Tips For Painting A Tree Mural

So last night, I was sitting at home, poking around online, minding my own business, when I got an e-mail from my mom. The subject line read “Please don’t hate me!”

Ooohhh boy. This was sure to be nothin’ good. Oh sure, it was followed up by a cutesy little smiley face. But when a smiley face follows “Please don’t hate me”, you know that bratty little grin is only there to soften the blow, right?.

So I opened the e-mail, and what did I find? My mom begging me to do some tweaking on my mural. :-D

Have I ever told you that my mom is an exceptionally talented artist? Well, she is. All throughout my childhood, my mom taught oil painting classes, and she was fantastic. Her landscapes were exceptional…so realistic.  (See where this is going? Landscapes = trees, and lots of ‘em!)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of her paintings, but they were very similar to the beautiful landscapes of an artist named Dalhart Windberg. Perhaps you’ve heard of him, or seen his work.

Soooo, yeah…my little tree just wasn’t cuttin’ it for her.

BUT, she was kind enough to send me a list of specific areas that needed work, and even included a little Photoshopped picture (although the quality of the pic she had to work with wasn’t great).

I think you can click on that picture to see all that she had to say, but my absolute favorite thing was her comment about the main branch, which she said “looks diseased and swollen.”  Oh my…that cracked me up!!  I had a swollen and diseased tree!!  :~D

And even funnier was that she told me, “A branch should get smaller as it goes away from the tree.”  LOL!!!!  Perhaps I haven’t spent enough time tree-gazing.  I mean, I knew that branches get smaller, but it just never dawned on me how small they actually do get.

I really did see her points, and to be honest, there were things about the mural that had bugged me since the day I painted it, but I was just ignoring them. But now I knew something had to be done. My tree was driving my mom crazy!!  :-D

So last night, I dragged out the paint cans and got to work. I even made an 11:30pm run to the grocery store for tiny little art brushes!  I was committed to the task, and knew I had to put my mom’s mind at ease.

After about two hours of tweaking and painting, it was fixed. Oh, it’s not perfect, but I think even my mom will agree that it looks pretty darn good. Hopefully she won’t lose any more sleep over my mural!!

Want to see how it turned out? Move your cursor back and forth over the picture below to see the changes I made.

For those of you who don’t have cursor-hovering capabilities, here’s a view of the before

…and now here’s the after

I think it looks soooo much better now!! Thanks to my mom, I no longer have a swollen and diseased tree in my kitchen! :-D

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Comments

  1. Terri says

    I hate to say, but your Mom was right. As much as I liked it before, it's better now. But, I would have never noticed the difference, I just don't have a good "eye" for things like that.

    The older I get, the smarter my mom is!

  2. Bella says

    That was so informative, I love it. Thank you Kristi's mom, you rock.

    I love the NEW mural, and can't believe you started that so late in the night, sounds like something I would do too :)

    Clearly you got a bunch of your moms talent, you should be proud.

    I'm sharing this beauty on my facebook page!!

    Hey girl, come see my new haircut when you get a chance, I cut it myself. Bella Before and After , and if you are a sz8.5, and love cute shoes, come enter to win a pair of BCBGirls Hipster sandals ….GIVEAWAY HERE, I really appreciate the support.

    Hugs,
    Bella :)

  3. Sally@DivineDistractions says

    Geez, you are so like me. I've also run to the store at midnight for an art project! Gotta strike while the iron is hot, so they say. I love that your relationship with your mom is good enough for her to offer a critique and you take it! That's a true sign of respect and love for one another….and I think she was right too. Great collaborative job!

  4. Colleen @ Red Door Abode says

    Hey There! I just found your blog! (Yes, apparently I have been living under a rock!) It rocks! The wall mural reminds of a mural design I did in our old condo. It ran the length of our dining room wall. Love all your comments (and your Mom's!) Keep up the good work!

  5. Tam says

  6. *Kel* says

    I wouldn't have noticed, but it is very pretty, either way! The 'improved' version, after seeing your Mom's explanation, is more balanced. I love it!

  7. Maryellyn says

    I thought it looked great before, but moving my cursor, you are right, it looks much better now, more realistic in deed. Great late night work!

  8. Michell @Girl in Air says

    That's hilarious and oh so kind of your mom….I didn't see it needed fixin and thought maybe your mom was a little ccrrrazzzyy…until I clicked over the after…woW! What an amazing difference….can she come to my house and fix my wall of trees in my bedroom:-)

  9. Shabby Cowgirl says

    Kristie, You did a killer job. The first time and the second. The little tweeking you did, made it look SO very professional. Does your Mom have a blog? She should. She gave some great advice and did it so sweetly. We could submit projects to her and ask her "what to do to improve it". Please tell her that, your fans, have become her fans :)

  10. mamaj says

    I also think it is adorable either way but much more realistic and artistic. Who said you couldn't take criticism:-}?

