Millbank School in Pimlico commissioned me to paint a mural in their school playground. Twenty Year 6 pupils had painted their own versions of the London skyline, and the challenge for me was to scale up their A5 size paintings onto wooden boards 2m wide by 1.5 m high. The other, bigger challenge was our eccentric and unpredictable British weather! During the course of painting the mural I was at various stages freezing cold, sunburnt, rained on, and almost blown away.

I tried to reproduce the children's paintings as faithfully as possible, whilst keeping an overall "style" across the mural, so that the design worked as a cohesive whole. So for example, the sky and the river Thames were different colours in every painting, so I chose one sky and one river colour to use across the boards.

This was an interesting project for me, as I had to copy twenty very different and distinctive styles (I painted 14 versions of the "Gherkin", and 5 St.Paul's Cathedrals), and I was therefore forced to paint in different ways to my usual style. It's very easy to slip into a familiar way of painting and never leave your comfort zone, and I enjoyed the challenge.

I think all the children's paintings were great, and not one of them would look out of place hanging in Tate Britain, situated beside the Thames only a five minute walk away from the school.

As 2012 was the year of the London Olympics the children had also added silhouettes of athletes to the London skyline to commemorate this event, and I reproduced these as well.

The entire mural was painted in freehand, in acrylic paints.




























































Below - some of the children's original paintings