Fairy Wall Mural

So my summer has wound down quite nicely and I have to head back to work and teaching next week. Of course i use this as the perfect time to take on a wall mural commission! Sounds doable…yep…

Not that I would have said no to someone that I have known for 14 years…good god…I’ve been here that long…

Anyway, the deal was that his wife and daughter were headed out of town on Sunday and would be back on the following Thursday. he was totally revamping his 6 year olds bedroom and one of the things that he wanted was a mural painted in her room. She wanted a rainbow, fairies, leprechaun and I believe a mermaid was mentioned. I condensed all of that down and eliminated a couple things (the mermaid and leprechaun were just too much to add to a small wall)

On Monday I started and worked from 8am to 3pm…mural painting is exhausting, Tuesday same thing and then again on Wednesday. 20 hours of painting later and I finished this.

The final product is 8 feet high and about 10 feet wide…maybe 12…I didn’t measure.

The castle in the clouds was just fun and not something that either Todd or Molly had mentioned wanting.  Todd had recorded Molly talking about what she wanted in a mural in her room. In one sketch I had the rainbow stretching across the entire sky but wanted to give an entirely different feel in the second sketch.

I also added bits of glitter sparingly throughout the entire mural. On the castle, in the flowers, and out of a water bucket that the fairy is watering with!

I had a lot of fun painting their dresses and making them fun and fairy like. If I had more time they would have all had different coloured toenails but time was not on my side!

I love the wings on this fairy and the fact that she is holding a ladybug just makes me happy.

It’s hard to see on this one but I had added some gold shimmer paint to the pot of gold and it has a bit of sparkle to it. Too bad that is something that is hard to photograph accurately.

I love this ones dress too! Did you notice that they all have funky coloured hair. how could garden fairies not have green, pink and blue hair!

So I would definitely do that again…a second career as a mural painter…could do!




Happy Dance

The mural is finished. I just need to put the final coat of polyurethane on it but I decided that I could pick and pick at it and always find something that I could fix. I just need to call it done.

I thought it would be fun to show a stage by stage post of the entire process.

Planning always comes first. I created a 8 inch by 30 inch grid so that when I started painting I would have  something to work by.

Prepping the surface.

Each time I painted I would work for about 2 hours at a time. I would guess it is about 40 hours of painting time. Pretty fast actaully. I thought it was going to take twice that amount of time. So hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend and I will be able to get the poly urethane finished and it will be protected through the long cold northern winter.

Now I need another project…

Almost, Almost

Good progress on the mural today. I am happier with the water, even though it is a subtle change. I added some green to the yellow mountain. Mainly because I really did like the way I painted the mountain but it was too yellow.

So at least one more day of painting but then I will be done! Yippee! The only downer of the day was when the neighbours listened to the same Cher song three times in a row…THREE TIMES. And then the fourth time was a cover of the same song but this time as a duet.

I went inside shortly after that.

Have a lovely evening!


Gosh…I go away and don’t blog for a couple of days and I have a couple of days with over 400 hits. Crazy I tell you. Most days I will have about 20-30 people come on by and see what I am doing then suddenly, POW. Thanks to the 20-30 regulars by the way!

So I am about 90% done the mural and just have a few little tweaks to do to make it to my satisfaction…I’m a little picky about my work…just a little. The crazy ocd-virgo-ness kicked in a couple years ago. Not that you can tell by my desk at work. I still need everything out so I can see what I need but I do know where everything is.


So if you have been following the mural progress you can see that I darkened up the mountains on the left. I also darkened up the mountain in the front a bit and added a darker base to it running along the entire bottom. I still like the yellowness of the mountain on the right but I will probably have to tone it down a bit.

I will probably just add a touch of darker olive green over it in a transparent layer. Now that I have darkened the other mountains that one is sticking out a bit too much.

When I was taking pictures I did not focus on the grass on the bottom of the picture at all but it is finished. I added a layer of darker green to it and tried to get rid of the outline that had been created by the first few layers. Grasses and bushes are DONE!

I think the tree is done. Pretty happy with it.

So the plan for finishing the painting is to change the water colour slightly. It is a bit too bright and I would like it to be a bit darker. It bothers me that the water and the sky are the exact same colour. Yes the water should reflect the sky colour but I think it is a bit too much. The plan is a layer of transparent blue-brown mixed with a whole whack of painting medium so that it is very transparent. I learned the hard way that it is not a good idea to use water as a thinning agent on such a large surface. You cannot control the dribbles that occur. I little water is fine but for a transparent layer you need a gloss medium.

Final step will be two layers of a polyurethane to seal it and stop the weather and sun from affecting it too much. There will be some weathering that will happen but a bit of UV protection never hurts!

I have been playing with my cameras settings in the last couple of days. The Pentax can do some interesting things with the processing that I am enjoying.

So a few things still on my list to get done before school starts again.

