A mural is one way to add interest to a plain room. The pictured mural was created by using illustrations from a picture book about NASCAR. Here are some tips for making a similar mural.
Paint the wall sky blue if the mural is going to have a sky, like this design. Choose a matte finish in a good quality paint. My favorite paint is Glidden, both for ease of application and washability. The pictured background was Bahr “Heather” in a semi-gloss finish. It was difficult to apply craft paint to the semi-gloss surface, and resulted in a lot of brush strokes and second coats. While craft paints didn’t work real well with this paint, using quart samples of the same paint gave pleasing results. Craft paints will mix with wall paint, allowing for different shades and pastels.
To keep the cost of the paint within reason, choose a design that only uses a few colors, and mix the shades and pastels yourself. For example, the gray for the road was made by mixing black craft paint with a small amount of the blue wall paint. The dark green of the car was applied in craft paint, and the pale green for the trees and sky was mixed from forest green craft paint and the blue wall paint.
Find a picture book that has simple, cartoon illustrations. Blow up the illustrations on a copier machine. The copies do not have to be in color.
Tape a piece of carbon paper to the back of each picture. If carbon paper isn’t available, use a soft drawing pencil and cover the back of the picture with carbon scribbles. Tape the pictures to the wall. Use a pencil to trace each shape, transferring the carbon to the wall.
Use a pencil to draw the background by hand. Add items that aren’t in the book using a style that is similar to the other illustrations. For example, the pit crew was drawn by hand, using the same style as the bleachers in the grand stand that came from the book. Car number 8 needed to face a different direction because it is spinning out. It was also drawn by hand using a similar style.
Add educational details. There are ten cars in this mural, numbered in order. The pit stop also has numbers in order. Because my grandson likes to work the hidden pictures in Highlights, small pictures were added to the background for him to find; a plane, kite, balloon, turtle, frog, snail, cat, dog, and rabbit. Older children will benefit from having words added to the design because studies have shown that when words are placed in the environment, children will read the words and improve their reading skills. In this example, sponsor stickers could have been added to the cars.
Fill in each area first, and then use a liner brush to outline the pictures in black.