Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Paint (Mural) a Shingled Roof

Another reader has written and asked how to paint roof shingles in a mural that they are doing.

I'm painting an interior wall mural and need an effect for shingles on a roof. I'm guessing a similar technique to the stone block effect using a darker color for the base coat which would be whatever you call the "mortar" area of a shingle. Then I will glaze coat a lighter color in shingle shapes? How do I get the perspective of say, three rows of 4x8" shingles?

Here are a few step by step instructions:

1. Gather reference pictures like the one above. All you do is go to Google Images and type in what you are looking for. A million pictures will come up.

2. Choose colors going from light to medium to dark. I would pick 4 to 5 different colors to work with.

3. Practice on a sample board. This is always my number one suggestion before attempting to paint an actual wall. That way, if you make a mistake, you can figure it out before making a mess of the mural.

4. Paint the area with the darkest color first

5. Measure the area. You may need to use some perspective skills depending on how the roof is being viewed in the mural. Notice in the above picture that you are looking at the roof from the bottom, so the shingles look smaller at the top. The first picture below is one point perspective and the second picture is two point perspective. This will give you an idea on how you should be measuring.

The Art of Perspective: The Ultimate Guide for Artists in Every Medium

Tip: use a watercolor pencil to mark your measurements. It will be washable on your painted surface and you can get them in any color.

6. Start painting the bottom shingles first. You will have to layer one on top of the next. Use your medium color.

7. Paint in the shadows with your darkest color

8. Paint in the highlights with your lightest color. Remember that your light source will be coming from one direction, in this case the top of the shingle roof, especially if your imaginary sun is out.

So, that should give you an idea of where to start. The hardest part will probably be getting the perspective right. I always have trouble with that. But once you figure that out - you should be fine. Happy Painting!!

Be sure to check out this great book on Perspective Painting.


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Murals & Faux Finishing - Tips, Advice, and Ideas - Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008