How to paint tree mural on a wall
If you’ve ever liked the idea of having a tree on an interior wall but have no idea where to start, then this is the guide for you. We will take you through the process of painting a tree mural on a wall in 12 simple steps.
You should have some tools and materials to paint the tree mural, including backdrop, light blue paint, dark blue paint, forest green paint, black paint, pencils, ruler, T-square, and brush.
You need to outline trees in brown pencil around your wall in order to be able to work it well. The completion of outlining takes about 30 minutes. This is for ordinary people who can draw well.
If you are not that good at art, especially when it comes to sketching or drawing, then this step may take more time than usual.
How to do it? Draw the lines with a ruler firstly, then follow up with pencils. Some people even use markers instead of pencils. It is flexible which you can choose any of them. Once you are done, use dark blue paint to color in the outline of the trees, which means filling it up completely. Make sure that your lines are clear and there is no paint crossing over to other areas so they will not become mixed up.
Use bright light blue for this step because you need to be able to see what is inside the outline very clearly. Draw two parallel lines with a ruler next to each other about ten inches apart on one part of your wall where you want the trees situated.
Measure by holding the ruler with one hand, then stretch out your second arm side by side with the first arm while still holding onto your ruler with both hands. Mark 10 inches apart on the wall with your pencil. You can move where you want the trees to go later, right now, just mark these two lines with a pencil throughout the entire 10 inches of space on your wall.
Take note of where your wrist is on either side of both arms while they are still stretched out, holding onto the ruler. These are where you will draw four dots representing each place where you will put an elbow in order to get nice evenly spaced branches for this step.
Take six pieces of string equal in length and tie them into half knots at one end. Next, slip three strings through each dot made by your elbows in order to create loops around each dot.
The exact height pretty much depends on how tall your room is, but I would say about 6’9″ or so is a good standard height. Of course, you’ll need to experiment and cut the strings accordingly before you do anything else.
The next step is to attach these string loops around your pencil marks with tape while you stretch out each string in order to get an even distance between each one while still allowing for all six of them to be easily adjustable until they reach that “optimal” height. That’s pretty much all for this step. You might have to adjust one string again after drawing the triangles in order to make sure they are all evenly spaced from each other, but overall, I would say this step took me about 15 minutes at most. There isn’t really anything too complicated about this step compared with the trees themselves, which is why I said earlier that this is not an intermediate tutorial (not yet anyway). Now on to step three!
You need to wait for 20 minutes in order to set your green wall paint after step 2 is completed. You need a T-square and a pencil to draw the tree’s pattern on the wall in this step.
The tree’s shape can be arbitrary; however, you should remember that each of the trees must have a different height, width, and angle. It will be a nice touch if you manage to make a great combination of patterns from diverse trees types such as pine trees, palm trees, etc… This will lead to more realistic work, later on, so do try your best!
This is the final step before you begin to paint dark blue, forest green, and black on your wall mural.
In this part, you will draw shadows of trees on the white surface which means you need to use a background color instead of a forest green color. You define shadow from a certain object by using two variables such as darkness and place of origin/where it falls upon.
For beginners, just follow what has been drawn on your outline around the wall in brown pencil. Additionally, if needed, add more shadow lines over some area that doesn’t have enough shadow to make it more realistic.
This step takes 30 minutes for ordinary people.
How to do it? Use a T-Square and draw lines around the tree’s shape. Be careful! Don’t forget the tips of trees such as pine trees, etc… because this is not just a simple straight line which you can use pencil or ruler to draw that kind of shape. However, there are some techniques that professional artist uses that we will not be talking about in this article theme.
Now you need dark blue and forest green paint to paint shadows and trees on the wall mural. Paint the darkest part of your shadow firstly, then follow up with lighter color.
You can add brown color if you want too but keep in mind not to add strong brown color because it will destroy the overall look of your mural if you do so. Dark blue and forest green paint takes 1 hour for ordinary people who can paint well.