  11. Sawdust and Paperscraps says

    I liked it in the before picture and thought you were crazy until I saw your magical switcheroo picture and saw the instant change. I had to see the different pics that close to each other to tell a difference but by golly, I do like it even better now! Fantastic!

  12. Dianne says

    You got to love moms…I always tell my children to look at the time I sent the email before they read it…sometimes the stuff I write at 2 in the morning isn't very tackful…mom was right…it does look a lot better…

  13. My Cottage Charm says

    I thought it was great in the before pic, then I moved the cursor over your pic…wow it does look better. (but you still have an amazing artists eye!) :)
    Your whole kitchen is adorable!
    Missy

  14. Stephanie says

    Ha! Haha. This is a funny post. Your Mom has a good eye. And wow, you painted her suggestions exactly like her Photoshop doc! Guess you both have a good eye. :)

  15. Laurie says

    It does look better, but I don't think I would have fretted over the before, but I get how little things can drive you crazy- Good job fixing it up. You got to love your Mom!

  16. Kristi's Mom says

    I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU POSTED THIS!!! I thought you could make the changes and never say a word about it. That way, it would look better, but others would not be aware of the change. I have to say though, I am so happy that you no longer have a diseased tree in your kitchen!!! You did a great job!

    By the way, folks. You will notice that I usually send my critiques in an email. After all, in person she usually has a hammer, saw, or some other dangerous tool (weapon) in her hand. :-) Just kidding of course.

  17. Mall Rat says

    I love the new tree, I loved the old swollen tree too .. both are better than anything I could create !! Awesome job

  18. Anonymous says

    Kristi, you do not know how much this post hits home! I have a love hate relationship with my tree mural as well and now I know it must go. Maybe I should send a picture to your mom and she can fix mine as well.

    I thought your tree branch was fantastic but now it does look even better. Darn moms!

    Dee

  19. Denise says

    It was wonderful before but I think the changes made it even better! I so look forward to reading your blog! So much talent :o)

  20. Funky Junk Interiors says

    Hilarious! AND helpful! I really did think it was lovely before but your final tweaking just made it amazing. :)

    Thanks for teaching us, mom!

    Donna

  21. Adrienne says

    That is hysterical!! I can't believe how talented your Mom is! I see where you get it from. I continue to admire your work….

  22. Deb@RoomscapesDecor says

    LOL, that WAS funny, Kristi's-Mom! I agree the tweaking really took it up a notch, but have to ask why your artist's eye didn't first make you ask why this tree seems to be growing out of thin air! If that's a branch coming from the cabinet rather than the trunk, shouldn't it be tilted upwards a bit? I've always liked the mural, don't get me wrong, (and my own renditions of real things are much more fantastical – as in unrealistic), but that detail was the only one that ever jumped out at me. And Kristi, when a professional artist critiques your work, you're supposed to just say you paint in the impressionist style – that way, anything you do is perfectly legit!

  23. Selina C. says

    I had never noticed all that before, but the "after" looks fabulous! I can't believe the difference those little tweaks made.

  24. Jacquie says

    LOL….what a Mum you have, ya gotta luv her!! Tactful & helpful, but above all….luving!

    Btw, I luv the tree either way lol…but that's just me….:o)

  25. ~*~Felicia~*~ says

    haha it's amazing what tiny little differences can make!!! I thought it looked good before, but it definitely looks even better now!!!

  26. The Sterling Cherub says

    I think you are very talented and a gifted designer, and your tree looked pretty amazing to me "before," but your "after" is even better! That said, if it were my kitchen, and if I had a mom that is that amazing of an artist, there is no way I would personally have a tree mural in my own home that WASN'T painted by my mom! Then I would have an amazing tree mural painted by my beloved mom, so that is a double win!

    BTW, Kristi's Mom, YOU ROCK! You are talented and funny, I just want to hug you!

    Best,

    Kimberly

  27. Anne says

    Your mom cracks me up!! I have to admit, the new version really works better. You're a very talented painter (among all your OTHER talents!)

    I love the way it came out!

  28. Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) says

    Oh great….so this week I feature your mural as being the inspiration for my tree and now you change it! Haha!

    It looks lovely, as usual.

  29. Lauren @ 31diy says

    It looks great! I thought it looked good before, but your mom's suggestions made it all that much better! I actually learned a lot from this post. Now I want to paint a tree! :)

  30. kelsey says

    You mother sounds hilarious. What a sweet heart! It looked great before, but its amazing how much a little paint can do.

  31. The O's says

    oh my goodness, too funny! Sounds like you and your mom have a great relationship!! Reminds me of my mom and I, I love that we can be so honest with each other! I never even noticed it needed any change, I liked it the way it was but now I can see what your mom was saying. looks even better now!! =)

  32. MinaAriel says

    I envy you and your mother's artistic ability. I thought it looked perfectly fine before and it still looks good now. I gotta laugh at the detail your mother put into her critique. But, the fact that she cares so much just shows that she loves you that much more.

