posted on Oct, 25 2007 @ 02:14 PM
Good question...(long answers)
It depends on the image, but if there's an overriding color (or two colors), then that's painted first.
For example, for this room, I just sketched the reef base shapes, we painted the dark and light blue first, and we painted the base color of the coral
reefs (which was an off-looking brown, but they had faith, and it worked).
Then, while she was painting the reef base color, and sand base color, I was sketching the characters with a white crayon. These sketches were almost
like a coloring book in appearance. For the dolphins and the manatee, I just sketched the base shapes.
While she painted the base colors of the drawn in characters, I then painted the base shapes of the various coral. At this point, they resembled just
blobs of color. I'd alternate between painting some of the character detail, and then using different techniques on the various coral. For example,
for the brain coral balls, I'd start with a base oval of a dark color, like red. Then, starting at the top, I'd make little circles of a lighter
color, like orange or pink. This would continue to about 2/3 to the bottom, and then it would blend in. After, I'd go back with a lighter color
(yellow if orange, white if pink), and put a highlight on the top of the coral. It's pretty easy, and gave a nice effect. I'd show her how to do the
coral effects, and then she did that while I went back in and outlined the characters, or painted freehand details.
The pirate ships were completely freehanded paint with a brush and only light blue paint, I sketched with the paint as I drew/painted them in.
While I could have used a lot more colors, hues, etc., it would have taken even more time. I find that as long as you have 3 different shades of a
color (dark, lighter, really light or white), it's enough to make something look very 3 dimensional and pleasing. Of course, for characters, usually
only 2 shades are needed (one for shadow).
For the large color areas, we used satin interior paint (I'd recommend either satin or semi-gloss, if you don't mind the shine, so you can clean
them). For the variety of colors, I usually just use the tube acrylics you can get in craft stores, for about $1-$2 a tube. Some use the fancier
tubes, but the inexpensive ones work and last just fine. My first mural is a couple years old now, and it looks just as good as the day I finished it.
I then spray a fixitive on it, just in case.