Wesley Monumental sits on Calhoun Square and has been calling my name for years!  So happy I finally had time to draw it!

Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church Watercolor Painting

8×10 inch prints available in theinklab.

©2013 Heather L. Young

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People always assume my house is covered with murals.  The fact is, I’m usually painting a wall for someone else and I’m quite indecisive when it comes to my own decor.  That said, I have dreamed of the day I would get to design and paint my own nursery, and the time has finally come!  I thought I’d document some of the process in case in of you DIY folk out there would like to try your hand.  And yes, I’m fully aware that you can buy a vinyl decal these days, slap it on the wall and voila…but where’s the fun in that?  This technique will show you how to take a simple sketch, blow it up, and transfer it to the wall.  All you’ll need is a pencil, some paper, painters tape, acrylic paint, good brushes, and a steady hand.

Since our nursery was already blue, I decided long before we found out we were having a boy that rather than repaint the whole room, we’d go with an Under the Sea theme.  (some of you may recall a similar project I worked on a few years back…click!)  Our nursery is small, so I wanted a focal point over the crib, and decided an Octopus would be fun to paint…

Mural Sketch

I sketched a few options with my favorite color scheme (blue and yellow-green with accents of red-orange) and chose the version with the white undersides to balance out the white in his sailor cap.

Next I scanned my tiny sketch into photoshop and printed him out to scale on regular letter sized paper.  In the past, I’ve been known to free-hand a mural or two, but in the interest of keeping my proportions and minimizing the amount of touch ups needed, an enlarged template is never a bad idea.

Octopus Mural Painting Step by Step Instructions

Yep, that’s my big ole belly making a cameo.

After putting all the pieces back together with tape, I flipped over the template and used the side of my pencil to roughly apply graphite to the black lines visible through the paper…

Graphite Transfer Mural Technique

It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s best if you go a little outside the lines here.  The more graphite applied, the better it will transfer to your wall.

Graphite Transfer for Mural Painting Template

Next, tape your template to the wall using painters tape.  You can move it around until you get it just where you want it…

Octopus Mural in Progress Graphite Transfer

I measured our crib and marked the height with those little pieces of painters tape to make sure that Ocho (yes, that’s his name) would be properly placed without being cut off.

Next, I took my pencil and traced over the black lines, applying medium pressure.  This will transfer that messy graphite to your wall.  Before you remove your template completely, be sure to sneak a peek and make sure that all of your lines transferred nicely.

DIY Graphite Pencil Transfer Technique for Mural Painting

The lines will be faint, but they are there!  Those little white spots are patched holes where we had nails from other artwork prior to making this the mural wall.  To save myself from touching up blue paint, I strategically placed Ocho’s arms in the areas where the holes were.

Now it’s time to prime…and prime some more….and some more after that…and some more after that.  Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step if you’re planning on painting a colored wall.  It will save you LOTS of time in the long run.  I used Killz low VOC primer that we had on hand from another project.  (with windows open for good ventilation of course)

Priming Octopus Nursery Mural

Now that you’ve laid quite the foundation, it’s time to start painting the fun stuff. I always paint from the background to the foreground.

Ocho Underpainting

I kept my sketch of Ocho nearby for reference.  Oh and I won’t lie…yellow-green, though one of my favorite colors, usually requires many, many coats for a nice opaque layer…this green took 4 coats to cover well…I’d probably still be applying coats if I hadn’t primed!

Octopus Nusery Mural with Sailor Hat and Starfish

Here he is!  Spots and all!  I’m really happy with how he turned out!  He’s bright (no pastels for my baby) and he’s the perfect size for over the crib…measuring roughly 3 feet tall by 4.5 feet wide.  I won’t lie, he was definitely time consuming…roughly 20 hrs, start to finish, but totally worth it!

Octopus mural over crib nursery mural painting

The best part?  He’s completely custom for our lil man.

