Botanical Art and British Drawing Master Walter Fitch

botanical art

With botany developing into a science the services of a drawing master of botanical art were required for the realistic and accurate portrayal of plants. At the same time, demand grew for pictures of flowers. From the 17th to the 19th century, the finest flower paintings were produced in France, Germany, Austria, Holland and England with Ehert, Bauer and Redoute being among the greatest drawing masters.

Walter Hood Fitch (1817-1892) was one of the most important British botanical artists of the 19th century. Introduced to botany by William Jackson Hooker, editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and director of Kew Gardens, Fitch illustrated for Kew and other publications for 40 years producing some 9,000 drawings. Most famously he worked with Joseph Dalton Hooker, the most prominent botanist of the 19th century.

Before photography, the media used to draw plants and in flower paintings were

  • Watercolour, first on vellum and later on hot-pressed paper
  • Oil painting
  • Wood cutting, etching and metal engraving
  • Aquatint, mezzotint, stipple
  • Lithography

How to Draw Plants according to Walter Fitch

Endersby’s Imperial Nature provides many insights on what Fitch and his partner, the famous botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, thought about the techniques and practices an artist should employ to draw plants or flowers. These were:

  • Constant observation: According to drawing master of botanical art, Walter Hood Fitch, while colouring can be easily mastered, the only way for a botanical artist to acquire a correct eye for drawing is by constant observation.
  • Knowledge of plant anatomy: Fitch stressed that to draw plants and flowers and get the perspective right, the artist should have an understanding of plant geometry, a solid knowledge of plant anatomy and structure. Fitch himself was a master of plant dissection.
  • Accuracy and bold outline: Accuracy was certainly important for flower paintings or botanical drawings. Hooker advised a field sketcher to make sure that he makes an accurate free bold outline: “Do not hold the pencil too tight nor press too heavy or hard, but learn to make free strokes”. Fitch was famous for his bold outline and free flowing strokes.
  • Use other people’s sketches and dried specimens: Often Fitch never saw the plants he drew but worked instead from sketches provided to him by field artists or from dried plant specimens. A great drawing master of botanical art, Fitch was able to create flower paintings that looked lifelike from a series of flattened herbarium specimens. This he accomplished due to his deep knowledge of plant anatomy.

Finally as Endersby points out, before learning how to draw plants the Victorian student should have first learnt plant anatomy and classification: “drawing was only a learning process for those who already knew what to look for”. For flower paintings or for botanical drawings one needed a good, undamaged specimen; “the act of drawing was one point in a cycle of observation, mimesis, inscription and memorization”.

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Interior Painter: Finding the Right One For Your House

interior painter

The land of do-it-yourself can be a dangerous one, but even more dangerous is the prospect of hiring a professional, affordable interior painter! It’s important to consider a few simple principles when deciding how to hire an interior painter. Remember that it’s all about what you want, and then choose the painter that fits your budget.

The Budget Painter

If cheap is your goal, rest assured there are plenty of options. Prices vary drastically. If you care more about getting the cheapest than the best, then a quick visit to will give you oodles of options. Sometimes this is the only option, and when it is, doing a little research can yield fantastic results without breaking the bank.

All that said, even worse than underpaying for shoddy work is overpaying for shoddy work. There are numerous painting companies out there who will provide you fancy, detailed estimates that are way out of your price range. When considering the cost of a project, use common sense. Consider the square footage, and then estimate a price that would seem reasonable if you were the one doing the job. Oftentimes, painting companies will take advantage of home-owners lack of do-it-yourself knowledge and exploit it for their own benefit. If someone is too expensive for you, then simply don’t hire them. Many painting companies will say that the work they do is worth the extra money, but keep in mind that this is painting we’re talking about. You’re not asking for the Sistine Chapel to be recreated over your dining table, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Primer, Paints, And Brushes, Oh My!

There are other factors to consider when choosing a painter. For example, does the painter you’re considering provide the primer? If so, is it dark or light to suit your desired color? Does the painter provide their own equipment, including ladders for those high ceilings? Make sure the estimate includes the cost of at least two coats of primer, just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to be stuck between a rock and a hard place if their light-colored primer isn’t dark enough to get by with one coat of actual paint.

