Create a fantasy underwater world in children’s rooms, school rooms and bathrooms with an easy-to-paint ocean mural. It may appear to be a lot of work, but it is simple if you are patient and work one step at a time. Play with the sizes of objects in your scene to create dramatic effects underwater. Consider a huge shark in front of a school of tiny fish or an enormous clam showing off a gigantic shiny pearl. Mermaids and mythological sea creatures add to the magic and interest of deep sea murals.

1. Begin with a clean white or neutral-colored wall. If you need to, paint the wall with a prime coat to cover dark colors.

2. Paint the bottom 1/4th of your wall with the sand-colored house paint. You can use regular acrylic paint from an art store. But for painting large areas, house paint is probably more cost effective. Try not to paint a straight line. Instead try a slightly wavy line to create more realism.

3. Paint three bands of blue, blending them as they run into each other. The darkest blue should start at the top line of the sand, followed by medium blue and light blue extending to the ceiling to create depth toward the bottom and surface at the top of the wall. To blend, put a small amount of paint on your brush and scrub one color on top of the other, keeping the paint very thin while wiping excess paint onto a rag. This may take several attempts to achieve a smooth blended appearance.

4. Allow paint to dry for at least 10 minutes before drawing your sea creatures on the wall.

5. Create a composition with pictures you have collected of underwater sea creatures while you wait for the paint to dry. Because you are using an opaque projector, any regular photograph or printout from a computer will work perfectly. For a seascape, heavier objects such as coral reefs should be at the bottom, while schools of fish that seem lightweight can be placed near the top of the water. Play with scale and direction. Larger objects appear closer, while smaller objects can be seen in the distance to create depth.

6. Project one image at a time onto the wall using the opaque projector in a dark room. While the projector is on and the placement of your object is correct, use a pencil to trace the outline of your object on the wall. Repeat this until all of your objects are drawn on the wall.

7. Squeeze your acrylic paint onto a palette, spray it with water, and mix it with a palette knife to keep it fluid and easy to use. Start with larger brushes to paint in the biggest shapes first, working toward smaller brushes and details as you go. Allow each layer of paint to dry before adding more paint. Add final details of bubbles to make your mural come alive.

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