paper. Some of it has more shadows on it than others. Just go along with a wavy variable line and follow that edge. See how that makes it pop. A lot of this is knowing how it will read from a distance rather than close up, because nobody's gonna be super close up on this wall there. Doesn't that look sharp? Okay, let's see what's next 9. Roughing Out from a Projection: Okay, here we are, sketching in from the projection on taking a favorite fairly precise brush with a little bit of black on it. And as you can see, when we're projecting like this, you want to not get in your own lights. You have to kind of come at it from the side. Um, we're just using the sketch. Here is a guide and we're gonna aim to have fairly nice brush jokes. This needs water. Let's try that Nice brush jokes and we're going to get the shapes in based on the sketch. Some of this will show through in your eventual painting. So try to keep the line whites nice. I can't draw where I can't see, so we'll have to move the ladder for some of this, and then we're gonna go back in and color it in later for a first round. Some of the these lines are a little bit light and dry. I'm just using these as a marker for where the shapes are. In this projection method, you can choose to either lightly trace it and just use that as notes as to where your shapes are and then go back and fill in everything the way you like. Afterwards, I'm keeping the projection up and doing a fair amount of refinement on the lines as we go, I'm aiming for. It's pretty sharp. Nice, clear defined lines filling in some of the patterns in the wings, trying to use the chisel brush to keep the lines reasonably sharp. The projection is just four notes as to where things are. I'm using a little bit of discretion in creating the patterns on the wings As we go. You were up where they're coming out of the black space. This is the end of where I'll be able to use the projection on the other ones. They're gonna have to be hand drawn. I'm using the chisel brush here to make nice little fine lines. 10. Coloring: coloring in. This is the fun part. This is where we get to add color to the peace. The color layer will partially cover up the black outline. So here we get to refine the shapes a little further. We can go over this as many times as we want. So if it's not perfect the first time, don't worry. Get a first layer on and see how it looks. I'm adding a little bit of color variation here to make it look natural and give it a little bit of variety. Again, we're going to go over and refine. The color is a bit later. Use your judgment to keep refining the patterns again. I'm using the edge of this sharp chisel brush to get nice, crisp edges on our color blocks. No, if it's a little bit painterly and brushstroke E, that's going to look nice and kind of lively from the ground. So don't sweat it too much, adding a bit of color variation to make it look natural as we work along the wall. I'm not even using the projection here because I know where the colors are going to be. You can see some of the colors, like the orange, are a little bit opaque, so they're not entirely covering the black. If you need to do that, you can go over with some more white just to make those areas opaque or edit your black lines. I'm reasonably happy with the black lines here, so I'm just letting it be filling in all the way. We'll read nicely. Um, I don't wanna have any What showing through here. When you're upon a letter like this and reaching, sometimes you need to do a little left hand work here. This is all a fairly similar orange color as we go back in and the next round I'm going to take one of those wings and making a little darker cause it's somewhat in shadow. This last one, I wanted to pop and Seymour forward, so I'm giving it a lighter yellow that will make a little bit of variety to the whole wall and make this one have a bit of pizazz. Your eyes are going to travel across the wall, and this last big butterfly is kind of the finale, So I really wanted to pop. I'm adding some extra color to this one as well The green. When you're upon a letter like this and reaching, sometimes you need to do a little left hand work. This was at the very beginning of the painting. I wasn't able to sketch these out using the projector. So the very beginning butterflies are going to have to be done by I. I've had a bunch of practice now, so I know what they should look like. Here's my paint pan. It's a little bit Messi. I'm combining all the colors to give it sort of Ah, naturalistic variation. I don't want everything to look too flat here. Now I'm going back in the different ones and giving some of them shadows, giving some of them variation at a little bit of death. This one, I decided, needed to look a little bit brighter, so I'm brightening up some of the wing surfaces. It helps to step back, look at the overall effect and then go back in and edit things as you like. I'm brightening this one up to because of a couple of different color layers. It's gonna have some nice variation and depth to it, and they're the beginning ones trailing off into space. So here is the finished piece. Thank you for being with me for the process of it. I hope you learned something, and I hope you feel ready to go create your own murals. Now, I'm Liz Lamont. Thanks very much. I'm glad you could join me for this tutorial. I love to see how your projects are coming along. Please try one. Please post it here and let us know how you're progressing. Thanks again and be well.