Google, Yelp, and Twitter

The Internet has provided a lot of transparency with regards to companies and their reputations. In the old days, an unhappy customer could only issue sometimes empty threats about filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Nowadays, a simple Tweet or a review on will provide you with all the firing power necessary. Companies know this, and it’s therefore always a good idea to simply Google, Yelp, or Twitter search their company. You might find nothing at all, be pleasantly surprised, or stumble upon a red flag that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll be happy you took the time to find the interior painter that was right for you.

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Host a Paint Your Own Pottery Party

Pottery wheel

Pottery painting provides a fun activity for party-goers. Great for fund-raisers, showers, luncheons and kids parties, painting pottery allows guests to be creative and make their own keepsakes for the event. Luckily, anyone can host a pottery painting party in his or her own home with the help of some innovative products.

Preparing for a Pottery Party

Hosting a pottery painting party in your home requires the use of pre-glazed ceramics and pottery. Look at thrift and dollar stores for inexpensive pieces of pottery. Make sure that the pieces are all white or a light neutral tone. This will allow party-goers to easily add their design to the pottery. Purchase a variety of shapes and sizes of pottery so that guests will have a wide array to choose from.

Also head to a local craft store and purchase “Porcelaine 150” Paint and Pens. These innovative products adhere permanently to ceramics when baked in an oven. They are dishwasher and microwave safe and non-toxic. Also purchase some paint brushes, paper plates and small paper cups .

The pottery must be completely clean before painting to make sure to wash all of the thrift-store pottery. Fully dry the pottery and set it out on a table so that guests will be able to browse and pick the pieces they want to paint.

Before the party, set up tables so that guests will have plenty of space to work. Place paint brushes, paper plates, towels and small cups full of water at each seat. Place the paint products in the center of the table. If necessary, cover the tables with vinyl table cloths to prevent damage.

Painting Your Own Pottery

When guests are painting their pottery, they can use a wet rag to wipe off any imperfections. The paint will not be permanently set until it is baked in the oven. Tell guests to write their initials on the bottom of any pottery piece they paint. This will make it easier to give the pottery back to the guests at the end of the party.

Have guests paint pottery at the beginning of the party. After they have finished, bake the pieces in a 300 degree farenheit oven for 30 minutes. Serve food or play party games while guests wait for their finished pieces.

After the ceramics have been removed from the oven, allow some time for them to cool. Once cool, guests can collect their pottery and take it home.

Create a Unique Party Experience

Party guests will love creating their own custom pottery pieces. This fun activity will create a memorable event for all who attend. Your party will definitely stand apart from the rest with such an enjoyable and unique activity.

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How to Paint a Night Setting

painting night scenes

Painting night scenes is not the norm. There are many artists that paint during the early morning and throughout the day. Why not paint at night? The answer is obvious, but some of the best moments to seize are those at sunset. Take your paint set out tonight and test your skills. You may find that you like doing this.

To learn painting night scenes or something similar to the photo above, you will need black, green, blue, white, brown and yellow paints. Use some gesso to put on the canvas first, and do not give it time to dry. You will need a two inch brush to start with. Other brushes needed are a fan style, 1/4″ flat, thin long bristle around a size 3 or 4, #2, #1, and a #00 or #0 size brushes. I prefer using one of those cheap plastic palettes for acrylic paint mixing. Some artists prefer ceramic palettes.

If you want a watercolor style painting use water to dillute the paint. This will still help you in painting night scenes but merely alter the styleTo keep it strictly acrylic use paint thinner used for acrylic paints. The kind you use in painting your house is too strong and will damage your brushes. You may find having duplicate brushes makes the painting go quicker if you are soaking a brush to be cleaned. Have a drying cloth nearby to dry out your brushes. When everything is nearby it will save you plenty of time from running back and forth in cleaning your brushes.

