Thursday, June 11, 2015

Making Minions Happen

Have you seen those giant wall stickers?  More like wall murals?  Most are quite expensive.  Once they're on the wall,there's this feeling of permanence (until of course you move or decide to paint over everything.

Well, we like having stuff on our walls, especially color, but living in a rental where paint is not allowed has forced us to come up with other creative ways to do things.  And I'm really glad!  Because I love what we came up with here in my son's room.

Caedyn likes Minions.  And he likes Legos.  There was an outward argument he had with himself of about 5 minutes in length for him to decide which decor he wanted to go with.  He really wanted to Legos, to be honest.  But the Lego decor that's available is pricey and so over-saturated with so many bright colors, that I admit, we distracted him.  We suggested Minions AND Legos.  You may remember this post here:

Notice that those Lego brick shelves are painted in nice Minion yellow with a contrasting blue.

And we suggested, "Hey, maybe the Minions are building Legos in their laboratory."  I think that was the convincing argument. 

Anyway, here's how we did it.

We began with a pair of window shades.  This was a freebie offered on craigslist, but I'm sure you can pick them up new at stores or online, too.

One of these shades went under Mystery's bed for Breezie's little sanctum.  We haven't quite finished it, but here is a sneak peek:

The other, we hung up under Caedyn's bed, and I have been staring at it periodically, trying to figure out how to turn it into Gru's lab, and ignoring it the rest of the time.   It worried me.  I'm not that good at creating techy looking stuff as artwork.  It's not my forte, so to speak.  Give me fantasy mountains and unicorns basking in rainbow mists, and I will happily go off with paintbrush or pen and create a masterpiece.  Give me a laboratory and I stare at a white canvas for months, feeling glum.  Truth.

I say all that to comfort those who might feel that way about any kind of painting.  The important thing is to finally get brave enough to slap some paint on, and then just keep working with it.

 I began (finally) with a wash of blue.  Two blues, one darker, one lighter.    I used those cheap little craft acrylics, and it didn't take much.  My paintbrush was either my finger, or a bunched up paper towel, because that seemed to spread the paint around on the canvas best of all.

Then, I made the pipes out of gray, and added some blue detail to make it feel like it's all lit with a blue light.  The lighting at the bottom is from a gold that seemed to work well.  

A close up shows that my painting isn't perfect: I'm a little sloppy, in fact.  The truth is that it isn't the paint job that makes the laboratory look great.  It's the minions.  And we bought those from Amazon here:

They were $6.00 for the set of 5.  That's pretty good. 

They're also a nice (slightly) transparent sticker, so some of the colors from my background filtered through to the minions, making them feel like they're in the same lighting and like they belong in the scene. 

You can do this, people!  And it doesn't have to cost over $100 to make it happen. 

Now...if I can just find some Lego wall stickers to add in here and there...

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