Thursday, October 10, 2013

EASY MODE: "Ponyo" Wall Mural

I always knew that I would paint a mural for Chloe in her room.  I started brainstorming about themes late in my third trimester.  Some of my earlier ideas were the Dr. Seuss classic, "Oh the places you'll go,"and Hayao Miyazaki's stunner "My Neighbor Totoro."

Copyright  Random House 1990

Copyright glsolo 2013

Then finally one day, while we were snuggled up on the couch about to watch "Ponyo," I had my moment.  As I watched the opening title sequence I was struck my the simplistic beauty and the amazing colors.  Very simple lines, easy to replicate and a character and story we both love.  It was perfect.

First things first, I tried to find some images online of the title sequence and came up empty.  Instead, I chose to photograph my TV as the sequence was playing.  I took several of my own reference photos.

Copyright Disney 2009
Copyright Disney 2009

Inspiration in hand, the first step was a trip to the paint store to pick out the wall colors I would need.  I chose three different blue green shades that I liked and once home I decided we would need a fourth color so I mixed a new one out of the preexisting colors - making sure to mix enough for touch-ups since you won't be able to mix the same color twice unless you're measuring, which I wasn't.

The next step was to paint all of the blocks of blue and green that would be the water.  No need to mark it out, I just used a free-form method in shapes that I liked.
Note:  I used three quarts of interior wall paint for the water and latex craft paints for the rest.

I marked out the area where the house and island were going to be so that I didn't have to worry about painting over the green and having it effect the final look of the house. 

Then it was time to pencil out and paint the rest of the additions.

I chose to include the stylized white waves so those need to go on next.  Then the fish, boats, starfish, whatever else you decide to add.  I wanted to do one of the larger apartment buildings since we lived in New York City and Chloe loves it so much - but in the end I never got around to it.

Lastly, once everything under water has been painted, you can go over all of the water with a black paint marker to make the "water lines."  These do not need to be perfect.  They aren't perfect in the movie and they need not be perfect here.

I was thrilled with how the final mural turned out and I think choosing the right theme - one that wasn't beyond my limited skills as an artist - was key in making this such a success.

Anybody else have any fab murals they want to share?

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