Start by blending a little blue with white, and just a touch of black to get the color of the evening sky. When I say a touch of black, I mean, just a touch. Too much will have you starting all over again. Take your time to get the right color. If clouds are there or you want clouds, hint at them with a tad more white and darken them at the top to show the sun is setting. Too many clouds may take the focus of what you will be painting later on.

Determine your horizon line. How much sky do you want in this painting? Do not go straight down the middle because it will make it seem childish in thought. Either bring the horizon line down or raise it up. Quickly gray in the horizon line with a #2 or #1 paint brush. From there, clean off your two inch brush, and paint in a dark green mixture starting from the bottom. Work your way up towards the underside of the horizon. As you get closer to the horizon, lighten up the dark green a little bit. If what you are viewing is ilghter then paint it as such.

A sure sign you are getting better at painting is understanding that colors are not so distict the further away they are unless they are a light.

To paint the tree in, start with a dark brown mix. Remember, the sun has not completely set, so some colors are still somewhat visible with the refracting light. Catch glipses of brown on the side of the tree facing the sun. Paint these in with a #0 paint brush to let the viewer know that it does have color. Use your #1 brush to paint in the finer branhes, while using the long bristle brush for the larger limbs. You can use the flat brush for the leaves using a dark green in combination with black to show some leaves don’t have color.

Bushes are sometimes best put in with a fan brush. Lightly dab the color you mixed onto the canvas. The #1 or #0 brushes are best for painting in their stalks and limbs. Use these same brushes to add hints of grass here and there, and to dab in slightly gray trees in the background.

Finish up with various size yellow spots here and there. Be careful not to make them too big. The larger dots can have a dab of brown or black at one side to show there is a body to the lightning bug. Do not get too carried away as this will also ruin the wonderful work you started.

The final step in your painting is to sign and date it. You do not have to date it, but if you plan on selling it that will be a plus. Now you have your night time painting. You can paint it however you want. What I have explained is rather simple, and is a start for someone new at painting.

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Personalized Art

personalised art

When decorating a home, office, or any architectural space, using personalized art may offer more individual and special meaning than other forms of decorative art. Many artists enjoy working with people, sharing ideas, interests, and tastes to create a unique piece of personalized art specifically for you. These could be a custom tapestry, decorative wall murals, or some other designer wall covering.

Personalized Art Murals

Mural painting is usually conceptualized in relation to the original site, which makes it an environmental artifact of that space. For many, murals express ideas and statements that can be religious, political, social, cultural, or historical. Throughout history, murals have appeared in churches, tombs, temples, libraries, museums, public buildings, and some consider cave paintings the first murals.

For decorative purposes, art murals can establish a mood or setting with a three-dimensional illusion painted on each wall. Commercial space often uses personalized art mural paintings to set a distinct theme in a store or restaurant. With the help of a talented mural artist, a business can greatly enhance the visual appeal in that space and become more memorable for customers.

In homes, hand painted murals can create a dramatic foyer entrance by painting an opening to the sky on the ceiling! Kid’s rooms are ideal for a fun, creative mural that depicts a nature scene, zoo, circus, or underwater sea creatures. These bright, colorful images create are a great teaching tool, and provide a stimulating environment for growing children that encourages a vivid imagination.

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About us:
 Our company formed in 2015 to make your dream masterpieces come to life. At Paintings Studio, you can create and order custom paintings to complete your home, office, or any wall of your choice! A precious pet painting, the perfect gift for your mother, or a special present for yourself – the options are endless!

Painting Ceilings — Hire a Pro and Save Your Sanity

painting ceilings

I can barely recall the last time I attempted painting ceilings, but I know it was more than 20 years ago, for sure! Any time we’ve needed ceilings painted since, we have hired the ‘experts’, who truly make the job of painting ceilings seem like a whole lot less bother than I remember from the few times I attempted it myself…and the ceilings come out uniform and crisply fresh!

Painting ceilings is definitely on my list of “Things I really DO NOT like to do”.

These professionals come in with their tools and equipment, immediately start taping and hanging their poly sheets on the walls and in doorways or archways between rooms. They lay down their drop cloths to cover the floor and any furniture or other items left in the space, then they set up their rolling staging or step ladders, and begin mixing, stirring and pouring the paint into their spraying equipment. Then they simply begin painting the ceilings!