  33. Pamma says

    How sweet that your Mom was trying to help…with an artist's eye. Your changes do look good. And it looks like your mother is a very good artist.

    I have been toying with painting a tree in my foyer and now these are points I will keep in mind.
    Regards,
    ~Pam
    pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

  34. Stephanie says

    Well, as a mom myself, I have always told my kids to remember that they represent me, so don't make me look bad. So I guess your Mom was having a hard time having you representing her as a daughter of an artist LOL Your a great daughter to do those changes, even though I didn't notice the mistakes until after she pointed them out, you could of just gotten mad and pouted, but not you! Going out at 11:30 at night just to get it done, that speaks volumes of the respect (or fear) you have for your mom's input.

  35. Double Glazing says

    Wow. What a brilliant idea. I really like your idea in decorating or designing a plain wall. Now, I can do it without spending too much. Thanks for posting this article and sharing tips and ideas.

  36. Sonya says

    I liked the tree before – but she was right – I like it better afterward – Awesome redo!! I recently painted a tree for my first grandson's nursery. I drew it on paper and then used an overhead projector – fun project! I made it white w/ orange birds. His walls are blue. I thought it might turn out like a decal since I wasn't sure how I would add the required shading that is easy w/ a pencil – but I was thrilled when I started painting w/ the white paint over the blue – the bleeding through actually provided depth! Plus painting the branches in a particular order added the 'look' of growth off another branch. I also realized that if I just let the brush trail off, the branches looked more real at the end :)

  37. shabbylisaw says

    This cracks me up. I thought your mural looked great before, but seeing those changes…it looks fantastic now! We can always count on mom to steer us in the right direction.

  38. NumberMonkey says

    My Mum was one of the youngest women ever to be granted unconditional entry to the London University of Art (Goldsmiths) so you can imagine how my untalented self feels when she looks at anything arty that I do! I LOVE that your Mom will offer criticism, mine always says Mmmmm it's lovely and she's not a good lier!

  39. Cammee says

    I thought it was perfect, then when I saw the changes it was like, "oh, yeah."

    My daughter will get ready to go out and say to me, "does this look ok?" When I tell her yes, she will say, "are you telling me the truth?" I told her "I'm your mom, I'm probably the only one that will tell you the truth!"

  40. MinaAriel says

    I envy you and your mother's artistic ability. I thought it looked perfectly fine before and it still looks good now. I gotta laugh at the detail your mother put into her critique. But, the fact that she cares so much just shows that she loves you that much more.

  41. kelsey says

    You mother sounds hilarious. What a sweet heart! It looked great before, but its amazing how much a little paint can do.

  42. The Sterling Cherub says

    I think you are very talented and a gifted designer, and your tree looked pretty amazing to me "before," but your "after" is even better! That said, if it were my kitchen, and if I had a mom that is that amazing of an artist, there is no way I would personally have a tree mural in my own home that WASN'T painted by my mom! Then I would have an amazing tree mural painted by my beloved mom, so that is a double win!

    BTW, Kristi's Mom, YOU ROCK! You are talented and funny, I just want to hug you!

    Best,

    Kimberly

  43. Jacquie says

    LOL….what a Mum you have, ya gotta luv her!! Tactful & helpful, but above all….luving!

    Btw, I luv the tree either way lol…but that's just me….:o)

  44. Laurie says

    It does look better, but I don't think I would have fretted over the before, but I get how little things can drive you crazy- Good job fixing it up. You got to love your Mom!

  45. Shabby Cowgirl says

    Kristie, You did a killer job. The first time and the second. The little tweeking you did, made it look SO very professional. Does your Mom have a blog? She should. She gave some great advice and did it so sweetly. We could submit projects to her and ask her "what to do to improve it". Please tell her that, your fans, have become her fans :)

  46. canvas wall art says

    Great post,Thanks because you let us know about this idea.I really like every topic you included because I get feed more ideas about home improvements.

  47. Pam says

    I can see your mom's point, but our art is subjective after all, is it not. Either way you did a wonderful job and I am going to try my hand at your tree mural. You are so darn much fun to read, keep up the great work. Grampam

  48. Vertical Blinds says

    I am very enjoyed for this site. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems.

  49. Heidi Fawn says

    I know this is an old post, so I don’t know if you’ll see this comment but I had to say… your mom is great! I love that she *had* to “help” you on this. How sweet!

  50. says

    I love it! I googled how to paint a tree on a wall… because I just finished penciling one in my upstairs hall and wanted to add more than brown paint to make the bark, so I was mostly looking for painting techniques, however I just wasn’t completely satisfied with it. It is going to be for hanging pictures on… a family tree. I am now erasing it to do a branch going across! Fortunately the wall needed touch up on the bottom so now I will just coat the whole wall first. Thanks for this! I love to decorate too <3

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