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Mural Artist Transformed My Space: A Case Study

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
Mural Room Mural In Home Paint Walls

Transforming a room is no easy task – but if you are a mural artist you certainly have a head start. Mark Harper has been an artist for more than 20 years now, and runs Harper Art Services. Among his many skills are mural and scenic painting, trompe l'oeil and other specialist paint techniques. Here he talks about using those skills and brining the outdoors into the interior of one particular room.

Mark said:I have been a mural artist for some time now. I trained as an artist and then moved into sign-writing. Today I work on a huge variety of different projects, from one mural or trompe l’oeil feature through to redecorating and transforming entire rooms.

All sorts of rooms are suitable for working on and in the past I have used my skills to change the way bedrooms, bathrooms, toilets, dining rooms, hallways, landings and even loft conversions have looked. In fact, I’ve probably worked on most rooms except for kitchens.

The Best Projects to Work on

The projects I particularly enjoy working on, however, tend to have larger walls. Dining rooms are often good. This is mainly because when standing to view elements of perspective work, along with any trompe l’oeil props, most positions of the mural look will look right. I think this is perhaps because you can view it in the correct proportions and scale.

Trends change in what people ask for on their walls. At the moment, it seems that landscapes, children’s playrooms and countryside vistas are particularly popular.

Room Transformation

One particular room in a house that I’ve worked on that really stands out was a small office, set up for IT and computer equipment, that I turned into a gothic arched turret room! It had a view of the Italian hills – somewhere like Tuscany - looking through the arches to the open sea.

Before I set to it with my paint brush, it was a dull, box-shaped room, and the owner felt very penned in while he was working. Now he looks forward to every moment he sits down and works in there. It has gone from being somewhere really lifeless to becoming a space that is just lovely!

Sometimes I work very closely with the clients – at other times I just go for it myself. This time I gave them some suggestions. In return they said: “We will leave just it up to you.”

Transforming that study took me approximately one week – about 40 hours of my time. It evolved as the clients could see it developing. Their input was more to do with the trompe le’oeil work. They wanted details such as cloves on the window ledge, books and an empty bottle of wine with cork! These sorts of painted props bring the mural into 3D aspect and that’s what people love about it.

This project was very successful. It made the room look so much larger than before, as well as making it brighter and more welcoming. It was also something they felt quite proud of. It became a conversation point – something to show off perhaps! Painting a mural also gives people a sense of pride. After all, there are not many people that have murals on their walls.

It can also make such a difference. A dull, shadowy corner can be disguised so it’s brighter, longer, cleaner looking and generally happier looking overall, whatever the subject matter.

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