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The Big Picture


If that big, blank wall begs for something more artistic than a giant flat-screen television, a hand-painted mural can offer the perfect balance of size and soul-stirring visuals.

Fortunately, Delaware is awash in talented muralists who take their art and the permanent—and sizeable—place it will have in your home quite seriously. Their advice:

• Size shouldn’t limit you. Most muralists will apply their talents to just about any space, says Sean Crosby of The Mural School in Newark (www.themuralschool.com). Crosby has worked on murals up to 50 feet long and as small as a normal window.

• Know your style. A standard mural can be little more than a stylized rendering on a large surface, such as the JetBlue airliner that muralist Carol Gentes of Pigment of the Imagination (www.pigmentoftheimagination.com) painted for the son of one of the airline’s pilots.

One of Carol Genetes trompe l'oeil paintings.• Trompe l’œil—loosely translated from the French as “trick of the eye”—is designed to fool the viewer into thinking that there is a three-dimensional object on the wall or scene beyond it.

• Any mural will require the painter to visit your home, measure the space you want painted, then prepare an estimate based on the size and technical complexity of the work, as well as challenges such as working on ceilings or in high spaces.

• Many clients have clear ideas about what they want, so providing visual examples can help. Also let the artist know if you want to include images of family members or pets.

Sean Crosby in his studio.• Most important, know how much you have to spend. High-end murals can average $200 a square foot, so don’t make the mistake of asking for the Sistine Chapel on a “Dogs Playing Poker” budget.

—Scott Pruden


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