Serving South Tampa
City Times: Published Fridays by the St. Petersburg Times

printer version

'Dr. Doodle' gives new life to walls with his painting

Ron Hutchinson has made a viable practice out of creating murals and faux finishes in homes and businesses.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

When Dr. Doodle operates, he uses a paintbrush.

It's not as sharp as a scalpel, but it gets the job done.

Dr. Doodle, also known as Ron Hutchinson, is a self-described "muralogist." He specializes in painting murals and faux finishes, which imitate textures such as leather, bronze or wood.

He can give a wall the look of marble or fill it with a Paris street scene.

He works in scrubs and requires his crew to do the same.

"If you don't wear the scrubs, you don't get paid. Sometimes there will be five us walking into a deli in the scrubs. We look like the guys in The Right Stuff," he says.

It attracts attention as well as business.

Since he launched, Dr. Doodle four years ago, Hutchinson has added his artistic flourishes to the walls of homes throughout the Tampa Bay area, a dentist's office, a golf driving range and restaurants, including Mise En Place and Maggiano's.

Last year, he painted a mural on a 24-foot-wide canvas that was turned into a dress for super model Carolina Korkova to wear in advertisements for VH1. Now, his team of "wall doctors" is working on a mural at the Air Canada terminal at Tampa International Airport.

Homeowners, he says, sometimes know just what kind of mural or faux finish they want. But just as often, Hutchinson says, he helps them work out a look.

"I ask them to give me adjectives to let me know what kind of feeling they want with the room," he says.

Then he goes back to his studio and creates a small version of the final product. Once he has come up with an image or finish the client likes, he puts the paint on the wall.

The cost of the job depends on its complexity. He has done simple faux finishes for a couple of hundred dollars and highly detailed murals for tens of thousands of dollars.

He's painted everything from landscapes to jungles to sport scenes.

Hutchinson says his success is built on his business sense, combined with a "God given talent."

"I won my first prize when I was in kindergarten. I won second place in a contest, and I drew Casper the Friendly Ghost," he says.

"Everyone has a talent. We just have different ways of expressing ourselves. And mine happens to be art. For some unreal, divine reason, I can put a pencil on a wall and draw. I can just look at a room and see it finished.

"It's a feeling I have when I walk in a room. I love what I do."

City Times: The rest of the stories
  • The Brave New Mac World
  • Meeting their match, here and there
  • Cutting loose
  • Wine's a hit atmovie house
  • Supporter of the arts, adviser to his family
  • The Colonel's Tampa legacy
  • Neighborhood notebook
  • Get your fill of arts
  • Balancing the books
  • Gallery creates beauty in art therapy
  • WestShore shoppers have new store: Sears
  • Pet shop almost set; market isn't
  • Ybor City fights back against flooding
  • Chamber honors builder
  • A renovation fit for a brood
  • 'Dr. Doodle' gives new life to walls with his painting
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

    The Weather
    current temp: 82 °
    real feel: 89 °
    Weather page