My mural style is simpler and more graphic than my other fine art paintings, and I think it as a bridge between fine art and interior design. The subject matters of my murals so far have been trees, however, I am happy to work with flowers and animals too if my clients desire so. In general I stay with Nature theme because we all need a little bit of that Devine connection wherever we dwell.
The Spirit of the tree
I started to paint murals at first on my own wall, as an experiment, then it brought me clients to paint for their homes.
finished mural - size and materials
The wall is proximately 16.5'X8.5'. The mural depicts a view from a center of the tree, looking out to the branches and leaves. There's a dove resting on one of the main branch. I rendered the dove with full shading compared with the tree itself of a tonal and graphic approach. It's an experiment so there's a lot of room to play with - the layout, the colors, and the style of the art itself. I used acrylic paint from my normal fine art materials on this wall, but that's just because I had the paint already; it doesn't have to be this type of paint. I later experienced using house paints and that turned out great. I am also learning how to use spray paint, and that would be for exterior mural projects down the road.
I had to first tape the wall and lay down the tarp on the floor, then I used pencils to draw the outline of the tree, the branches and twigs and leaves, which took about 8-10 hours but not in one sitting. I did it within 2 days. Then I painted the background color, leaving all the rest as the original wall color, which is off-white. Later I added the second layer of color, the lighter grey, as the shading of the branches and leaves; the next step was to bring in the accent yellow, which adds the life and whimsy to the whole. Finally I rendered the dove, which I consider optional, but for my own curiosity I just wanted to see how it looked when 2 different styles clashes...I guess I liked it! The total time spent on this one wall is about 10 working days when in one continuous sitting, proximately 6 hours a day.
my latest mural for a san francisco client
I chose a softer palette of same formula of grey and yellow, but in a much more feminine feel for a female client living in downtown San Francisco, California. The size of the wall is about 8' tall and 10' long. I used normal wall paint on this mural.
I started with a gray wall, so this time I don't need to paint the background, but I need to paint the subject in 3 different colors - ivory, light grey and soft yellow. With the same style as the one in my own loft, this one is a different kind of tree, and the leaves clusters feel more like flowers.
Same process - taped the wall, laid down the tarp, and penciled the outlines; it took me much shorter time this time; I used one working day to get the pencil lines done, and the next day I started to add colors. I switched from ivory and light grey back and forth, because I liked to see how the patterns evolved according to my vision.
How do I charge for murals?
Each mural is different, so the way I charge for any mural projects are the combination of the following:
1. Minimum: each mural begins at a minimum of $1,500.00 per project (tax not included), which covers 2 working days worth of time on sketching and painting, 6 hours a day (not including preparation for the surface) - price includes materials/paints/tools
2. Square footage: for each 8'X8' wall, the price is $2,000 (which is already exceeding the minimum charge so if your wall size is larger than 8'X8', you can ignore the minimum charge) and I charge every 4'X4' increment for $500 afterward.
3. If outside the Greater LA area, there may be a charge for travel, room & board, and other fees.