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Working with or without a projector for creating a mural

Updated: May 30, 2023

Photograph by: Ilsoo van Dijk

Working with a projector. Some people think it's unacceptable and call you a cheating artist. Others find it a waste of time. "Why would you make it so difficult for yourself? You've already designed it on a small scale."

Having fun

Personally, I find it to be a fun aspect, taking a freehand design and expanding it on a larger scale. It's a challenge to observe carefully, step back, and get the proportions right. That's how it felt during this project in the photo (my first mural painting on a scissor lift in the middle of the city), like a victory when I finished the sketch within 3 hours.


But it certainly varies depending on the project. Consider the discussed timeframe, the size, and the type of design. I once had a partially geometric design for a lunchroom. It involved many straight lines, circles, and boxes. If anything is even slightly out of proportion, it becomes noticeable. The client was in the midst of renovations and had a tight deadline. If I had spent longer than anticipated, it would not only have cost me (financially), but it could have also caused problems for the client. If I hadn't used a projector, it would have taken me a full day to transfer the sketch onto the wall. With the projector, it was done within an hour. That saved a lot of time and frustration.

My advice

Personally, I believe it's valuable to invest time in practicing sketching your design on a wall without a projector. See it as a fundamental skill that will bring you long-term enjoyment. For example, I've practiced a lot on smaller indoor walls and gradually challenged myself with larger sizes. Once you have mastered that, go for a method that is easier and faster, especially as the number of projects increases. As a sole owner, you want to invest any available time in your growth as a creator and as an entrepreneur. So, when it feels right for you, make that switch and "Work smarter, not harder."

There are several methods for sketching a design on a wall, which I will discuss in another blog.


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