How to paint a mural: part 1

Part 1: The Design

A mural may seem like a daunting process, but with proper planning, it is easily manageable. The steps below, and the steps I will lay out in future posts, are the same steps that I use when I tackle a mural. I hope that this list will help you start your own mural or understand the process to commission a mural of your own.

Step 1: Measure

Measure out the space! The dimensions create size restrictions for your artwork. Whatever you paint will need to fit and accommodate the spot. While observing the wall, make note of any obstructions. Are there outlets, windows, or anything you may need to work around? This is important, as you would not want a window to cut out half of your design. If you incorporate the window into your design, you will create a seamless picture with no artistic elements accidentally disturbed.

Step 2. Collaborate

Is this mural for yourself? Is it for a client? In regards to a client, you and your client will need to come to an agreement on what the mural will consist of. Elements such as color scheme, theme, size, and artistic elements will need to be discussed. This is also the time to start negotiating price.

Step 3. Sketch

This is the fun part! Sketch several ideas to show the client. Your primary sketches should be very loose, don’t spent too much time on these as your are still trying to find the direction of the piece. When you find out what they like, start honing in on one or two designs. You will also want to draw the design to scale. I find this easeist to do on a digital program, such as Adobe, but graph paper will also work.

Step 4. Finalize the design

You and your client should agree on a design. Make sure your design is flawless. It should be detailed and to scale. Your client should know exactly what he is getting. Now time to paint!

These four steps are arguably the most important steps in the mural process. It tackles the difficult decisions first. The look of the painting is a product of those decisions. It will be fun picking out the color and actually painting!

Have you painted a wall mural before or have wanted one painted? Did you have any concerns through the process? Comment below if so! I would love to hear your experiences. If you would like to watch a mural process from start to finish, follow me on instagram @gracenestorlouie for the behind the scenes.

Happy painting!

Published by Grace Nestor-Louie

My name is Grace Nestor-Louie and I am a fine art oil painter & muralist in Kent, Ohio. I paint in bright colors and focus on animals and nature. I paint on commission and sell online. Come check out my portfolio and stay connected through Instagram @gracenestorlouie.

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