Sketch for Ellen Show library mural with portraits.

Sketch for Ellen Show library mural with portraits.


Library long view before

Library long view before


Library storytime area before

Library storytime area before


The cousins, John & Anthony and Nancy Hadley

The cousins, John & Anthony and Nancy Hadley


New Life Painting team applying the base colors

New Life Painting team applying the base colors


Storytime wall mural start

Storytime wall mural start


Randy fills in Nancy's tree sketch

Randy fills in Nancy’s tree sketch


First stage of Nancy's Ellen portrait

First stage of Nancy’s Ellen portrait


First stage of John Portrait

First stage of John Portrait


Nancy custom mixed the fade color range for the architectural supports that New Life Painting painted

Nancy custom mixed the fade color range for the architectural supports that New Life Painting painted


Laying in the foreground and middleground around the portraits

Laying in the foreground and middleground around the portraits


Randy, Aaron, Nancy, Libby, and the New Life Painting team

Randy, Aaron, Nancy, Libby, and the New Life Painting team


Portraits begin to take shape as the new storytime stage is installed

Portraits begin to take shape as the new storytime stage is installed


Long view of the library as elements come together

Long view of the library as elements come together


Long view of library storytime wall as elements come together

Long view of library storytime wall as elements come together


Winnie the Pooh reading area

Winnie the Pooh reading area


Close up of Mr. Saunders (aka Winnie the Pooh) reading tree mural with Nancy's highlight sketch

Close up of Mr. Saunders (aka Winnie the Pooh) reading tree mural with Nancy’s highlight sketch


Randy fills in the highlights on Mr. Saunders tree.

Randy fills in the highlights on Mr. Saunders tree.


Outfit rendered for Ellen

Outfit rendered for Ellen next up the portrait


Nancy and her friend, Anita, made this Story Stick to inspire the students to "travel" through reading with fun destinations

Nancy and her friend, Anita, made this Story Stick to inspire the students to “travel” through reading with fun destinations


Libby's team installing the stage and tree for the storytime corner

Libby’s team installing the stage and tree for the storytime corner


Inspired by Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Nancy put Anthony and John into the wild rumpus scene

Inspired by Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Nancy put Anthony and John into the wild rumpus scene


Nancy wanted to nod to Dr. Seuss so the Ellen portrait wears the Cat in the Hat hat

Nancy wanted to nod to Dr. Seuss so the Ellen portrait wears the Cat in the Hat hat


Storytime corner gets fully dressed by Libby and her team

Storytime corner gets fully dressed by Libby and her team


Another stage of the cousins portraits

Another stage of the cousins portraits


Nancy, Anthony, and John behind the librarian's desk

Nancy, Anthony, and John behind the librarian’s desk


Libby, Nancy, Morgan, Randy, John, and Anthony

Libby, Nancy, Morgan, Randy, John, and Anthony


Nancy's tribute to Roald Dahl in the mural inspired by James and the Giant Peach

Nancy’s tribute to Roald Dahl in the mural inspired by James and the Giant Peach


Nancy's dog Bosko posed for this portrait of the character, Tock, from the Phantom Tolbooth

Nancy’s dog Bosko posed for this portrait of the character, Tock, from the Phantom Tolbooth


No library mural can be complete without a portrait of one of J.K. Rowlings characters like this of Hedwig.

No library mural can be complete without a portrait of one of J.K. Rowlings characters like this of Hedwig.


Final portrait of Anthony and John as Wild Things

Final portrait of Anthony and John as Wild Things


Nancy finishes up the portrait of Ellen for the grammar school library

Nancy finishes up the portrait of Ellen for the grammar school library


Recently I was asked to paint murals in a grammar school library for a makeover segment by my friend, Libby Wampler, who was art directing for John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino from HGTV.   The reveal was to air live on the Ellen DeGeneres Show so I was excited to have the opportunity. The general direction I was given was to do a forest theme and incorporate portraits of John, Anthony, and Ellen but from there it was up to me.  Fortunately, my kids own many of the books popular to this age range so I was good to go. My plan was to select a palette that was colorful but not crazy, design a composition that was fun and engaging for the students, and incorporate my subjects’ portraits into the world of children’s books.  Here is my process in pictures.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did painting it with the help of my good friend, Randy Stonitsch.