Saturday, August 16, 2014

Deer Park Library Mural

This summer I was commissioned to do a mural for the library at Deer Park Elementary School in Centreville, VA. Prior to this, I had painted backdrops and murals with students (at summer camps and schools), but never tackled one all on my own. Eep! Exciting! The librarian and principal were very open to my ideas, and after sending sketches back and forth we settled on a design and they placed their giant 250 square foot wall in my hands.

Here is a piece of the wall, all taped off and ready for primer!

I transferred my sketch by projecting it in sections onto the wall and tracing it in pencil.

Using regular old interior house paint, I kicked things off by doing a night to day fade across the wall (about 40 ft long) using a big brush and gradually mixing dark blue and light blue paints together.

Next, I painted in the green landscape - that's me up on top of the ladder, take THAT fear of heights!

Then came the real fun! I started painting in some details of the Reading Tree.

Here is a progress pic - things are filling in! Also, big shout-out to my mom who came and helped for a couple of days by painting in and around all of those flowers!!

The lions are sleeping under the Leo constellation.

A baby bunny meets a worm! Also, you can see I was using a muffin tin to mix smaller batches of color.

Dinosaurs arrive to terrorize the non-fiction section! Also, an airplane and a reading monkey.

I used a lot of paint and destroyed a lot of paint brushes in the making of this mural.

Finally, after about 3 weeks of painting, it was time to take off the tape and be done! Here are some final shots.

Non-fiction section

The Reading Tree in the reading area, plus me! Hi again!

I managed to quickly get these last shots just as it was getting dark out.

I'm going to miss climbing that ladder every day.

In the end, everyone was happy with how the mural turned out and I learned a lot from the experience. It was fun to do something different, and be challenged to simplify my style a bit in order to paint on such a large and rough (cinderblock) surface. 

And now the next question is - what to do with all of this leftover paint?


  1. How great to see the progression Becca! I love it. It would be very cool to get some photos of the children coming into the library and seeing the mural for the first time.

  2. Awesome job, Becca! It looks fantastic.

  3. So creative and beautiful. That library will be a happier and more stimulating place every day because of your great artsy-ness.

  4. Awesome and visually stunning! Nice work.

  5. Very cool to see the progression. What an undertaking -- such a fun finished product! Think of all the years of enjoyment the school will get out of your work. Go you, Becca!