Mural Painting Tips



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 Essential mural tips and techniques

Transferring an image onto any surface to create a mural

There are 2 ways that images are typically transferred to walls for mural painting. And the great majority of professionals will incorporate one of these 2 techniques.

Project the image:

The first is to project an image, in this case your nude figure, onto the wall and trace it with a pencil. This method requires enough space to allow the projector to cast the image large enough to fit the space. Typically 10 ft or more. It requires a projector as well. So this method probably won’t work for your bathroom, assuming the room is too small to get the projected image large enough.

Grid method:

The second method, and the one you should try, is a classical approach to transferring images onto any surface, and has been used through out the ages as a tried and true method. Essentially what you are doing is creating a grid pattern over you image, and also on the wall, then sketching what you see in each box. To do this first select an image you like. Now measure your wall area. For ease let’s say it is 10 ft. high by 8 ft. wide. Using a pencil, lightly measure out 1 ft. x 1 ft. squares over the wall, creating a grid pattern that is 10 squares high and 8 squares wide (thus 80 squares all together). The next step is to scale the image so the proportions will be accurate for your transfer. Take a piece of paper and create a duplicate grid pattern, this time use 1 inch x 1 inch squares. You should have 10 squares high by 8 squares wide. This mimics the wall grid, only at 1:12 scale.

Determine the size you want your image to be on the finished mural. If you want it to be 4 ft. high then the picture you are working from should be 4 inches high. If you want it to be 6 ft. high on the mural, then the original image should be 6 inches high, and so on. You can then scale your image on your computer using a program like Photoshop, or you can go to Kinko’s, or similar, and ask to have a photo copy of the image, telling them what the over all size you want the image to be. They will help you scale it. Now place your 1 inch grid pattern over this, or re-draw the grid directly over the photocopy. You are now ready to transfer your image.

To transfer the image simple draw what you see in each 1 inch box to the corresponding 12 inch box on your wall. The best way to do this is to focus only on what you see in each 1 inch box, and then move onto the next one. When you are done you should have a pretty accurate, proportionally correct image on the wall. You can now paint the image, either free hand, or use the same method of focusing on one square and paint what you see in each grid. If you choose the second method then simply pay more attention to the transitions from one grid to another. Just step back occasionally to get an over all view and sense of the painting. And that’s it!


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