Botticelli Venus mural


oil painter
Here's the final version of my mural that I was working on this summer. I’m actually surprised how much I enjoyed painting it. The figure is a size of an average size person so this figure is the first this big I’ve ever painted. Before starting I was sure I won’t be able to paint that big but it was surprisingly easy. The wall size is about: 2.5 m x 2.3 m and paints are outside wall (latex?) paints that tolerate very cold temps.

This is what we see when I open the sauna door (2nd photo) and this is also the view from the bath top when the door is open so it's much nicer now that just a plein grey wall. This was fun project for the summer.
I posted this to WC, murals as well and the picture is showing side ways there too so if anybody knows how to rotate it would be the most helpful ..



Wow! Great mural and colors. Must have been tricky using those paints.
P. Barrie, it was incredibly difficult. I only had three colors (ochre, english/indian red, blue) and black'ish (grey/blue black actually) and white. But painting big was fun and painting it outside summertime was nice. Thank you for commenting.
Just beautiful Moscatel! Adds a lot to the area!(y)
Thank you, Sno! :love:

I used these photos from my Botticelli book as references. When I was balancing on a chair painting her face and hair I had the book in left hand and paint brush in the other.
For my surprise the photos are showing correct way now! :rolleyes: I don't know what happened before ..


Lovely mural painting!!! 😍 I always wanted to do something like that, but never knew how to start. Did you do that with oil or acyclic? I've heard that acyclic is better for this purpose?
DM, thank you. This wall is outside in cold weather and in summer heat but no direct sunshine nor rain/snow hits this wall. Because I live some part of the year in -20 .. even -30 so no acrylic or oils. I think it's called latex paint or something. It's made to last very cold temps. I went to a reliable paint store that sells normal house paints, different kind of paints, etc. I asked them "paints to paint a cement wall/mural", I also asked if I needed to do first a treatment with an other paint/special liquid or paint the wall first with another basic color (as you see in one picture it was an ugly grey original). No, nothing was needed with these paints, they already had everything in them. You need to count approx. the surface square meter for each color and then you know how much paint you will need to buy. You can ask in the paint store all these things considering if your wall gets rain, humidity and the temperature (min, max). For brushes I used the house painting brushes what I found here at home and for the face of Venus I used my oil painting brushes, some that are ok to get damaged even. I don't recommend your best brushes. For eyes and nails (small detail) you can use very small size.
I tried to make an oil painting of Botticelli Venus first because I haven't painted that many figures at all, so I attach here a photo of the beginning of the oil painting and oil painting mixtures which were "copy" mixtures of the latex paints. But in the end I didn't go any further with the oil painting on canvas but started to paint directly the wall instead (with latex paints).
I only bought a can of 1. Yellow Ochre, 2. dark red (Indian red, Venetian red kind), 3. blue for sky + water (Cerulean blue kind, any greyish blue will do for sky), 4. quite dark grey almost black and 5. white. Five cans of color total. I didn't want to spend more money for these paints, but you can buy more colors. Mine was kind of limited palette. ;)
When I was painting this Botticelli I was going to an atelier same time where we had a teacher (very young tiny girl) who paints big murals. She paints the walls of entire three-floor-flats! Huge walls! She told me an advice: these paints dry very fast (in half an hour or so) so when I paint a figure I need to get small yogurt containers or other crystal cans that have a cap to close tight. Mix a skin tone value from five or more values (she recommended 10 values) and put one value mix to each container. So you have for several days to paint the figure. Because they dry fast it's impossible to mix all the time. I didn't need five values, three was enough for me.
Also, wall needs to be clean of dust and other dirt before adding paint, so I was recommended to wipe the dust out and even clean it with water + soap.
I recommend you to paint a mural because it was so much fun! Beforehand I thought I can not do this, I can not paint a big figure, I can not do a mural, I won't even like it because it's not oils but I was wrong. It was probably one of my most enjoyable projects. If you have a difficult moment with the paints or other just keep repeating "I can do this". That's what I did. I recommend summertime so it's warm for you to paint. Also my paints needed +20 C min. temp. to do the actual painting job and drying so summertime was good choice.

If you have any questions more, you can just ask me and I try to help.

I used these paints:

The type of cans I used for values and added labels to them to remember. In the color chart you can see the blue (X) and red (X) I used:

Here's the beginning of the oil painting but I decided it would take me too long so I jumped directly to the mural. I also used some charcoal to place the figure and to help the basic "top of the head" "lowest of feet" etc.:

I did oil painting mixes copying exact colors of the latex paints I had to see how to use these color tones for the mural. I did try these out on canvas a little while but stopped and moved to the mural with latex paints.
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Ah, interesting, so the main lesson is just ask. 😂 I'll look into it later. Summer's a bit difficult since I'll be traveling, but I'm sure I will find a way. Also limited palette is what I had in mind, it seems to be the best way and maybe save money that way. It actually was a good thing in your case, it is harmonious and the red wall next to it shines too! I love it! Also, great advice about pre-mixed values, I'll keep that in mind.
This is so, so, so, SO awesome that I'm about speechless. I love the idea, the area where it resides, your limited palette, and the fact that you made it work!!!

It's one of the most fun things I've seen in someone's home. Be glad we're not neighbors because I'd be on bended knee asking for a mural from a master like this. 😆
P. Barrie, it was incredibly difficult. I only had three colors (ochre, english/indian red, blue) and black'ish (grey/blue black actually) and white. But painting big was fun and painting it outside summertime was nice. Thank you for commenting.
So, sounds very similar to a Zorn palette? Except I don't think blue is part of it.
That is a beautiful end result. I love the way you did the sky. I also enjoyed the detailed description of the process and materials.