Workshop: How to Make a Mural Painting


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This workshop is very special because it was the artist himself who set the instructions for it. The proposal was: try to paint plants that are not, animals that are not, and minerals that are not. In each of their shapes… This way they will be able to paint plants that will be, animals that will be, and minerals that will be, also.” A mural painting can’t be done in just one day, it’s a long process; that’s why in this post blog I want to share with you the path that took us to the result.



-Craft paper. I bought a 4.5 ft x 30 ft (1.4 m x 10 m) roll, so I have spare paper and I can use it both to paint on it and to protect the floor.

-Acrylic colors. This time I chose a range of earth colors to rise them “from the ground dragging with them all the deaf colors of the earth to meet the luminous colors of the air”: blue, white, and black, as Jesus Mateo has done in his mural paintings, according to Saramago.

-Brushes of different sizes.

-Roller to apply painting on wide surfaces.

-Containers for the paintings.

-Tall plastic cups to clean the brushes.

-Clothes that we do not care to stain with paint.


The making

Me and my daughters painted on paper this time because during the summer we already made mural paintings in each room of the house. You could choose to make a first sketch on paper and then reproduce it on the wall, to paint straight on the wall if you feel comfortable with it, or to experiment and have fun on the paper without jeopardizing a wall of your house.

To pain a mural is like a game and, as such, you need to read the rules to the players before you start:

  1. Everyone can paint wherever they want and, since it is a collective project, you need to be prepared for what you have painted to change due to the intervention of others.
  2. Before starting, you have to make the commitment to detach yourself from any expected result; keep in mind the mural painting is for fun.
  3. Look for inspiration. Choose a theme, an idea you want to paint.
  4. Make sketches and test colors. This step is very important, since the sketches will be your guide during the journey.
  5. Hang the sketches in order on a wall close to the one you’ll paint on; include even the ones you don’t like. In this phase the group that will be making the mural will nourish with the ideas of all the participants.
  6. To decide what the collective work will be about, it is recommended to talk about what each of you have painted before and what moves you about what you and others have painted. Do it using poetic words. Try it! It’s tremendously stimulating.
  7. The dialogue and the exhibition of the sketches favors a collective creative moment of search. By now, the participants have already decided which ingredients they will add to their creation.
  8. If you decide to paint on paper and not on the wall, as I did this time, use wide paper tape, or a wall stapler to fix the paper on the wall. Cover the floor with painter’s special plastic or with the same paper you’ll use to paint.
  9. When the theme and colors are more or less clear, you should start painting color patches on the paper. It’s quite more interesting to do it without controlling the shapes and then trying to see what shapes and colors evoke.
  10. While you paint, you must perceive and listen, observing the primary, secondary and tertiary forms that come up to link them, if it’s possible, in order to build a composition where all of them take part and colors dialogue and interact with each other.
  11. After painting something new, you must step away from the paper and observe. This way you will learn to read the colored patches. It’s necessary to clean the brush before using a new color. It’s better, when possible, to uses the brushes for light colors first, and then for darker ones, not vice versa.
  12. Participants should rotate across the surface in a game of brush strokes with color.
  13. It’s difficult to know when to stop; it’s the most difficult part! That’s why it’s so important to step away from the paper to be able to observe, read, and listen to what the painting is telling you. To read the drawings, although it sounds weird, is something we already do when we appreciate (read) shapes in the stars or in the clouds (pareidolia , nefelocoquigia , etc.). They do not necessarily have to be figures that we can recognize; they could also be states of abstraction. Mural painting encourages a similar game; with it you’ll learn to see figures composed by shapes and colors.

foto 4

I hope you enjoy this game as much as we did. Please, share with me your results! I’m looking forward to see those beautiful mural painting you’ll paint. One of these days I could also you show you the other mural paintings we did at home. Would you like that?

Photography: Oscar Rivilla.
Styling and conceptual design: Carolina Verd.
Makeup and hair: Carolina Verd.
Orange shirt: HM, customized by Carolina Verd.
Pink pant: HM.
High heel fuchsia vintage shoes.

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