Swimming Pool

Posted: 14th July 2019

Fresh Creative Co. were commissioned to paint an interior swimming pool mural for a private house in Hendy, just across the River Loughor from the town of Pontarddulais.

When we were first approached about painting this mural the client had a fairly strong idea of what they wanted already in place. This always makes the planning phase easier as we have a jumping off point from which we can develop our designs. We knew for this mural we needed to have three key components; a lighthouse, a castle, and a welsh dragon. Armed with this knowledge we set about researching images and starting to work on a general layout for the wall. Once this was in place we filled in the gaps with the countryside, beach and sea. As with 99% of our murals we designed this wall digitally in photoshop, mapping the image onto a photo of the wall.

The design brief was to include a welsh dragon looking out over Pembroke castle. The Welsh Dragon, meaning the red dragon, appears on the national flag of Wales. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise Wales is in the Historia Brittonum, written around AD 829, but it is popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders.

The medieval castle in Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales was used as the center feature, the castle was original family seat of the Earldom of Pembroke. A Grade I listed building since 1951, it underwent major restoration during the early 20th century.

We also included the  cast-iron Whiteford Lighthouse  built in 1865 to a design by John Bowen (1825–1873) of Llanelli, by the Llanelli Harbour and Burry Navigation Commissioners to mark the shoals of Whiteford Point, replacing an earlier piled structure of 1854, of which nothing remains. It is the only wave-swept cast-iron tower of this size in Britain. The tower is 44 feet (13 m) high and stands just above low-water level. The base is about 24 feet (7.3 m) in diameter and rises gracefully to a diameter of 11 feet 6 inches (3.51 m) at lantern level. A pitched stone apron surrounds the base of the lighthouse. Whiteford Lighthouse is the only cast-iron lighthouse in Britain which is wave-washed, although it can be reached on foot at low tide. The handful of other surviving lighthouses of this type stand well clear of the water on either harbour piers or reefs.

When we arrived on site our first job was to mask off any areas around the working wall as well as lay down dust sheets to protect the floor and pool. We had a small scaffold tower in the pool itself (which was free from water) to enable us to work a little easier, as there was only a very small ledge in front of the wall.

We marked up our guidelines onto the wall using a combination of spray paint and paint markers, and once we were sure we had everything in place, we began the task of filling it all in and fleshing out the mural. For this we worked from the background forwards, first laying down some block colour in the sky and countryside around the featured elements. From this point we added in the shading to bring the background to life and began to work on the castle, the dragon, and the lighthouse. For these features we used a combination of spray paint, acrylics and paint markers to create the details needed. We also added in the clouds and the bird into the sky to give the mural a fuller, more interesting feel to it.

Once we had our outline in place on the wall, we set about filling in the main block colours on the piece using spray paint, and adding the smaller details by hand with brush work. We even cut out a small brick pattern stencil to add more detail into the castle masonry.


We added a protective lacquer as the mural would inevitably get splashed from the pool.

Once again this was a challenging wall to paint due to the restricted access from the narrow ledge in front of it. We’ve painted quite a few country themed backgrounds over the years and we always strive to improve on the last one every time. We were really pleased with how this wall looked when we were finished with it. We’re really looking forwards to seeing the full effect of the wall once the pool is filled! Check out some photos of the finished wall below.

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