I’m sure I’ll be adding some additional features to his room as time goes on, but for now, this is about all I have in me…(and standing on a ladder probably isn’t too terribly safe for a pregnant woman anyway)

I’d love to see some pics of your own DIY murals, and hope this little tutorial gives you a few tips to help you create something really spectacular!

The Ships of the Sea Museum plays host to all sorts of fabulous events in Savannah!  Each print is painted by hand making it unique and signed with love!

Savannah Watercolor Ships of the Sea Museum by Heather L. Young

Ships of the Sea Museum Savannah Watercolor Painting Print by Heather L. Young

Prints measure 8×10 inches and come matted to fit 11×14 inch frames.  Get yours here!

I have had the pleasure of working with so many Jekyll Island Club brides, that it’s about time I added this beautiful wedding venue to my collection of hand painted watercolor prints.   Each print is printed with archival quality inks onto watercolor paper, then painted and signed by yours truly.  For more information CLICK!

Jekyll Island Club Fine Art Print Watercolor Painting by Heather L Young

Jekyll Island Club Watercolor Painting Print

Prints measure 8×10″ and are matted to fit 11×14 inch frames.

Lab Lovers Mural Update

April 18, 2013

Funny I should have two clients, in close geographic proximity to each other, ask for new dogs to be added to their murals at the same time!  I always love revisiting these folks, and it’s certainly nice to get a warm welcome from the fur babies too.  (Funny how dogs can remember you even after so many years!)  This lab-loving family surprised me with their new addition.  Meet Ritter…

German Shorthair Pointer

He’s a German Shorthair Pointer (please correct me if I’m wrong), a well-trained hunter, and a bundle of energy.  He has a distinctive bear-shaped patch on his side and all those freckles!  Super fun to paint!  Here’s how we worked him into the existing mural….

Lab Mural Update Dog Lovers

a little closer shot….tricky painting those beveled edges!

German Shorthair Pointer Portrait Mural

full view of the doors….

Dog Portrait Mural

For a more detailed look at the mural and a refresher as to what it looked like before Ritter’s addition, CLICK!

All artwork ©Heather L. Young

 

 

Baby’s First Mural!

April 6, 2013

I’ve been absent, but with good reason!  We are expecting a little fella late summer, so life has taken on a new urgency if you will.  So many projects to tackle before his arrival.

Babys First Mural

One of which was finally updating my Dutch Island mural from many years ago.  (see here to refresh your memory.)  Naughty clients decided to remodel, trim down the mural a bit from one side and *gasp* tear a hole in the wall to put in double doors!  (it’s okay Meghan and Bill, I still love you!)

mural revamp

Beveled edges are so tricky!  Matching paint from 8 years ago, even trickier, but I think I successfully brought their waterfall back to life.

Mural Painted Doors

Oh and they had one more addition arrive in those 8 years, Sophie.  It wouldn’t be fair to leave her out of the mural…

Mural Pet Portrait

Here’s a better shot at how she fits into the mix…

Waterfall Mural Dutch Island Georgia

Here’s a glimpse at the right side.  I added some embellishments to beef up the silhouette since a few feet had been trimmed on that side of the mural.  Sorry for the split shots, it’s impossible to be a shot of the full mural (roughly 20 feet wide)

Dutch Island Mural

For a better idea of the scale of things, take a look at the original mural.

Happy Spring y’all!

The bride’s sister commissioned me to capture that quiet moment before the the guests arrived and the festivities began.  I can remember peeking out of the window at my own wedding to see everything set up, and Aunt Pam tossing flowers down the aisle like a little school girl.  That peaceful moment was so full of anticipation.

custom wedding landscape oil painting by heather l . young

Custom Wedding Landscape

11×14 inch – Acrylic & Oil Wash

©2012 Heather L. Young

If you would like to commission your own for a loved one, please see this listing.  Additional sizes are available, just ask!  Also keep in mind that oil paintings take several weeks to paint and dry, so order several weeks in advance.  Gift cards available upon request.