I talked about painting a mural in my boys’ room for about 9 months, and since they were at their dad’s house for a whole week over Christmas break, I decided to make this one of their Christmas gifts.
My boys, 11 and 7, love their video games, as do I. I’ve been a true gamer ever since 1983, when we got our first Apple IIc computer and I developed a hard-core addiction to Moon Patrol. While most parents are griping about their kids spending too much time on video games, I encourage them to try a wide variety of games, ranging from old-school console games to MMORPG like my personal favorite, Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft. I encourage other things too, like getting outside and riding their bikes, but I don’t mind them playing their games, and I certainly do not think that they are developing a warped sense of reality by escaping to a fantasy video game world. Anyway, I was very fond of Mario games when I was young, heading up the road to Carla’s house, where they had a Nintendo and all the Super Mario Bros. games that were out at the time. When the wii came out and the boys got the new Mario games, I was giddy about it!
So my project started out in Walmart, where I had them mix up a very sky blue and a very grass green for me–colors that one might think too bright for a room, but turned out to be just perfect for a Mario wall mural! I then spent a half an hour on Photoshop, where I took images I’d collected of key parts in the Mario games, and put them together in a montage of sorts, planning for where their TV and computer desks went. I saved those images and took my tablet in with me when I began to sketch out the basic characters. I am very fortunate to be able to draw something in gi-gundo scale when I have a reference photo. My brain is pretty analytical like that. So I drew the mural and then got out my 50-cent acrylic craft paints and my little kid paintbrushes to start painting. On hindsight, I probably could have used bigger brushes. Anyway, I painted for about 18 hours the first day, and about 5 hours the second day. In the end, this is what I had created!