Dragon Time

So I finally get to paint a dragon! Granted, it is for young kids, so we didn’t want her to frighten anyone and we wanted to give her some fun colors to coordinate with the other elements in the room. She doesn’t look like your typical dragon, but the kids are enjoying her, and that is all that truly matters.  =)

Inside the small playroom, looking back at the entrance.
Inside the small playroom, looking back at the entrance.


She’ll be peeking over the stone wall looking into the playroom. Here I have her outline sketched and I’ve started blocking in other areas of the mural. If you read my previous blog post, this wall is directly opposite of the waterfall wall.

Dragon outline sketched onto the wall.


The distant hills are getting filled in here and the stone wall is almost completed.Dragon 3


Blocking in more background colors for her skin. If you ask me, I’d say it looks rather terrible at this stage.

Dragon 4


“I am an alien from outer space and I am going to eat you.” Okay, nevermind.Dragon 5


Working on her eyes and adding some outlines for where the scales will go. She’s getting there slowly but surely.Dragon 6


Meanwhile, I am also working on her tail.

Dragon Tail 1


Here I added more purple and made sure the shadows are all at the correct angles on her little pointy thingys since the light source is the actual light fixture on this wall.Dragon Tail 2


Well, while I was painting the tail I only got one more in-progress photo because I ended up in my own little world (but like my brother-in-law Pete says, “they like me there.”) And of course that photo was blurry. Dagnabbit. So instead here is one where she is almost completed.

Dragon 8


I realized that no matter where you go in the room, she is always looking at you. I wonder if she will see the life-sized mouse on this wall…. Dragon 7


I still need to tweak her wings, and there are some other anatomical issues I am not entirely satisfied with so I may make changes next week when I finish up everything else in the room. Meanwhile, here is a peek at the room from the doorway. There are many over-sized elements on the angled walls that you can’t see properly unless you are in the room. It has been a very busy week and I still have some solid work days ahead of me. For now, I am going to enjoy the weekend. Stay tuned for another update next week and have a great weekend!

In progress mural

New Play Room Mural

Well, this has definitely been the year of fantasy / fairy / whimsical murals for me! They are actually a lot of fun to paint as there is no right or wrong and we can let our imaginations run wild. Right now I’m working in an attic room (in a gorgeous home) that is about 14′ long and has a ceiling of about 5 feet…so I’ve been super excited at the prospect of not using ladders for this project!

… and then I realized that with my 5’10” stature, I will basically be walking around very hunched over or crawling around the entire time. The. Entire. Time. Yes, there is carpeting, which I am incredibly grateful for, and I have a small stool that I can use in some areas. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but I’m already feeling it after two days. I am not complaining, though. This is way better than working on ladders in a stairwell where I could fall and die!

Looking through the 3-1/2 foot high french doors into the fairy playroom.
Looking through the 3-1/2 foot high french doors into the fairy playroom.

There are quite a few things going on in this room, so for now I’ll focus on this end wall. It took a few hours to sketch most of the elements in the entire room and tape off trim. I generally paint from the top to the bottom, so after I painted the sky I started working on the distant hills. We won’t talk about those parts of the wall that are tucked in the corners beyond the 2′ deep cabinet. I will just say that it helps to have long arms and that I’ve been doing yoga for a few years now.

Fantasy Playroom, Progress 1


For this mural I decided to use burnt sienna for the background of the grasses in order to add more depth and develop some richer colors. This is the point when customers generally start to question my ability to paint, wonder what their finished mural will actually look like, and wonder if it is too late to get a refund.

Close range hills are blocked in with an orange/brown color.

Meanwhile, I need that paint to dry so it’s time to add texture to the crumbling stone walls in the mural. I have these stones on both end walls so it was a lot of crawling back and forth, which I’d rather do on carpeting than on a plank! If anyone cares about how I painted the stones, first I added a thin brown glaze and let it dry. Then I added a darker glaze (with 4 different colors) in streaks and sponged it off. Then I added a light glaze over all of it. Then I added some divots and crevices with shadows and highlights and extra light glaze on the tops. I wish my brain would magically tell me how to do this entire process to make them look like stones, but it doesn’t. I studied Pierre Finkelstein’s process for one of the stone types in “The Art of Faux” and tweaked it with colors that work with this mural. I actually take this book with me while I paint because who on earth can remember that many steps and appropriate colors?!

Oh, and then I added a variety of light green grasses on top of the burnt sienna background and some whimsical curly grasses too. After finishing the waterfall.

Brown background is covered with a variety of green grasses.


Hey, here I am! Just in case you couldn’t envision the size of this room, I set the camera on my chair and took a photo. No, I do not have a selfie stick. They aren’t very handy anyway when you don’t have a smart phone.

Me sitting in front of the mural in progress to show scale.

One final photo for the day. I blocked in these “ghost” mushrooms so I can paint them colorfully tomorrow or sometime later this week. I’ll also be painting the entire cabinet, so I started getting more color on that. In case you are wondering what is up with that light brown spot between the bricks, that my friend will be another small waterfall that pours into the mural on the top of the cabinet. Stay tuned for some perspective work that will hopefully mess with your brain!

End of day progress with mushroom shapes blocked in and front of cabinet painted in burnt sienna.

New Website!

I designed my website in early 2012, before I even launched my business. This year, my software has become so outdated that I am running across all sorts of technical issues and it is incredibly difficult to update my site since I am not well versed in html. I want to be able to share photos of my recent murals on my website but I haven’t been able to. I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook, but I realize not everyone has an access to that.

I’ve also been frustrated that my site wasn’t mobile friendly due to my dated software, so this year I decided it was time to start over with a fresh new look. I have been teaching myself WordPress, and it has been slow going for me as I’ve been trying to figure it out in between projects and all the events of daily life. But I think I’m finally starting to get the gist of it! So please have patience if pages don’t load correctly, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in hiring me to paint a mural for you. Thank you!


Portrait of Mikey, Acrylic on Canvas.
Portrait of Mikey, Acrylic on Canvas.