Some friends of ours turned the area beneath their basement steps into a playhouse for their daughters, and they asked me to paint a mural on the outside of it. I was happy to oblige, although I don't think they realized what they were getting into when they asked me. They probably expected me to just whip up a quick cartoon house. Instead, I have been camping out in their basement drawing grids for bricks.
Painting and shading bricks is actually sort of meditative (the gridding and drawing, though, is a pain in the ass). I like it much better than drawing tiny bricks with pen and ink. For one thing, the color red is fun. For another thing, creating the illusion of sunlight and shadow with paint is very satisfying. I just hope my friends aren't frustrated with my slow pace.
The bricks are pretty much done, and that's the slow part. Just after I took the second photo, I added some vines to the lower right side of the house, and put yellow black-eyed Susan blooms on the green plants at left. All the plants together took much less time than even a small area of bricks. I'll take shortcuts on the roof, also. The rest will just be butterflies and stuff. I think I'll put an illusory bas-relief sun above the door; that should be fun, and also easier than the bricks. I'll probably cut a stencil for it.