Because this mural was going to be very detailed and time-consuming, I decided to do the bulk of it on canvas, in studio, and then install it like wallpaper. I do this to avoid travel time, so that I’m not in my client’s way for too long, and so that I can work the crazy hours that I chose, this is their home after all.
I painted all of the scene that is beyond the windows on canvas. I also hand painted all of the leaves and most of the branches that come through the window on the canvas as well. There were no short cuts on this one. As always, I paint from background to foreground, so I started with the sky, the daylight and black light night version. That was all airbrushed and sprayed on with a spray gun.
We then hand painted all of the far away leaves and branches with a tiny brush, overlapping until we get to the more detailed branches. I wanted to show the texture on the closer branches, so after they were blocked in with a brush, we taped over everything else, leaving only the foreground branches exposed.
The Mighty Oak I do this first of all, to spray on the invisible lighting effects, but also so that I can use a glaze, then scrape and drag textures into the branches, and avoid ruining the background. When it comes to the bark, we blocked out every shape by hand, and added detail to all that would receive light.
The ones that would remain in shadow, also got an airbrushed shadow to lessen the detail. After completing all of the branches, we blocked in more foreground leaves, then detailed them out.