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Tired of everyone using World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. for sweaters, murals, quilts, etc.? Me too. I understand it’s a very recognizable game.  It is arguably the most recognizable game ever created except for maybe Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders (maybe), and perhaps a few other classics.  But it is also ugly, the color palette is not pleasant, Super Mario Bros. 3 was a much more aesthetically appealing game and also much more fun in my opinion.  I wanted to do a mural for my son’s room and I wanted it to reflect happy memories from my childhood that I could hopefully pass on to him.  My childhood is filled with great memories of video games and Super Mario Bros. 3 represents a nice chunk of those.

A little bit of background story: just found out my wife is pregnant with our second kid (we were trying) and our two and a half year old son will soon need to be transitioned from the nursery to a big-boy room.  I wanted to make his big-boy room special for him, make it a fun place in which he looks forward to spending lots of time.  I started this process about 2 years ago, got about half-way through the process and then stalled for a year and a half or so.  Once I found out our second kid was on the way, I wanted to get the mural done as soon as possible so that our son could get used to spending more time in his new room and be comfortable in there when we finally moved him out of the nursery.

Anyway, here is my process:

Step 1:

Design the mural.  Because I had a limited frame to work with: 12 feet by 8 feet where 1 pixel is roughly equal to 1 square inch, the resolution of this wall comes down to 131 x 82 pixels.

In Super Mario Bros. 3 you can’t see much in such a small window, so I had to move elements around to make it look more appealing.  All of these elements did come from World 1-1, just moved around slightly.

The design.


Step 2:

Prime the wall.  Using yard stick and #2 pencil, draw a humongous grid.

Continue drawing lots of lines.   Fill in the black outlines as a guide.

Step 3:

Once your pencil outlines are done.  Procrastinate for about a year – year and a half dreading the thought of having to paint in all those tiny, tiny corners.

Step 4:

Using black acrylic paint, start painting in the black outlines.


Mixing water with the acrylic paint as described on the tube was a mistake.  The question mark block lines bled all over the place.

Step 5:

Become frustrated with the acrylic paint, get some Behr wall paint samples and try adding some color to mix things up.

Behr fiery red looked orange when I was applying it, but it dried nicely.

Mario in full color! I won't notice a slight error on the question mark block until much later.

A splash of green...

A hint of blue...

Bushes are done.

Paint blue edges around everything to make rolling the background color on a little easier.

Ta da! Looks like I'm almost done, right?

The hills are located in a bad place for someone who is right-handed.

Ground: Done. Question mark block: Corrected.

Last step:  Paint in the clouds to hide the grid lines…

WooHoo!

Other angles, and close-ups:




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76 Comments

  1. urban art urban art says:

    This is awesome! I wish I had this in my bedroom, not sure I’ve got the patience to do it myself though…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 3

  2. Nikky Nikky says:

    Amazing!!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  3. John John says:

    Wow, now that’s cool Dad devotion! Awesome persistence.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  4. Excellent work. Looks like a lot of hard work. I see Mario but, where is Luigi? I went with ready made wall clings to decorate my kids bedroom.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  5. Marc Marc says:

    very cool!

    Like? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  6. fileoffset fileoffset says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 30

  7. K K says:

    You are the coolest.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  8. It looks exactly like the game! I wish this guy was my dad!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  9. Cotigo Cotigo says:

    That’s awesome. I hope your kid appreciates it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  10. Brad0 Brad0 says:

    What a lucky kid and what a awesome father.

    well done!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  11. admin Wes says:

    Thanks for all the kind words, glad everyone enjoys the mural as much as my kid does.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  12. Omg, that would be awesome! Lucky kid..^^

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  13. LT LT says:

    You, my good sir, are a legend.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  14. Ben Ben says:

    Oh my god.

    That is truely amazing, you are a man among men and should win every award in human existence, my hat goes off to you 🙂

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. LK LK says:

    wow! you made such clean lines and the colors are spot on : ) who cares if you could have bought a wall sticker instead…this is waaay better and much more thoughtful too.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  16. Brian Brian says:

    Awesome! I also note the Chrono Trigger miniposter on the wall.. great game.

    Like? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  17. admin Wes says:

    @Brian:
    I have to teach him to appreciate the classics.

    Like? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  18. Rob Rob says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 45

  19. secuono secuono says:

    That is insanely awesome!

    Like? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  20. Gouki Gouki says:

    Nice Mario Mural ^_^b

    About how much time did this actually take to make? I read the stalling part, but was kinda curious how much time did you actually spend on it (Actual Painting/drawing wise).

