Megan McKeithan of Visionary Mural Co. has painted thousands of square feet of sky murals since she began painting murals in 1994. Her work can be found all over the Atlanta area and 53 cities around the country. She paints sky murals either directly on the ceiling or walls, or on canvas for installation on ceilings or walls.
Sky murals vary in complexity; get the clouds right and it’s a beautiful thing…
Sky murals do not have to be complex; even wispy clouds drifting across the right base color can create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in a bedroom when painted by a sky ceiling mural expert like Megan McKeithan. Getting the weight of the clouds right, finding the right levels of transparency and opacity within the clouds, and spacing them correctly in the composition of the sky all contribute to a successful sky mural, whether it’s on the ceiling or the walls.
“Maddie’s Sky” sky ceiling mural by Visionary Mural Co. outside Atlanta in Marietta, GA
Megan painted these clouds in varying opacity on a simple blue wall and ceiling. The changing light from outside and interior lights helps add to the illusion of the depth; as the lighting coming into the room from outside changes, so does the sky mural inside.
The clouds in this sky help add depth to the mural because they vary in size, appearing smaller in scale as the move toward the background. They also help direct your eye through the composition of the mural by how they are placed. Overlapping with some of the characters in the mural also helps add to the illusion of depth in the sky mural.
Sky murals vary in color; pick the right basecoat, coordinate with your room…
When planning a mural you can go with traditional blue skies but there are so many other colors you can use. The dominant color for a sky mural should coordinate with the other colors in the room. Fabrics, furnishings, paint, trim, and floor colors should all be considered when planning your mural. Sky ceiling and wall murals are not limited to blue or sunset and sunrise colors, they can really be created with any number of colors.
For example, Megan painted a sky mural on canvas for the ceiling of this powder room using grays, white, and little bit of gold to coordinate with the wall color, window treatments and furnishings in the bath and adjoining room. The sky ceiling and wall feature gold leaf birds to match the gold leaf embellished art works she created for the walls and to coordinate with the grays and gold in the window treatment.
The color of your sky mural also creates the feeling you want in the room.
The gray sky ceiling mural above creates a dramatic effect for this powder room, using gray and white colors and a swirling stylized cloud design. Other colors create warm inviting feelings, like for a nursery. Sunset colors often create relaxation and sunrises can create a feeling of expectancy or beginning. Choosing the right colors for your mural helps set the tone of the room and create the feeling of the space.
“Maggie’s Mural” sky mural on canvas by Visionary Mural Co. just outside Atlanta in Duluth, GA
This children’s mural on canvas for a nursery included only sunny yellow and white for the atmosphere of the sky, giving it a soft and warm feeling.
This mural for a belly dancing studio incorporated the client’s favorite color purple with golden tones and white in the clouds for a dynamic sky effect. The figure, painted in metallic purple and gold stands out vividly against the bright sky mural. Even more interest is added with the reflection in the mirror. The mural gives a dramatic and exciting feeling to the space with its complientary purple and golden tones, perfect for a belly dancing studio.
“Sicilian Memories” sky mural on canvas by Visionary Mural Co. just outside Atlanta in Roswell, GA
The sky in this mural triptych is mostly a sunlit glow with just wispy clouds of white giving it a hazy afternoon relaxing feeling. Megan painted this custom mural on canvas based on photographs her clients took on a trip to Italy together and wanted to remember with a mural in the center of their home.
Sky murals create the illusion of space in your room…
Megan often creates the illusion of depth within a landscape mural by lightening the sky and diminishing the contrast with the background as the background fades into the distance. This technique is used broadly in painting, but really works well at the scale of wall murals, as it tends to add space to the room.
“Tuscan Wine Cellar” sky mural by Visionary Mural Co. in Atlanta, GA
The sky lightens as it meets the horizon behind the mountains, which also lighten as the recede toward the horizon. Lessening the contrast between sky and ground gives the illusion of depth in a landscape mural.
“Italian Landscape” mural on canvas by Visionary Mural Co. in Atlanta, GA
The clouds in this mural blend into white at the horizon line, giving depth and distance beyond the hills. Bringing the saturation, hue, and value of the painting closer together, in this case, appreaching white as you go back in space in the sky and in the landscape is a very good way to show distance in your mural.
There is no background in this mural but Megan wanted to create the feeling of distance in this tiny space so she lightened the sky at the bottom to create atmosphere behind the grass and animals. She also varied the size of the clouds and compressed them as your eye moves down the wall, creating the illusion of receding space in the mural. The small geese flying across the sky add to the effect of distance by contrasting scale with the foreground elements.
Use details to push the illusion of depth in sky murals
Images painted in front of your sky also help add to the illusion of depth and atmosphere in your mural. Birds, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, planes, hot air balloons, trees limbs, trellises, and vines can add a layer of sharper focused interest in front of the sky, giving your eye something to focus on in the middle ground or foreground, allowing the softly focused sky to recede into the background even more.
“Putti” sky ceiling mural by Visionary Mural Co. just outside Atlanta in Duluth, GA
Animals and plants aren’t the only things that can float in front of the sky and add to the illusion of depth in ceiling murals. Don’t forget putti (or cherubs) painted looking down at the viewer. These little angels hold various items like roses and a trumpet, heralding the client’s theme of love. They also hold a metallic gold ribbon that floats in the sky, connecting them all and adding another layer of interest in front of the sky.
Sky murals can also be seen from the other side of the clouds
Another approach to sky murals is to look at them from the other side – outer space looking back at Earth. Megan created this outer space sky mural for a teenage boy’s room.
Megan has also painted blue sky murals with glowing stars you can see in black light or glowing in the darked room. She created this effect on the ceiling of a party bus for a client based south of Atlanta in Williamson, GA.
These photos show the same area of the party bus in each of the different lights, quite an interesting effect for a 53 foot party bus ceiling mural on canvas!
Sky murals can really be any color or style you want to create the atmosphere and feeling you want in your room. Whether you are painting a sky on a ceiling or a wall, it’s a wonderful background for a mural, or focus of a mural, when painted by an expert sky mural painter like Megan McKeithan of Visionary Mural Co. With Visionary Mural Co, the possibilities for expressing yourself in your home or business are really endless!
Learn more about Visionary Mural Co.’s sky ceiling murals and sky wall murals in this sky mural blog post:
Learn more about glow in the dark sky and black light murals: