“Keep Calm and Shoot the Wall”: BBC Sherlock’s Wallpaper
I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories for many years and, like a lot of people, was knocked out by the BBC TV series. I’m also one of those silly Americans who did not wait for the U.S. broadcasts for series 2 and anticipation for the new episodes from week to week, particularly The Reichenbach Fall, put me in the mood for more Holmesian artwork.
Cosette Collection black and white damask scrapbook paper (1 sq. foot)
Bright Yellow acrylic craft paint
Fine craft brush
The print was another fun find at Michael’s — I wandered into the scrapbook paper aisle and spotted this sheet for 99 cents. It’s not a perfect replica of the Zoffany Navarre paper Sherlock and John have hanging in the sitting room at 221B, but it’s pretty damn close.
In the Holmes stories, Sherlock alleviates his restlessness at one point by shooting “V.R.” (meaning “Victoria Regina”) into the wall of the flat with John’s service pistol. The new series, a modern adaptation, approximated this moment by having Sherlock spray paint a smiley face on the wall above the sofa and then shoot out its eyes and mouth.
(Photo courtesy of the official BBC website)
I used the fine point brush to paint an approximation of the smiley face in the top left corner of the paper, using the screen capture as a guide.
I used the stylus to punch holes in both of the eyes and mouth (first from the front, then pushing the torn ends back out to the front side), then to simulate the tears in the wall paper where the bullets were presumably dug out of the wall (my guess is by John).
Since I designed this specifically as a piece of wall art, I initially made the decision to go ahead and get a piece of lightweight poster board for the backing. Light enough that I could pin it up with white tack because the walls in my apartment are 80-year-old plaster and hammering nails into the wall… probably possible but certainly not my idea of a fun afternoon.
And then once I’d cut the poster board out and was testing it with the paper, I found I didn’t like the way it affected the look of the painting and that, like wall paper, the design was much more animated when it was simply adhered to the wall directly (again with white tack). I might try this again with a stretched canvas someday but for now, I’m incredibly pleased with my new piece of Sherlock hanging on my wall.