Depending on the sizes of the ceilings involved, it won’t be too long before the job is done and all cleaned up. We once had all of our ceilings (about 1800 s.f.) painted in less than one day! And, all we had to do was get out of the way, (and, of course, pay the bill). Surely, hiring the professionals cost more than doing it myself, but in my opinion it was well worth it!

So…for me, the best way to paint ceilings is pretty much to “leave it to the professionals”! Otherwise, you may end up ‘marred for life’ (like me!) about painting ceilings yourself!

You see, whenever I tried painting ceilings myself (perhaps as many as 5 or 6 times actually, and with BRUSHES & ROLLERS, not spray equipment), it was always the same thing…I would always end up virtually covered with speckles of paint…my face, arms, legs, and any other part of me not adequately covered for the job at hand.

Ideally, I’m sure it is smarter to wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, hat or bandana, safety glasses, and of course….at least a ‘dust mask’ (for some respiratory protection), but I was never one to follow instructions anyway, so I’d end up soaking in the bathtub when the job was finally done. Oh well…that’s not such a bad thing, but the whole job made for a trying day, to say the least.

If you DO attempt painting ceilings yourself, I suggest you visit a few other websites for more in-depth advice and instructions. I have posted a few links for your convenience to learn more about painting ceilings!

Good luck, and happy ceiling painting!

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How To Draw and Paint Dolphins in Compositions: A Dolphin Is An Ideal Subject When Planning Sea Themed Art Displays


Dolphins are a wonderful subject matter because they are such graceful creatures that they can be used as a motif in all kinds of artistic statements. Featured in artworks from bronze casting to simple cartoons, the character and playful nature of the sea creature has inspired artists through the ages. Dolphins are elegantly shaped and they are easy to draw.

How To Draw Dolphins

Ask students to search the site How Stuff until they locate the step by step instructions called “How To Draw A Dolphin. ” These instructions are for young artists. This basic drawing process will explain the elements of capturing the shape and character of the dolphin.

Stepping Through To Lyrical Composition

  1. Students master drawing the mammal, so that they can comfortably capture proportion, perspective and structure. Give them support and time to become comfortable with drawing by using a site such as How Stuff After experimentation, ask them to decide whether they wish to draw realistically, abstractly or in a cartooning style
  2. The teacher can begin working towards the exhibition or classroom display by teaching the students about composition. Talk to them about placing the creature in relation to the background and environment within which it swims. Help them to find ways to place dolphins within the pictorial space in relation to each other, or to trainers and other fish or animals in the picture plane
  3. Artists can create beautiful compositions using the motif of the dolphin because of the circular feel to the body. They swim rhythmically, and when they swim, jump and play they create movement through the water. This fluidity adds to the dynamics of composition. Splashing also adds lighthearted elements to the pictorial plane.

Research the Design

How uniquely original and resonant the range of student artwork will be, is sure to rest on how much focused research each artist does before settling to design the final composition.

Set a web search task so that students locate sites where they can find images from which to draw dolphins in various poses. Ask them to experiment with light and tone until they have developed the ability to capture various diffusions of light and how it plays on the dolphins as they swim about. Insist they take their time so that they sink into the flow of the experience.

The Harmless Lion Gallery

Here is a dolphin image by Tursi that allows you to see what the light would look as it dapples across the velvet skin of the dolphin while it is swimming under the sea. Ask the students to browse the entire Harmless Lion Gallery and study the Tursi Dolphins by cruising on from that image link. The students will be able to examine a variety of images that capture dolphins at play.

Imaginative Display

By now the students should have

  • mastered the drawing side of the project
  • become able to capture the contextual aspects of mood and atmosphere
  • captured movement through gestural drawing and design

Now is the time to ask them to become more imaginative. They may search out images of dolphins swimming in circles, or they may cut themselves a simple dolphin stencil and start playing with placing the dolphins in a variety of places, spaces and poses. Encourage creative freedom as they play with colour, line and media to create an abstract composition

Give them permission to experiment boldly, but set a time limit on the final stages of experimentation. Make sure the students know when their work is to be submitted ready for display.

