Nov 11, 2011 - Design Steps, From Scratch    3 Comments

Wall Mural Drama: Part 3 Paint By Numbers Delicate Arch

If you haven’t read the other Mural 101 series, check them out first.  Part 1 & Part 2


Have you been to any of the U.S. National Parks?  We have several here in Utah, but one stands out amongst the rest.  Arches.

Delicate Arch Mural

It is so beautiful with the red rock, arches, and blue horizons.  It is so loved here in Utah that it is one of the options for a license plate (perfect for our 3 Jeeps and Discovery)!

Delicate Arch Mural

I’ve taken trips there with roommates, my hubby, and a few years ago my kids and sister’s family.  There are easy trails and beautiful scenic drives that all ages can enjoy.  It’s very hot in the summer with temperatures easily reaching 100 degrees in the summer.  This brings me to my mural.  In my basement we have a “storage” room that we converted into a workout room.  There are no windows, it is rather cool and still doesn’t have a finished floor.  Who wants to exercise in there?  That’s when Arches hit me.

Look at the rich colors!  Even the baby enjoyed our trip.

Arches National Park

 What a beautiful place to be surrounded by.  I wanted to exercise outside, in the fresh air, and preferably warm summer weather.  I thought it would be inspiring to look in the wall of mirrors

(yet to be installed, wow they are pricey), and see my self running, pumping some iron, or doing yoga with the arch behind me.

So I got to work.


I searched for a beautiful graphic of the “Delicate Arch” but found nothing that was speaking to me.  That’s when I remembered all of the old license plates piled up in the garage.

I busted one out and took a photo of it.

Delicate Arch Mural

Then I printed it out on to 2 pieces of paper, half on each.  I opened up a page protector (I’m big on these cheapies if you couldn’t tell) and traced the outlines the best I could.

My trusty overhead projector was set up and the image was shot on the wall.  I grabbed a pencil and started retracing each of the lines.  This one took about 1 1/2 hours.

Now for the painting.  The beauty of this graphic is that it is all color blocking.  No gradient colors, no mixing, just straight forward paint by numbers.

I wanted to be representative of the colors of the red rock but also have the colors flow in my home.  The main wall color in my home is Kwall’s Historic series “Desert Sand” so I painted the entire room with the builders leftovers.  I purchased a few paints, I used a few I had already, and found one mis-tint that worked great (there are a surprising number of mis-tints in the Arches color scheme!  Ha ha, terracotta must be difficult for the paint machines to match).


Then the easy part.  Fill in the spaces with the matching color.  It would have been easiest if I had matched up the numbers to the colors, but instead I just kept referring back the the license plate.  I used all varieties of painting methods, rollers for the big spaces, foam brushes, tiny and large paint brushes.  I needed to add a little artist interpretation for the walls to the left and right of the main mural to extend it to the size and scale that I wanted.  If you look closely you can see that I painted right over our power box covers so they’d blend right in.

Paint by Numbers Mural


Here is the room so far.  A few gym pieces, a small TV for my P90X videos, and an awesome, inspiring view of nature via a

paint by numbers mural.

Paint by Numbers Mural

Doesn’t this make you want to work out? Paint by Numbers Mural

You can see how simple the detail really is, paint by number people! Paint by Numbers Mural

This is where I took some artistic liberty, continuing the mural on to the next wall. Paint by Numbers Mural

The colors are bright and vibrant yet warm and welcoming. Paint by Numbers Mural

You can so do this.  If you can color AND stay within the lines,

give it a try!

Paint by Numbers Mural

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