Pet mural for children project
This past summer I was contacted by my interior designer friend Sharyl Ashely of Creative Design Solutions. She wanted me to paint a pet mural! I perked up, I love mural work.
There was one drawback though, since I am no longer a licensed contractor in the state of Oregon, we needed to go to plan B. Digital painting.
Years ago Sharyl had designed the examination rooms, at the East Portland Pediatric Clinic. Each room has its own theme, like a Disney theme, or under the sea. The room that needed updating in 2016 was the pet room.
Sharyl approached me with the idea of creating a mural showing a cute dog, a cat etc and gave me a sketch of her idea. This little sketch was a tremendous help to me and enabled me to collaborate with her to make her vision a reality.
I decided to go a little whimsical in order to keep to the overall feel of the rest of the walls and art at the clinic. I knew I could do whimsy!
Working with a designer in a commercial situation was such a pleasure. Sharyl provided me with colors, photos of other rooms and art in the clinic. She even provided me a scale drawing of the room! Pretty wonderful really.
Having this kind of information really allowed me to develop my art without having to go on site at the start of the project. I did eventually visit the site when I presented Sharyl with an initial color proof.
To begin this piece, I determined that I could compile all my needed elements on the super powerful new iPad Pro.
Using Sharyl’s inspiration sketch, I started off creating and painting dog and his bone, using an app called Procreate.
The dog house, the cat, the mice, owl, landscape and other background items followed one by one. When happy with each of my paintings, I then transferred all the files to my desktop iMac.
Using Photoshop I built a master file at the actual size of the mural. The mural needed to measure around 8’3″ ft tall by 6’3″ wide. ( 75″ x 99″ allowing extra inches for matching edges, uneven walls etc).
I spent a lot of time making further adjustments in Photoshop. When I had to retouch elements I used my iPad Pro as a Wacom Tablet using an app called Astropad. It is pretty awesome, and recreates the painting experience I have on my iPad but on my desktop. (Without having to have a Wacom tablet – brilliant!)
Transition to Wall Paper
Experience has taught Sharyl that children love to play with things when they are waiting around with nothing to do. If there is a sticker on the wall, it is an invitation to see if it can come off right? With that in mind, we decided that the best solution was to translate the digital painting into wall paper.
We picked a heavy duty, eco-friendly, poly-cotton wallpaper. Made from 31% post consumer recycled materials, it has a very light texture and a matte finish. We had the manufacturer add a topcoat for extra protection against small hands and for ease of keeping clean. Not only is this wallpaper eco-friendly it has a 20 year fade resistant ink and is a LEED credit product. Score on all sides.
It is important to make sure that the colors of the printed product meet your expectations before printing the mural, so I had a small 11 x 14″ sample made on the actual wall paper material we had picked. At the same time I thought it wise to see if the file translated well when printed at actual size, so had a sample strip of the actual size image made at the same time.
I really like to be sure that things are working. I had had a sample print made on paper by my favorite fine art printer David Hooten with Pixelpoint Artistry. That sample had blown me and Sharyl away. We were stoked!
When I got the samples from the wall paper manufacturer I was delighted. Often print colors will not translate well when printed onto different substrates. This was one of the bigger unknowns for me.
To be honest, I was so happy with the color matching on the wallpaper I was dancing around for joy!
Often the color matching can be very iffy with 3rd party vendors. A handy piece of advice for anyone attempting to print art or photo’s without knowing how color translates from on screen to printed surface. Get a sample printed first so you are not disappointed or surprised with the final product.
The wallpaper took about 14 days from placing our order to delivery on my doorstep. It was well packaged and look great on the floor of my studio!
Since I am no longer licensed to work as a contractor in Oregon, I hired some painting contractors with experience with wallpaper installation. My contractors took about 3.5 hours to install the wallpaper.
They had to do prep, which always takes the most amount of time, protection of surfaces, setting up to apply past to the wallpaper etc. They were in a very confined space which did not ease the process for them. In the end they did a fabulous job.
This is how the final installation looked. The staff were super happy with this room at the end of the day.
Sharyl and I have further ideas that have been born from the mural.
- First postcards or notecards featuring our critters and mural.
- Second Sharyl and I have collaborated and developed 2 pet care posters based on the mural. These will be available for purchase very soon.
The opportunities this mural and it’s offshoots are offering our fans and clients are creating a good buzz for us.
Where to hang your new mural
Here are some ideas as to where you could install this mural.
- A child’s room,
- Pet Store
- Veterinarian office
- Pet care facility
- Side of a building
If you know someone who would like this artwork, please share this post with them.
Sizes will vary according to your wall and room.
Pricing will vary according to size, material and added top coating if required.
Maximum size: 6′ x 8′Buy your Custom Mural Now