Once these sea themed compositions have been carded up, framed or otherwise mounted, display them in your classroom, the library or foyer of the school. They will create an atmosphere of lighthearted good fun.

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Michelangelo Drawings in Question: Three German Scholars Say Many Museums’ Holdings Are Copies


As reported by Times Online, a trio of German professors has concluded that numerous drawings firmly attributed to Italian High Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) in London’s Royal Collection, the British Museum and Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology are not by the master’s hand. They estimate that approximately 40% of those owned by museums worldwide are not authentic.

The Controversy

Leading the charge against the drawings’ authenticity is Frank Zöllner, a professor of Renaissance and Modern art at the University of Leipzig. He’s supported by Thomas Pöpper, a lecturer at the same institution, and Christof Thoenes, an honorary professor at the University of Hamburg. Their contentions appear in Michelangelo: Complete Works, a 768-page text, thoroughly color-illustrated with enlarged detail prints and released by Taschen Books on November 19, 2007. The authors insist that the number of drawings ascribed to Michelangelo has been artificially inflated due to the interests of museum curators, collectors and the art market.

Some of the Artist’s Drawings in Question

Among the sheets whose authorship the three scholars find dubious are The Brazen Serpent (ca. 1511) in the Ashmolean Museum and The Three Labours of Hercules (ca. 1530) and The Risen Christ (ca. 1532) in the Royal Collection. Also excluded from the authors’ revised corpus of drawings by Michelangelo is the British Museum’s Crucifixion (ca. 1538-1541), most recently featured in Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master, a European exhibition of 90 works on paper by the solitary and miserly painter, sculptor, draftsman and architect. On view at the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands (October 6, 2005-January 8, 2006) and the British Museum in London, England (March 23-June 25, 2006), the popular exposition’s contents were drawn from both establishments’ renowned collections and that of the Ashmolean Museum.

The Risen Christ

Michelangelo’s The Risen Christ in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle is a work on paper drawn in black chalk. Exhibited often and researched extensively in the 20th Century, the single-figure sheet depicts Christ emerging from His tomb. It bears a striking similarity to two of the artist’s graphic works in the British Museum and Florence’s Casa Buonarroti as well as copies of a lost work in Rotterdam’s Museum Boysman-van Beuningen.

The resurrected Christ alights upward from his open stone sarcophagus, His burial shroud floating behind Him. Michelangelo rendered the divine Savior’s powerful body, triumphant over death, with a joyous sense of movement. Christ’s pose strongly resembles that of the Creator in the artist’s God the Father Separating Light from Darkness (1508-1512) on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Invitation for Scholarly Debate

A spokeswoman for the Royal Collection has publicly dismissed Zöllner’s charges as baseless. Hugo Chapman, the British Museum’s Curator of Italian Drawings, and the Ashmolean Museum’s Timothy Wilson gladly invite the opportunity for scholarly and informed debate.

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Painting Ideas for a Young Girl’s Bedroom

Girl's Bedroom Ideas

So you need some girl’s bedroom ideas to paint your daughter’s room, you have come to the right place.

It will happen to all little girl’s at some point in time. They are no longer interested in the characters of the toddler world any more. Their bedroom, decorated in Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, or even Barney no longer seems suitable. It is time to redecorate.

For many, redecorating may be an extreme venture, but all that is really needed to get started is to give the room a fresh, new coat of paint. If you are purchasing a new bedspread set, you might want to consider the colors of that set prior to painting. Here are some painting ideas that little girl’s are sure to love:

Girl’s Bedroom Ideas #1: The two toned look.

Choose two colors that compliment each other. Many people, when trying this technique, usually stay with two shades of the same color. If you want to go this route, choose a color that your daughter likes and paint the bottom half of the room in the darker color. This works best, especially if the bedroom is smaller. You can try to reverse that if you have a larger room. To separate the two colors, use a white chair rail to go around the walls of the room. The chair rail should be at about 36 inches from the floor.

