How I Turned a Painters CANVAS TARP Into a Scene for the School Play

by Melly
My two youngest kiddos are performing in a play at their school, and the teachers asked me to paint the backdrop for the play.
The first step after purchasing 2- 6'x9' canvas tarps was to put a layer of plastic over my walls to protect them from any paint bleeding through the tarp and onto the wall. Then I pinned the canvas onto my wall and sketched in the design that I would be painting on it.
After i had my picture all sketched onto the canvas the next step was choosing the colors I would use for the walls and floors in the painting. For most of this mural I used latex wall paint. But when it came time to add the small details, I did those with acrylics.
Now you can start to see the painting take shape. It's beginning to look like a living room. (which is what I was hired to create)
With some help from my 15 yr. old, we are finally getting most of the details painted in.
In this picture you can see how the details are starting to make the room come alive. This mural had to be done in two pieces because the school needed a background that would measure 18' wide. So we are finished with this side of the room, now onto the other side....
I decided to skip showing just the sketch of this side and jump ahead to the beginning of the base coat process.
So, as you can see this side of the room has a rock fireplace, and some chairs. I used latex on the walls, but the entire fireplace area was painted with acrylic paints. I liked the flow of the acrylics better for the smaller areas. It dries faster so that I can quickly move onto the next layer of paint.
I finally have all the details painted and the shadows in place...Now it's time to put the two paintings together and get them sewn together.
pardon the mess around the painting, but when I do these murals, I paint pretty much nonstop for two days until I can get it finished. The kids like to hang out with mom while I paint so the room gets a little crazy by the time we are finished, but I love having them there with me while I paint.

But here they are...Both sides together. I need to do a few small touch ups, but then I can combine them for the program.
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  2 questions
  • Brooke Boling Gravett Brooke Boling Gravett on Mar 02, 2019

    Did you prime the canvas before painting? I have to do the same type project.

  • Kay Kay on Dec 12, 2019

    Can this be out in the weather I think there should be tarps with trees n bautiful scenes for outside

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  • Lori Lori on Mar 18, 2016
    Oh my goodness, that's so great. I can see why the teacher asked you. What a good mom.
  • Nikki Nikki on Mar 19, 2016
    Amazing!!!! I see why they asked you to do the back drop! You are truly talented! =)