  1. Finish painting the kitchen- I picked a colour called Sketch Pad which is the wall colour in the picture below. I love all the greys in this palette. They range from light to dark grey and I will readily admit to liking them partly due to the names. You cannot convince me that paint number 309-uvc6029 looks as good as Sketchpad. Plus it is a heck of a lot easier to remember.
  2. Going to try to finish the mural today (fingers crossed)
  3. I decided I am tired of having the same old day planner as every other teacher on the block. So I am making my own. I know what I need and use regularly in a day planner so why not make one that is perfectly me!
  4. I think I am going to have the students do a self portrait for one of their first projects. Totally evil and it will freak them out but I have a plan to make it easy and interesting.
Well that’s about it for now. Lucy is moaning and groaning in the kitchen so i need to go put her outside and get dressed. Oops.. now she is barking. So impatient!

Mural Progress

A little more time spent on the mural today. I am so close to getting it done that I just have to hope for a few more warmer days (its getting chilly here and the nights are already starting to get chilly!

So I focused on the tree and the grasses today. Probably only put in about an hour or so.

I still have to do a bit on the grasses and trees and I am thinking that I am going to tweak some of the colouring a bit. Maybe in the yellow hill behind the tree or in the lake itself. Not certain yet though.

Just as I was finishing we had a flock of little birds decide to use the pond as a bath. By the time i got the camera most has left but I did capture these little cuties!

And last but not least here are some shots of the new fence that went in earlier this week. Mom and the neighbour worked at putting in the posts and then he installed the fence panels and lattice. It is a unique design that goes cedar fence panel then 4 X 8 lattice then fence panel. It was Mom’s idea so that both of us can do something with plants in the spring. As you can see Mom  already planted some nice grasses ,  a rose and Virginia Creeper.

Looking out towards the street.

Looking in towards the yard.

The last thing to do is build a gate to keep the darn neighbourhood cats out of the yard. They have all figured out that there is a fish pond back there and when Lucy is going NUTS barking we know it is time to shoo some cats out of the yard!

Mural Progress

Spent a good part of the afternoon working on painting the tree today. Again I had to spend time painting layers so i first painted the whole thing red, then a brown on top of that and then a dark, dark green. Here is the steps

Sorry about the haziness of the photos. I used my phone to take the pictures. Pure laziness because I didn’t feel like going into the house. I finished painting the dark on the whole thing but I have not taken a final photo of it yet. Tomorrow. Probably.


Mural Progress!

More mural progress made yesterday! It was a nice morning so I went out and finished layers 4, 5 and 6. Yes there are a total of 6 layers on these shrubs.

The colours seem to be a little off in this one. Way more yellow than what is actually there.

So next I have to paint the ground. i have pre painted it a rough brown so don’t think that it is finished. There are going to be tall grasses throughout the shrubs in greens and yellows. Then I am on to the tree.

Bit of an odd overall shot but we are having movie night tonight and I didn’t feel like taking the screen down so i just included it. Interesting things are happening in other parts of the yard to. The lilies are in bloom and looking quite spectacular if I do say so myself!

Lucy always gets into the middle of things so here is a shot of her looking all sleepy because she had woken up from a nap on the lawn.

My neighbour has been making a crazy amount of noise in the last 4 days trying to get his driveway prepared for paving. At times the whole house was shaking from the different machinery he has been using. Problem is that it goes all day and interferes with nap time…this is a serious matter! Yesterday the machine broke and I managed to sneak in a nap while he was fixing it. The rumble of the house was my wake-up call. Today he has been having gravel delivered and compacting the earth more…SO LOUD!

On a fun note I got my dress makers form made out of an old night gown, 2 rolls of duct tape and Mom’s help. Here I am all gussied up. barely able to breath and a little nauseous from the smell of duct tape.

So a couple bags of poly-fill and a little more taping and I have my own dress form that did not cost me $200+ and is exactly me! Tomorrow on the agenda is starting my dress.

This one

Using this material!

Painting and Cloudy Days

Went out to the lookout over the Peace River today and did a little painting  with Jen ( Hi Jen!)

There were goats….yes you read that correctly. Turn out the city hired a goat herder to bring his flock of goats to eat a noxious weed that has been growing on the hillside. I didn’t have my closeup lens with me so I didn’t get a really good picture of the goat but I might go back tomorrow to try again. They are cute with their weird little goaty eyes.

So it was windy and cold and I kept having to fight with my paper to stay still. I didn’t mind the chilly part so much but it made it hard to paint. This is the scene I was painting.

And this is my finished painting.

I’m happy with it and it was fun to do. So the rest of my evening is going to be taping together the pattern that I ordered as a download. 70 pieces of paper to tape together but it was better than driving 3 hours to go buy the pattern. My fabric is washed and dried so if I get the pattern put together this evening then I can work on it tomorrow. And maybe I can get a little more done on the mural. I am procrastinating on that one. Must get done before the end of summer!

Off to tape!

Mural Progress

The water is almost complete. There are a few spots that need a bit of attention but I will probably do that tomorrow.

The one thing I did notice this evening was that the seams are really pronounced. could just be because I took the photos later in the day so the shadows are more extreme. Also with the ridiculous amount or rain we have had it would not surprise me if the wood was expanding. Not much that I can do about it so i am not going to worry about it!

I am making pizza for supper so I’m off to check on it!