Graphics Made Easy
by Errol Flynn you say you cant even draw flies (your fishing buddies may beg to differ) no you don't have to be an artist I'm certainly not! keep on reading.

After gettin' busted by my squeeze sponge painting the name on her flat-rat (I'm still hearing Martha what's her name jokes) the neighbors even came over to see what was so #%^$& funny.. I tried to tell her I was sponge painting in a very manly way!!

Materials for this design

  • 3 cheap spray cans (just sneak off to the paint section while the wife is getting the groceries)
  • fresh masking tape
  • poster board
  • news paper for masking

This technique will work on cartoons - lettering - landscapes just about anything.  Remember all those cool murals on van conversions in the 1970`s??  Most of them were done this way. Tracing paper can be used if needed, or any of the modern ways - your computer, the photo copy machine at the library, or whatever it takes to get your design on to paper.

This is a simple example that can be done all in one sheet of poster board. For more complex designs, you simply make more than one stencil for your various layers.. but we are going to keep this one simple and cut a few corners along the here goes:

click pictures to enlarge
click to enlarge
...rough sketch (very) i cleaned up the rough stuff as I cut it out with razor knife.. keep in mind that this will be done in layers depending on the graphic involved you will either start from dark colors and work to light or vice versa.
click to enlarge ..2 piece stencil cut in poster board the tongue piece is one of the corners we are going to was cut from extra paper.
click to enlarge ...outline of stencil applied to boat loops of tape to hold it on...{and no I don't have a power sander yet and yes I do have carpel tunnel in both wrists so my boats don't get much sanding}
click to enlarge ...first layer of paint applied
click to enlarge is another corner we are going to cut simply use masking tape to mask off the lips (use fresh tape)
click to enlarge ..tongue stencil applied (are we slackers or what?)
click to enlarge the rest of masking applied then paint
click to enlarge ...tongue mask removed
click to enlarge ...layer 3 mask applied
click to enlarge ...paint applied
click to enlarge all masks removed...the white you see in the black is called a blowout ..on this design it will add to the avoid blowouts simply use rubber cement around edges to stick them down that way paint cant blowout of stencil
click to enlarge .. step back a bit and admire your handy work... and you said you couldn't draw flies let alone do a mural...
click to enlarge ...just me being silly

When doing a mural more often than not it's better to give the impression of an object than to try and paint it in detail.....keeping it simple applies very well in doing a mural

Think layers

When doing larger or more involved murals, key your stencils to your sketch...tape them to your table in a couple of places at the top so you can flip up the sketch then make 90 degree corners on 2 corners of design with tape on table...then you can get each successive stencil to line up with the next and so on ...same goes for applying to your boat key first stencil at 2 corners with tape on the boat at 90 degrees on 2 corners of stencil that way each following layer lines up with preceding layer..

Think layers.

When doing a reverse of your image, like I did, let your stencils dry before doing the reverse because the painted side of stencil will be against the paint job you spent hours sanding filling faring painting (my wrist's hurt just thinking about it!)

If you're not sure how it will look, do a test on cardboard.. the garage wall if your lucky enough to have one of those.

Think layers ( am I getting rhetorical yet???)

So if you have always wanted a scene of that perfect cove where you fall in love with your first mate all over again every time you go there ...or Godzilla on a rampage or what ever trips your trigger just go for it !! And remember most of all HAVE FUN!!...and don't forget to post some pics of that awesome art work of yours so the rest of us slackers can enjoy it too.

errol and his squeeze