Getting Ready

Gather Volunteers and Friends

It helps to have a group of people working together. You will want to have volunteers to help create the murals as well as pairs of friends to be on the wall.

Locate a Wall for Your Mural

Locate a wall on which to paint your mural. The more prominent and likely to be seen by many people, the better. It is best if the wall is as smooth as possible so your paint can be applied easily.

Find Supplies & Prepare Wall

Gather supplies listed below. Prepare your wall by making sure it is free of any peeling paint and is sealed with a solid coat of any color paint you choose. This and lettering (next) can be done ahead of time.

Apply the Words

Tape your letter stencils together, ("Amigos Sin Muros" in Mexico and "No Wall Between For riends" in the US) then tape them to the wall centered high enough so that there is room for your people below. Use a long level to make sure they are straight. Stencil in letters with a color that contrasts with your wall surface. (See stenciling instructions below.) Also paint or stencil on the website address "nowallsbetweenfriends.com" so viewers will be able to find your stories.

Planning & Publicity

Select a day when most people are free to work and to watch. Alert media ahead of time with a press release and call any contacts you have. Inform your local politicians so that they can participate, if they wish. If it is in a public area, follow local laws regarding gathering a group together do a project and get prior support. Arrange for bathroom facilities, if not already available.

Assign Tasks

You will need someone to: 

1) Oversee the whole event and interact with media; 

2) Position friends on the wall and assign a volunteer to each pair to trace and assist with painting; 

3) Organize paint, including mixing colors and determining which colors will go on which sillhouette; 

4) Clean, keep track of and give out brushes and tracing materials; 

5) Manage the story area; 

6) Keep track of and bring all supplies to and from the site. 

The Day of Your Event

Line up at the Wall

Before you begin, gather everyone together to briefly introduce the key helpers and review the plan. (Hint: Have name tags for all key volunteers.) Space out your pairs (or groups) of friends along the wall. Have them each stand on a riser (we used half-blocks) in order to raise them up a bit or theif silhouettes will look like they are sinking into the ground. 

Take photos of each pair posing in order to check for accuracy before and while you paint. 

Trace The Silhouettes

Have each volunteer who is assigned to a pair trace around them with colored chalk. (Do not use markers anywhere on the wall.) Taping the chalk securely to a wooden dowel will lengthen it enough to give you a more accurate trace. Use both hands to steady it. (Practice a few days beforehand.) After the tracing is done, the pair should step back and the silhouettes can be refined to look correct from afar. Use the photos to check accuracy.

Pick Colors/Begin Painting

Decide which colors will be used on each silhouette. The decision should be based on balance of color across the wall so that colors are placed evenly. If you are really organized, you will even have determined this all ahead of time! With volunteer guidance, friends can paint in their own silhouette. Use large brushes to fill in the center and smaller brushes at the edges to assure good detail.

Add Country and Names

When the paint is dry, stencil on the country of each friend in a contrasting color. Under the country name have each person write their own name in pencil or chalk (first name only, if they prefer). Follow that by using a small brush to trace their signature with paint. (Again, do not use any markers on the wall.) 

Write the Stories

While you are waiting for the paint to dry, those who have not yet submitted or told their friendship story can do so at a nearby table you can set up with paper and pencil, digital notebooks and volunteers who can help them get started. 

Consider having a party a few days earlier in order to allow everyone to tell their stories beforehand. The stories are very important and once the painting is over, people tend to forget to write their stories, no matter how much they are reminded. We recommend getting the stories before or during the painting event. 

Label the Wall and Stories

As more and more murals are creacted, by labeling your wall, you will make it easier for viewers to find your wall on the website and match the stories with the correct silhouettes.  Here is how to label your wall: Use capital letters for your City/State/Country. If there is more than one mural in your city add an A, B or C To indicate the order in which they were created. Use numbers for your pairs. For instance, the first pair (from left to right numerically) in line on the first mural (alphabetically) completed in Kino will be identified as KSMXA1 or Kino-Sonora-Mexico-A-1. The second mural will be KSMXB.

Supply List



Color Guide

Guide to Mixing Colors

Use the color wheel above as a guide for mixing colors. Primary colors (1's) are used together to create what are called Secondary colors (2's). Colors which are directly across from each other on the wheel are Complementary colors. When these colors are used beside each other they will appear to be very bright. If they are mixed together as paint, they will result in a muddy color. If you want to make a color less bright, add a little bit of its complementary color.

Red & Blue Make Purple

Blue & Yellow make Green

White, Red & Yellow make a light Orange

White & Red Make Pink.

White and Blue make a light blue.


How To Stencil

Tools

You can buy an official stencil brush or cut a regular or foam brush to make one. To cut a regular brush, take a nice, full 1 or one-half inch brush and evenly cut down the bristles to about 3/4 inch long. It should be stiff, not at all floppy. If using a foam brush, cut it so the foam is shorter and flat on the bottom, not angled.

Technique

You will use the resulting brush in a echnique called stipling. For this you will use a tube of artist's acrylic paint as you want the paint to be thick, not watery like wall paint. Squeeze out some paint onto a nonporous surface such as a plate. Dip your bristles or foam in the paint and tap off any extra paint. You will want it to be covered but with a very thin layer. Now, tap your brush against a piece of paper. It should make a mark, but not be wet. If wet, keep tapping it until it is drier. 

Finish Up

Hold the edges of the stencil and tap the whole end (not the side) of the brush in the open area, re-loading your brush with paint when it gets too faint. You will need to go over the area more than once. It should not cover in the first pass, but should build up gradually. It is this that allows a crisp edge on your letters without flowing outside the lines. Do not take the stencil off until the paint is thoroughly dry. 

Contact Us For Help

Tell us where you are and what you are planning

We are volunteers who are dedicated to helping you to create a mural in your community. Please don't hesitate to contact us. We hope these will spread all over Mexico and the USA.

No Walls Between Friends

Thanks for...

Congratulate yourselves for participating in making a positive and beautiful statement... 

Sharing your...

about friendship and...

Friendships!

...telling the world that friendship and unity is not just a luxury, but a key to survival.