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  • Nicola Jayne

Under the Sea- Children's Nursery Mural

Updated: Apr 22

Recently I've been working on a lot more art projects than I was before lock down, its been great to see so many people using this time to be productive and get creative projects moving and finished!


Here's one of my favorites that have been under way so far. Murals are probably some of the most time consuming projects that I have ever worked on, and this is actually my second underwater themed mural to date. The first being in a dive shop in Venezuela!

So how do you even get started on such a mammoth task? Well the process is quite long for these ones, starting with measuring the room and any obstructions you have such as the windows and radiator. Once that is all measured and placed onto paper you can work out how much space you have for your design. Firstly I sketched the design onto paper in pencil so I could make as many changes as I liked to the artwork and final design. By the end it looked something like this:

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Once that was done, the pencil work was imported into Adobe Photoshop where each individual segment was traced to create bold line art. Like so:

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Once the line art was created for each part of the mural all the files were uploaded to a USB stick and then projected onto the wall using a projector!


I would then essentially trace over my own artwork with a watered down paint onto the wall, for the paint I used a System 3 white acrylic . When the trace work was done I would turn off the projector, and go over the line work about 3 times with the same white paint but just less watered down, this was to make sure the lines looked crisp and really stood out!


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This was the most time consuming part of project as the lines needed to be really bright to contrast with the walls. Below you can see the different stages in the coats of paint; the angel fish in the bottom right only having one coat, then the giant clam to the bottom left having a full 3!

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Once all of the line art was solidified it was just a case of going round with a very fine paintbrush and cleaning up some of the lines and making sure everything flowed together properly and there was no mistakes. When it was all finished the end project looked like this!


Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

I was so happy to be finished!

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

This fish shoal took hours, especially all the tiny scales and fins!

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

Corals and shells.

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

A pair of Angel fish.

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

The mermaid was one of my favorite bits to paint, especially all of her flowing hair!

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog
Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

This mother and calf humpback whales were a lot of fun to complete!



Front back cover traditional media watercolour artist art illustration illustrator uk nottingham derbyshire childrens fantasy fiction book mural childrens murals custom derby nottinghamshire hand painted blog

The first underwater mural I did for a dive shop was in full colour, and I loved the idea of this one just being made up of 2 solid colours. I think the results turned out to be a lot more modern and would clash less once all the furniture had gone in for the nursery. It ended up being a totally bespoke piece that took close to 80 hours plus. Once you added in all the time for the initial pencil design, the line art in Photoshop, then all of the final painting work on the wall. But I think it was so worth it, and would love the opportunity to do one again! I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my process for this children's mural, and please get in touch if you would like something similar doing in your own home. These can of course work in schools, shops or any other environment.





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