Saturday, November 01, 2014

getting creative on the wall

Yesterday I shared the wings that I painted as a backdrop for our Halloween post and today I thought it would be fun to share a peek into the process and share a few tips and insights into painting a wall!

wings from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

The first time I painted a wall was my sophmore year of college in my first apartment (which was a dump). I painted a quote and little mural above my bed trying to pretty things up. Since then I've been smitten with painting walls. As you know I love to work large but working on a wall is beyond large and can be a huge undertaking but there is nothing better than using creativity to turn a wall into art. 

As I shared a while back my painting large post, painting big- as big as a wall requires a lot of paint! When I work on a wall I almost always purchase quarts (or gallons) of house paint in the colors I will be working with. While a lot of my creative process is about  being spontaneous and working in the moment, when I paint a wall I actually take time to at least plan out my color scheme so I don't waste paint.

TIP- When I use black paint to doodle on the wall I mix my paint with a little bit of water. I have found that when I am doing a lot of line work with a brush I like my paint to be a little watery- it makes things go quicker because I don't have to keep reloading my brush with paint.

Using creativity and art to transform a wall is a great way to add something special to a room in the house but not everyone is crazy like me and willing to a paint mural in the master bedroom! I like to recommend starting small before making a big commitment. Painting a small batch of color or pattern on the inside of a closet, a door, a wall in the garage or even in a spare room is a great way to get your feet wet painting a wall.

TIP: If you are not at all ready to paint a wall in your home, try working large. A giant piece of canvas, wood or even sheet rock are all surfaces that can give you the same feeling and scale as a wall. A faux wall is another option- I can't paint the walls in my studio space so we created hollow, moveable walls that I use for painting.

There is no right or wrong way to paint a wall (in my humble opinion) so don't be afraid to use your favorite mixed media, drawing or painting techniques. Stamping is a great way add fast decoration, doodling or line drawings can create the look of wall paper and color and expressive painting techniques can turn a wall into a piece of fine art!

TIP: If you are not comfortable working spontaneously on the wall, try creating a scaled down version of your idea or even try using a projector to get your design up on the wall.

And the best advice I can give when it comes to painting a wall is... THAT IT'S JUST PAINT! It is so easy to get caught up in making things perfect or stress about decor decisions. But really, pretty much anything can be painted over (and over and over). This is my favorite part of painting walls-  a can of white paint or primer makes it possible to change it up and begin again. 


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