However, painting trees is a little bit different from other sections, such as the shadow. In this part, you need to use a small brush that you can buy from any art shop near your place or just simply borrow from others since we are only using it one time and then return it to its owner after all of our work is done.
Now you need black paint, a small brush and a drop cloth (can be old newspapers). This step has been divided into two parts in order for easier understanding, especially for beginners in the painting world.
Part A: You need to outline each of the trees on your mural with black paint. Use small brush then follow up; where shadow starts, at branch’s end. Keep in mind that not all trees have the same shape, some of them are like a blob (mangrove tree) or round at branch’s end (palm tree), this is the time when you begin to become creative and think about how you want your tree’s pattern to look like! The painting takes 30 minutes for average people who have got a steady hand.
Part B: This time is very important because this part will lead your work towards a more realistic result. This part involves coloring leaves on each of the trees’ branches. You don’t have to color all of the branches on each tree but just some of them in order for your work to look natural. Drawing leaves is just like drawing shadows, however, it varies in terms of darkness and place where you put your line.
Now it’s time to remove the pencil lines on your wall mural with a good eraser. It takes 30 minutes only if you are very careful when you erase the pencil lines on your painting. Otherwise, it can take more than 1 hour, especially if you are not familiar with this kind of stuff.
After that, the rest of the work is nothing but waiting for the paint to dry and harden, and then after that, you can use polisher/polish remover to shine up your tree wall mural and make it looks better!
After removing the pencil line (we don’t need to use T-Square when erasing pencil lines), make sure that you are using a good eraser and not a dirty one which has got dark black color or even brown since this kind of eraser can leave trace on your painting!
This step involves applying the final coats then let them dry, which means before applying a second coat, the first coat should be 100% dry! After that, you can either buy flat black spray paint or prepare your own mixture of flat black color with water and stir until the mix becomes dark then, you can use that mix to paint on your wall mural.
This is probably the most important step overall because this step involves applying an oil coat or polish remover. You will need a small piece of rag or any cloth which you don’t mind if they are totally damaged once the painting process has been done, you will need good quality polisher to shine up your tree wall mural, clean wet towel/cloth which you can use to rub off excess oil from each trees’ leaves and branches.
Suppose this is your first time removing excess oil from painting. In that case, you can check how much time does it take for each trees’ leaves to turn dark after applying oil coating, make sure that you don’t apply too much or too less amount of oil since it can cause serious damage once you over apply, if you underapply then it won’t be shiny/slippery enough.
This step involves applying final coats then let them dry once again! For most wall murals, you can either use clear coat spray paint or just simply buy flat clear spray paint from your nearby hardware store, where I live, this kind of spray paint is actually sold in one piece, so if you want to buy more then, you have to buy the whole thing.
Be sure that you shake the cans for at least 1 minute before using them, otherwise, your work will turn out very ugly and blurry, which means uneven color distribution.
Once you are done applying the final coats, then let them dry, now you can start mixing flat dark brown color with water until the mix becomes darker,, which means if they come out from the jar looking lighter,, you have to keep stirring until they become darker.
If that doesn’t work, just simply buy flat dark brown color instead of preprepared watercolor since they are usually sold in one piece, so no need to worry about separating each ingredient by using a small amount of water.
After mixing flat dark brown color with enough amount of water, now you can use your paintbrush or any kind of tool that has got sharp edges like a screwdriver or paint scrapper to dry brush your tree wall mural, or if you like, you can use a paint roller as I did. This step takes 1 hour for ordinary people who want to do it professionally (dry brushing/drying with a paint roller).
You should be done by now, but there is another important thing that might need extra attention, which is called clean up the spilled watercolor since the excess watercolor made its way down to the bottom of each trees’ leaves; therefore, they are not as shiny as other parts, so if you notice any dark spots on your wall mural then you have to wipe them off using wet towel/cloth before it dried completely because once dried then cleaning up after that would cause serious damage and making it look much worse.
Once your tree wall mural is dry, then now it’s ready to be installed on your empty wall space.
Now just give it 24 hours to fully dry, and your new wall will look fab. Great work!