As many of you know, I enjoy painting, sketching, coloring – anything that involves artwork and getting my creative juices flowing. You might also know that in June of last year, I tried following 3 Bob Ross tutorials. So it’s only natural that on my first day of summer vacation, I decided to celebrate completing my sophomore year of high school by painting a landscape mural on my bedroom wall.
Let me explain.
This school year was rough. I moved to another country, re-adjusted to the USA, rebuilt old friendships, established a new social life, unpacked a ton of boxes, tried to keep up with posting on this blog – all on top of a rigorous homeschool program that was eating me alive from the inside out.
Needless to say, by the end of the school year, I had had a lot of extra emotions piled high on my proverbial plate. And I needed to get rid of them.
Now, I have always found painting very therapeutic. (My brother, however, has not. He once tried painting a baseball with a blue background on a small canvas… lets just say that he won’t be returning to that activity anytime soon.) I had been itching to get my hands on some brushes and paints for a while, but what with finals coming up, the opportunity had never presented itself. So on the eve of my first day of summer, with my finals behind me and my head held high, I resolved to paint a mural on my wall the next day.
At this point, you may be wondering why I decided to paint on my wall instead of a canvas. Well, my friend, this paragraph is for you. See, my room is an odd shape. Half of it is a normal, square room, with regular walls and ceiling. The other half, however, has a sloped ceiling with shorter walls on each side. Where the two halves meet, there is an awkward little piece of wall attaching part of the sloped walls to the ceiling. One day (when I was probably supposed to be studying biology but was daydreaming instead), I happened to notice this piece of wall and randomly thought to myself: I should totally paint a landscape on that!
So yeah, a random thought born from procrastination and utter disinterest in biology is why I painted on my wall.
The next morning dawned bright and beautiful, with an amazing sunrise to greet those who were awake to see it… I was definitely not one of those people. I took this opportunity to sleep in without subconsciously thinking about school, and it. was. awesome.
When I had woken up, eaten some breakfast, hung out with my family, and done a couple other random things, I decided it was time to break out the paint and begin the tedious task before me. I collected my paints, brushes, a chair to stand on, and some other random things to aid me in this process. I threw on an old t-shirt, dumped my paints and brushes out on the floor, tied up my hair, and clenched my paper plate/palette in my hand as I stood upon my chair.
I was ready for battle.
The first thing I did was tape off the section of wall I would be painting. I then lightly sanded the wall and spread on a thin layer of white paint.
Now, since I had never painted a mural on a wall, I had some experimenting to do to figure out how to proceed.
Since I was using a Bob Ross tutorial as a general guideline for this mural, I was
kind of listening to his instructions as I went. If you’ve ever watched one of his tutorials, you’ll know that Bob always begins by priming his canvas with “a very thin, even coat of liquid white.” He then starts painting the scene while the white layer is still wet.
Now, I did not begin painting this scene by using acrylic paints. Instead, I used wall paint, like what you’d use to paint, well, a wall. I had a few different sample colors leftover from a project, so I decided try using those since I was painting on a wall. I soon found out that this was not the best strategy. In the tutorial I was watching, Bob began by painting the yellow part of a sunset sky. I did the same thing, and began painting the yellow on top of the wet white.
This did not end well. By the time I had gotten the yellow blended where I wanted it, you could clearly see brushstrokes and the previously gray wall peeking through the color. I decided to try a second coat of yellow, so I waited until the first was dry. When I began painting again, however, the brush was ripping the color off the wall instead of putting it on.
Realizing that this strategy wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I spread another layer of white on the wall. As I waited for it to completely dry, I resolved to stay in my comfort zone and use acrylic paints to craft the mural.
The rest of the painting process went smoothly, and I completed the mural without a hitch. When I finished, I stepped down from my chair and gazed at my creation on the wall above me. Was my arm exhausted from reaching up high? Yes. Did I have a gigantic mess to clean up? Yes. Did I have a few purple streaks on my ceiling to cover up? Also yes. But was I satisfied with the results of my mural? OH YES.
And then I painted a chalkboard wall the next day, so there’s that, too.
I hope you enjoyed reading this account of what I did on my first day of summer, and that if you feel inspired by this, that you’ll try painting, too! (You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with yourself!)
Have a great week everyone, and I’ll see you next Monday! :)