trompe l’oeil kitchen mural
I was called in to do a mural for the owner of a cabinet showroom. He wanted a “window” on the wall behind a cabinet display. His wife had bought a window frame with a mirror in it at a crafts store, but the owner wasn’t happy with it.
I told him Yes, I could give him a “window” with a real view. First, I took the measurements, then began planning.
My first inclination was to give him a view I would love to have outside my own window, so I picked one of my favorite digital pictures from a recent trip to San Luis Obispo county.
I then used MS Paint to sketch in some waves – being a pretty hardcore surfer in my youth, I wanted some nice point-break waves in my picture, to liven it up. I also used MS Paint to overlay a window-type grid to the picture. I liked the effect, but it seemed a bit static to me.
Searching the internet, I found a picture of an arched casement window, with the panels opened. They weren’t opened the same on each side, and I liked the “uneven” dynamic it added to the picture, although I knew it would make the drawing just a little more difficult. I also liked the way the open window seemed to bring the view into the room.
Once I had the basic idea, I drew a full-sized sketch, which I took with me, and used for drawing my sketch on the wall. Before doing that, I floated the wall out with a layer of drywall compound, sanded and primered it, to give me a smoother surface to paint on.
Then I began the painting, starting with the background, and working my way forward. I didn’t add a lot of detail to the windows themselves, but tried to make the basic shapes accurate, and let the viewer’s imagination do the rest. I did do some research on casement window cranks, to try to add a little more realism.
Once I was nearly finished, I added a bottle of soap, and a sponge, for that extra “trompe l’oeil” touch.
And that was it, nothing else to do but add my signature and phone number, and wait for the commissions to pour in. Ha!
A little paint and some imagination was all that was needed to create this "window" view over the kitchen sink...in a cabinet display showroom.
First I picked a favorite photo from my personal archives - this one from a recent trip to the coast.
Next step was a thumbnail sketch. Then I drew a full-sized sketch, to aid in transferring my sketch to the wall.
I floated the mural area out with a layer of drywall topping mud and sanded it, to give me a smoother surface to paint on. Then I began roughing in the basic shapes.
My mural progressed from background to foreground.