What is mural painting

If you want to know what mural painting is and what some of its main characteristics are, you are in the right place! Below we want to share with you all the information you need to know first-hand about mural painting and the importance this technique has nowadays in any place and space you may need.

Definition of mural painting

Mural painting is a painting technique that uses a wall as a support, that is to say, a bi-dimensional space, in order to represent any type of figurative art. Regardless of the type of wall where the mural painting is developed, it aims to provide an artistic value on the site being painted.

In principle this type of artistic representation is conditioned by the dimensions of the wall, in addition to the architectural characteristics. This makes it a two-dimensional art modality.

In spite of this, if we stop to observe some of the works of mural painting, the idea of “two-dimensional” is only theory. On certain occasions the purpose of this type of painting can be to provide a sensation of depth in space. In this case we could be talking about trompe-l’oeil painting. A type of painting where depth and space play a primordial role.

Characteristics of a mural

The main characteristic that defines the mural painting, is without a doubt, its decorative character. In fact people who resort to the services of muralism is because they want to solve an aesthetic need, or to give a value to a wall that was degraded. In both cases the purpose is always going to be decorative.

With this clear idea we think that these are the 3 common characteristics that you will always find in the mural painting projects:

  • Use of a fixed support

If the object of the mural painting is to paint on a wall, it is logical to think that this type of painting is used on a fixed support. However, it may be the case that a mobile support of certain dimensions is also used to paint on it. For example, in the decoration of a festival or any other event.

That is why, in most cases, it is painted on a support (wall, facade in works, etc) with the main purpose of generating a visual impact and a landscape value in the environment.

  • Large dimensions

Large walls are today one of the favorite supports of muralists and graffiti professionals. It is possible to develop all the potential that an urban artist has inside. The aim is to cover the whole wall with a unique and characteristic representation.

However, this is not a unique feature, since it is also possible to develop mural painting on the wall of a business, local or particular establishment with smaller dimensions.

In any case, any artist who makes murals has to have total control of the space to be able to execute the work and that the proportions are perfect. Free-hand painting is an indispensable requirement for any artist who wants to get started in this discipline. In addition, the use and adaptation of architectural space is another of the qualities that only the best artists are capable of doing in their murals.

  • Use of sprays or roller paints

Nowadays the most popular mural painting is related to graffiti and street art. That’s why the main material used, among urban artists, is spray paint. The use of graffiti sprays is becoming more and more widespread among muralists and artists, since it is ideal for this type of painting. Nevertheless, and depending on the type of support and technique, conventional paints such as acrylics or roller-coated exteriors can also be used.

Mural painting technique

The beginnings of this type of painting can be traced back to the Paleolithic. Already from that time man needed to express himself through painting and since then the technique has constantly evolved.

One of the typical techniques of this type of mural painting is tempera, where a previous preparation of the surface is required in order to apply the paint. It is a complex and tedious process that has made this technique a second priority.

Nowadays, it is still required in many occasions a previous preparation of the surface to be painted. Either with a primer paint or with some kind of special paint for the most porous surfaces.

In any case, and depending on the state of the wall, the mural painting of the XIX century uses to a great extent the paint spray, as well as any type of acrylic paint. The great advantage of these paints is that they allow the work to be touched up by applying layers to the paint once it is dry and they also favour the time of execution.

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