Asfordby Hill School mural

It’s been a very long time since I got round to writing a blog post about one of my projects. What with Christmas and another lockdown, meaning I was back on full time homeschooling my two children, there’s barely been time for anything else. However, I would love to catch you up on a project I took on over the Christmas holidays.

Due to the COVID restrictions and the commission being a mural within a primary school, the Christmas holidays seemed the perfect time to get it done whilst working alone and without the children being there. The brief was something bright and colourful (they loved a previous mural I painted at Strays cafe in Oakham with a rainbow swirl) and to include a book and certain words that were important to the school.


Red doors for a mural to be painted Primed doors ready for painting

The first thing to do was to prep these glossy red doors. The school had already sanded them slightly for me so they were ready for me to apply a white primer to help the paint adhere and the colours pop!

I began the mural before Christmas and completed it afterwards. The next stage was to paint the book and the rainbow swirls coming out of it. I used a mixture of Culture Hustle and Daler Rowney acrylic paints, which are two fantastic brands who create lovely acrylics to work with.


Culture hustle happy potion acrylic paint Large colourful rainbow wall mural work in progress painted by Anna Hughes, Anya’s  Studio

I painted the light and bright colours in first, onto the white background so they would retain their full colour, rather than painting the black background first and colours over the top as this would dull them and require many more layers to cover.

Next came the black background for which I used Culture Hustle’s super matte black which absorbs a high percentage of the light. I love using it as a background to bright colours as the stand out so much against it and it gives the painting so much depth.


Culture hustle black 2.0 used on a mural by Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio Work in progress colourful rainbow wall mural by Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio

The following stage was to apply any touch ups and the words requested by the school. These swirled around the rainbow to give a real sense of movement to the design. I always carry a huge selection of different shapes and sizes of brushes with me so that I know I have the right one for each bit of the painting.

Selection of artist brushes belonging to Colourful artist Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio


Lastly, I varnished the mural, again using a Culture Hustle product, their matte ‘Coat’ to keep the depth and Matte surface of the black paint and also to protect it from knocks and children’s fingers.


Colourful rainbow wall mural in a school by Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio Colourful rainbow wall mural for a school by artist, painter, muralist Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio
I’m so please with how the mural turned out and the school are thrilled with it too. I love that they chose to enrich their school for the children with these bright colours and inspiring words. I honestly wish all schools could do this!

I’d love to know what you think in the comments. Did you have anything similar in your school?


Colourful rainbow mural in a school by artist, painted, muralist Anna Hughes, Anya’s Studio



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