I remember the first time I was commissioned to paint a mural, I jumped at the opportunity and then stared at the large room wondering where to begin! I have painted roughly 15 murals since then; now, that big empty room is simply a giant blank canvas that I get to bring to life.
I have to admit a dirty little secret, I really don't like doing sketches before a project! I do them when I have to, but I have been fortunate enough to work with many clients who look and my portfolio and then say, "I trust you."... music to my ears! I always paint something that not only compliments the space, but also pertains to the functionality of the space.
My overall process is pretty simply, I look and the space, get an idea of what I want to do, choose my color palette and then just work in the classic order of background, middleground, foreground until it is complete. Sometimes I get to the point when I think it is finished, spend a few days away from the project, and then take a final look. If I'm still satisfied with the work, then I wrap it up (adding the protective coat, etc.). If I feel like something is missing, then I add more details until the work is finalized.