    So is Link(Legend of Zelda), Samus(Metroid) and Megaman(Megaman)next? Or will Luigi, Princess Peach and Bowser grace the other 3 Walls to the room? 😛

    j/k I know it took a long time for you just to do Mario, but would of been awesome to see more than just him solo on the wall with a ? Mark Brick and Background, but other wise you get a 1up and fireworks for Preserving the Classics ^_^b

    @Rob – Shut your pie hole!! The Game is a classic and apparently you live in an XBOX360 only world of HALO Fanatics. Learn to appreciate your roots of gaming. Without the classics your precious New Generation Gaming Systems wouldn’t of even came about.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. bj bj says:

    GREAT STUFF!!!

    If I ever become a dad….I will spend time to make a nice wall for my child too.

    Really well done!!

    (@ Rob….you need to respect the classics, like Gouki says: They are the brickstones of modern computer games)

    🙂

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  22. […] Super Mario mural for a kid’s bedroom. Is it sad that missing out on these things are some of my greatest childhood regrets? […]

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. David David says:

    this, sir, is fantastic. if i ever meet you i will shake your hand

    Like? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  24. george george says:

    chrono trigger is the best freakin game ever!!!

    Like? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  25. Ean Ean says:

    Simply amazing. But I am wondering, what was wrong the ? block. I was looking at the pics. and I saw no differences.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. admin Wes says:

    @Ean:
    The top-right pixel on the question mark inside the block was the wrong color.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  27. Ean Ean says:

    Ahhh, thank you. Good job.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Rick Schott Rick Schott says:

    That is so awesome, my kids would love it. Can’t wait to see their reaction when I show them this.

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Bud Tugley Bud Tugley says:

    Nice work. If you can stand it, I encourage you to keep painting.

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. […] Very awesome 8-bit Mario Mural (scroll down for pics!) […]

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. question is…

    does the kid play the OG Mario? or is this just as relatable as ‘Grease’?

    doesnt hurt to teach the classics

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. admin Wes says:

    @joeyzrappicturez:
    He doesn’t really play any video games yet, but he does enjoy watching me play them, including the classics.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Cody Cody says:

    Wow, that really turned out amazing! By the way, I have that same chrono trigger poster in picture 18 haha. Hope your son loves it as much as I do.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. David David says:

    Hey, great work, I’d love to have such a cool room as a kid. A quick question (since I didn’t find any Mail-address here): I’m writing for a German Videogamblog and I would love to write about this. Just wanted to ask for your permission to use your pictures, you can E-Mail me, if you like.

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Bomel Bomel says:

    Holly….

    I saw this in a german gameblog ( ie. Zockwork Orange^^ ). Unbelievable. *tubs up* Sadly I never had this Game untill I was young but I want to have this room NOW! xD

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. dom dom says:

    great job, dude!!
    i love the world of mario!!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. brian brian says:

    My two year old probably isn’t going to understand why I’m painting this in his room. This is awesome.

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Louis Louis says:

    This was a great idea! So Hopefully one day, when I have a son of my own. I will spend quality time with him and for him. This is “remarkable”

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Grayson Grayson says:

    Awesome. I would probably get bored doing it. Great job, and awesome Chrono Trigger poster!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Winnen Winnen says:

    You, my friend, are an absurdly awesome father. I hope your son likes it as much as I do.

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. admin Wes says:

    @Winnen:

    Thanks, glad you enjoy it!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Bashar Bashar says:

    nice to see the work of a dedicated father in this day and age.. I salute your work man..

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Nick Nick says:

    This is fantastic!
    You’ve inspired me…

    I will definately try something similar oneday…

    Like? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. josie josie says:

    Not that I don´t apreciate the craftwork, I´m an artsy people too but… It would be far more easier just with rotulated vinyl…sigh. How much time you spent? A year and a what? double-sigh….

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. Christy Christy says:

    This is so awesome! I know its probably a long shot but do you remember the names of any of the colors you used for the mural? I saw you had the fiery red color named. But any of the others? Thanks!

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. admin Wes says:

    @Christy:

    There are 8 colors – all of the paints were Behr Premium Plus samples, except for the blue background color (of which I purchased a quart).

    180B-6: Fiery Red
    220E-2: Shrimp Toast
    270B-5: Melon
    460B-4: Garden Glow
    450B-6: Formal Garden
    510A-3: Fresh Water
    White
    Jet Black

    Like? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Dave Dave says:

    Way cool, I cant imagine how much patience you would have needed to finish all the details off…

    Impressed!!!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. JONxBLAZE JONxBLAZE says:

    You sir are a GENIUS!!!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. dragon-hacks dragon-hacks says:

    f**** aursum!

    Like? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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