How To: Paint A 150-Foot Tall Dark Knight Rises Mural

July 17, 2012


This is a 150-foot Dark Knight Rises ad painted on the side of a building at 315 Park Avenue South in New York City. I dunno, I guess they don't make posters that big. I did have a pretty big Cindy Crawford one on my dorm room wall though. Jk jk, it was SpongeBob. The process:

A life-sized rendition of the artwork is broken down into a simple outline. This is called the cartoon and is, in fact, where the modern use of the word "cartoon" comes from. Holes are punched through the outline to form a dotted stencil that is then gone over with a charcoal pounce. By the end, they have the wall mapped out with the most basic shapes and proportions in place.

The oil-based paint is then mixed to match the larger portions of the painting, leaving the subtle blending and mixing to be handled ala prima on the wall. Each painter has a print-out of the design strapped to their arm, like a mini shield, that they use as a guide as they flesh out all the details.

It took four guys about five days of sunrise-to-sunset painting to complete The Dark Knight Rises.

Damn, five days of sunrise-to-sunset painting? How can you even feel your arm after that? Because one time I threw a baseball and my arm was done for like, days. My roommate had to feed me and everything. "Why didn't you just use your other hand?" Shhhhhhhhh, I made him give me sponge-baths too.

Hit the jump for a bunch of the process and a rock-solid shoutout.












Thanks to Evil Ares, who's so evil he would have graffiti'd the shit out of that thing and painted a penis in Batman's mouth. Okay now that's just TOO evil.

  • Totally thought that was a poster when walking down Park the other day. That's amazing!

  • meh

    So much advertising for this movie. All you hear and see these days is that "the dark knight rises". Screw this, it's too annoying already. I won't even bother seeing this movie.

  • thatcando

    too much beer batty!

  • my bf and i take pictures of this billboard every time they are painting a new one. i walk past it every day. one of the best i saw them do was for Clash of the Titans. it looked awesome.

  • Kanger

    One of the best parts of living in NYC is seeing these getting painted. Ton of talent. Granted the last one I saw painted up there was for "The Rite" so it's not always a great subject matter these guys get to paint...

  • David Curry

    Eh Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles does the same thing

  • SphairistikeBanshee
  • Genevieve

    Oh wow, that looks amazing.

  • Grue

    Is it just me, or does that picture with the blanked out area and the long scaffolding that's about at Batman's waist look like...
    Nope, nevermind.

  • I thought that was the whole joke... "The dark knight rises"

  • Matthias Lowry


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