However, even though most people go with the same color in two shades, I prefer to use colors of different shades, even colors on the opposite of the color wheel. Great choices for a little girl’s room might be:

1. Pink and Orange.
2. Pink and Lime Green.
3. Lime Green and Purple.
4. Purple and Yellow.

Girl’s Bedroom Ideas #2: The diamond look.

Once a popular look in designer rec rooms, this look works really well in a little girl’s bedroom. Again, this look involves two colors. Paint the wall a base color, such as yellow, and add large purple diamonds around the room. This looks great if the diamonds even cross over to another wall. The diamond’s should be large, probably at least 3-4 feet in height.

Girl’s Bedroom Ideas #3: The garden look.

Strait from the pages of “The Secret Garden”, you can make your little girl’s room her own little secret garden. Try painting the walls all one color to begin with. Then add beautiful painted flowers along the bottom of her walls. The flowers should be large to be enjoyed, at least 24″ in height.

Turn one wall into the wall of a garden shed, complete with a wooden door and window looking out into the yard.

Girl’s Bedroom Ideas #4: The fairy castle look.

Turn your girl’s bedroom into a fairy castle of her own. Paint the walls in the grey stone of a castle, and give her her own turrett in the corner. Make sure to give her plenty of windows to overlook her “land”.

This idea has plenty of options. Take a few fairy tale books and look throught he pictures for ideas that your child likes best. A painting, or even a decal, of her favorite princess may be an option to grace one wall. This princess could be her roomate and guest to join her in tea parties and sleepovers.

Girl’s Bedroom Ideas #5: The horse farm.

Little girl’s are often in love with horses, and their bedrooms can easily be turned into a horse farm. One wall could serve as a horse barn, with a few stalls and horses looking out of them. Another wall could be the pasture, with horses out grazing. Yet another wall could overlook the rolling hills of the horse lands.

If horses are not something your little girl desires, this look can be customized for another animal, such as dogs, cats, etc.

With these ideas, your little girl is apt to have the best bedroom around, and is sure to be the favorite hangout of all her little friend’s.

If you yourself are not that skilled at painting, try finding a local artist to help out. If a budget is of concern, try looking around at local colleges or even the high school for an artist. They would be thrilled for the work, and will often charge a lot less than a professional artist.

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Creative Ideas on Painting a Kid’s Bedroom

painting a kids bedroom

Painting a kid’s bedroom can be the most fun room in the house to decorate. You get to be off the wall, colorful, and there are no rules. You can be as wild as you want and it actually ads to the room. Painting a kids room is no exception to this rule. I love painting kids rooms because you can do practically anything you want and be more artistic than in any other room in your home.

You will want to paint the room to go with the room’s theme. If the room is done in a baseball theme, you can paint the top half of the wall a sky blue and the bottom of the wall a dirt brown. If the room is done in a duck theme, consider painting the wall a soft yellow. The paint color of the room can really pull the room together and do more for the theme than any other part.

You may want to consider actually painting designs on the walls. I love to do this! This is where you can have the most fun and add the most to your kid’s room. There is no limit to the excitement you can add to the room by painting designs and pictures on the walls!

Space themed kid’s rooms are a lot of fun to paint! You can paint the planets on the walls, paint the background of the walls black or dark blue, and paint stars on the ceiling with glow in the dark paints. To paint the planets on the walls you will want a book with clear pictures of each planet. You need to draw each planet onto the walls with a pencil first, this way you don’t run the risk of doing a very sloppy paint job where the planets don’t even look like planets. By using a pencil you will be able to erase all of your mistakes until you have them drawn perfect, and then paint them onto the walls.

Fish aquarium themed kid’s rooms are fun to paint also. You can paint the walls blue, then use a pencil and draw on all of the fish. Don’t forget to draw on the other sea life, such as coral. You can even include a shark or some dolphins; after all, this is a pretty big aquarium!

You can have fun painting the themes onto the walls no matter what the room theme is. Whether it’s trains, planes, boats, teddy bears, Barbie, or sports; you can paint it on the wall!

Thank you for reading this article! We hope you got a lot of inspiration for painting your kid’s bedroom. If you have any further questions about this topic please contact us.