Written by: Yuliia
I am Yuliia, an ESC volunteer from Ukraine in Association Sunce. I came to Split to learn more about nature protection and help Sunce with its activities and events. My first working day in the organization was untypical as my coordinator said because I was going to assist the other ESC volunteer Olena from Association Sunce in painting murals. I was super excited about this since I’ve never painted this huge picture on walls but always dreamt to. So in this article, I’m going to tell you a bit about the backstage of creating a wall mural in one of Split schools which you can do anywhere. Let’s go!
1. The first step to mural creation is coming up with an idea.
Or better to say coming up with an idea that solves the problem. Art has the ability to teach the audience and urge them to take certain actions. Since we are a nature-protecting organization, our painting has to have an ecological topic. We didn’t want it to be just a pretty picture in a school hallway, but a reminder for students about ecological issues that need awareness. In Skalice school, students chose sea protection and endangered sea species. So, the first step is to ask yourself: what will this mural teach those passing by this wall and what is the message we want to deliver?
2. Make a mural sketch.
How to express the message through visual art? There must be a lot of different ways to come up with the sketch. It may be something that comes to your head or something the other artists already did. Olena wanted students to be the creators of this mural. What she did is that she, in agreement with the art teacher, came to school a month before the actual mural painting and held an educational workshop about endangered sea species. Inspired by her lecture, students made sketches of protected animals and plants they wanted to see on the school wall. Then she combined students’ sketches into one, making one final sketch with the help of a graphic designing app.
3. Plan the quantities of necessary materials and acquire them
Now it’s time to think about the wall you want to use and purchase the needed materials. According to the sketch, what colors do you need? Is your mural going to be big or small and following that, how much paint will you use? Do you need a ladder? Do you want someone to help you? If yes, think about the number of people helping you. How many brushes may come in handy? If you are working inside, consider taking a protective sheet from paint drops. In this stage, you need to plan the quantities of needed materials and gather them all. As we worked in school, there were a lot of helping hands. Children were excited about the artwork and eager to be involved in the process.
Also, it is important to put the pencil sketch on the wall to plan and make it easier to paint with the color.
4. Mix the paint, take the brushes and start painting the mural.
Now since everything is prepared it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do what we all waited for. Mix the paint, take brushes, and enjoy the process. There were so many students to help us in Skalice school along with detail to take care of that we hardly had a chance to take pictures of the whole process. What Olena and I mostly did was mix colors and guide students through their work when they didn’t know what to do or had any questions.
5. Cleaning up.
Once you are done there – clean it all up. Gather the brushes together, wash and dry them, and make sure all paints that remained are tightly closed and won’t dry up before the next use. Clean up the floor if needed and put things back in their places.
6. Take pictures and celebrate.
Since the wall is painted and the room is nice and clean, that’s high time to mark the completion of the project and have a small evaluation session with your team. Simply answer a few questions to make your further projects even more successful:
What was good?
What was bad?
What could be improved?
This is a full toolkit for creating a wall painting in school and anywhere where you wish to realize a wall mural. We’re glad to deliver the message of sea protection to teachers, schoolchildren and their parents with the help of art. We thank the Skalice School for the help in this mission.
The project “Solidarity for Green Dalmatia 2021” is financed by the European Union through the European Solidarity Corps program.