Easy and quick to create, with a focus on tiny budgets, this movable mural is a great plan if you are a commitment-phobe when it comes to interiors. It’s a high impact, low cost project, my favourite type!
This project can be done by anyone at all, and it’s tons of fun. I’ll be straight up with you , I did attend Art School twenty odd years ago. But painting and drawing were never my forte (actually I just plain sucked at Art School). So I mean it when I say anyone can do it.
Here is a really quick guide as to how I completed this one-day project, and if you do give it a go please share your results with me!
What you need:
- A length of heavy cotton or canvas
- A few different size brushes
- Tester pots of interior wall paint (All water based)
- A couple of bamboo sticks (any garden centre will have them)
- Paper and tracing paper (greaseproof paper will do)
- A pencil and some chalk
- A measuring tape
- A sewing machine/glue gun/stapler
Step 1: The Canvas
I used a length of untreated artists canvas ( the perks of being married to an artist) but any heavy cotton or canvas with a tight weave will do. Decide on the measurements for the mural and leave space to create a 2 inch hem top and bottom to insert the bamboo. I created the hem with the sewing machine. But you could staple or use a glue gun, whatever is at hand. Thread you bamboo through, then tack the whole lot to the wall to get painting. ***TOP TIP*** Protect the wall behind, as the watered down paints seep through.
Step 2: The Drawing and scaling it up
This is the bit I can’t help you with, what to draw. Just remember it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a notion but aren’t sure how to draw it then google images will help you out. Get your ideas down on paper and then play around with composition. Then work on your scale. My canvas is 5 ft squared, and with charcoal I marked out increments of a foot, giving me 25 squares. I then drew out a 20 cm squared grid on my greaseproof paper and marked out increments of 4 cms, giving me 25 squares. Then I traced my drawing on to it. I know the first egrets wing tip is in the uppermost square in the lefthand corner of my drawing, so I start drawing it in to the corresponding square on the canvas. In no time you will have it drawn out. Keep it light and sketchy. Don’t panic if you get it wrong, you will be painting over it in due course.
Step 3: Painting.
The hard work is done, and this is the fun bit. For painting I used tester pots and and paint I’ve previously used in the house (ALL WATER BASED). On the large areas I used decorating brushes. I kept a pot of water beside the paint and kept dipping the brush in, because I don’t need a heavy coat of paint, a wash effect is what I am trying to achieve. You will make a mess at this point, so protect yourself and your floor and wall. For smaller areas I worked with cheap artists brushes (I’d be murdered if I stole his good ones) and I just played around with trying to make inky marks and washes, like in japanese art.
Step 4: Enjoy your new art work!
It’s that simple. I have never attempted anything like this before, but I am already planning another mural as this was such fun!
Thank for reading