Posts Tagged ‘Scenic Paint’

“Models and Sarcophagi” from Randy Wong-Westbrooke

In Assistantship on June 23, 2015 at 8:15 PM


Last week in the studio I completed a ¼” Bowmer model box and we’ll hopefully find some other opportunities to get me back in there when I’m not needed in the paint shop. It was so great to get back into model building having not done it for about six months. It really got me thinking about the upcoming designs I have for my senior year at Ithaca College. First is Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka and then Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. Rick Anderson showed me the software he used to fabricate complex model pieces on the printer and if I can figure out how to use within the next year, I really ought to explore the resources at Cornell University right across town in Ithaca to see what 3D printing equipment they have in their architecture department and see if I can utilize it! Rick’s recommendation to learn more CAD software is daunting, but it will make me more marketable so I might as well get the student deals while I still can!

This week I’m back in the paint shop and all of our forces went towards painting the two sarcophagus’s for Antony & Cleopatra. A lot of meticulous work was put into them taping them out, applying reeds to add dimension, gold leafing, and painting the multiple colors in a particular pattern. We got the point where everything was covered by the end of the work-day on Tuesday and I can say that they still looked amazing at the preview that evening. Going to the preview in the Elizabethan Theatre and seeing the half-timbering made me want to go back to London. The last show I saw during my semester there was Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe. I stood in the queue for two hours to get a returns ticket and paid five pounds to be a groundling right at the foot of the stage. The show went on even with consistent rain and I was prepared to outlast another Shakespeare in the rain, but being in Row L meant my seat was dry! The rain did clear up anyway and it was incredibly satisfying to see some of the work I’ve done finally be onstage.


“Spraying and Relocating!” from Randy Wong-Westbrooke

In Assistantship, Scenic Paint on May 27, 2015 at 11:31 PM


This last week has been full of new things. Scenic art is full of so many tricks and techniques to achieve the faux finishes and textures we create onstage. To recreate the texture and sheen of a rod iron fence, we mixed graphite with black paint and applied the gloppy mixture onto the wooden cutout. Once dry, you’d sand away and most of the graphite remains giving that sheen. A coat of sealer is needed unless you want the graphite to rub off on everyone’s hands and costumes.

Next with my final design for the Juneteenth Banner getting approved on Friday, we started to mix colors and put them into air powered paint spray guns. I only worked with a spray gun once last summer at Cal Shakes, but I will say that I hardly remember anything. There are a lot of bits and pieces to keep track of when assembling the gun and a few knobs that control the amount of air being used, the amount of paint, and the nozzle. It will definitely take practice. Next we learned out to square a drop on the paint frame – also a new tool and method. Because the banner is long, but narrow, we got a feel for how to spray on paint evenly on the excess muslin underneath the final.  However, even before we started on the final we had to learn how to drive the lifts. Having not driven a car in nine months it was hard to get back into it with no help from the joystick controls. Once we were lined up though, I will say I was more comfortable spraying than driving.

This project is on hold until I return after this week. For the main season set pieces, the paint shop has not been overwhelmed the last couple weeks and my charge, Gabriel, has set me up with Rick Anderson in the Scenic Design Studio to help him with some model boxes. I also haven’t built any model boxes in about eight-nine months so I was nervous. I was expecting him to say this is how I want you to build a ¼” model of the Bowmer, but instead he gave me the printouts and two already built, yet slightly different older boxes to compare with. I was free to go about it however I wanted and that is liberating, yet also nerve wracking. It took some getting used to being in a different space without the tools I’m familiar with. I did discover, however, that the larger shell of the theater is fairly similar to the proscenium stage we have back at Ithaca College, minus the proscenium part obviously. Today I will probably be working on making the clouds above the stage and the walls with boxes for lighting on the sides of the theater. It’s really neat to look around at Richard Hay’s immense collection of art, history, theater, and design books filling up the shelves around me while I hold some glued pieces together to dry. Let’s hope I’m keeping up a good pace!

“It Begins” from K. Jordan

In Assistantship, K Jordan, Scenic Paint on January 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM

K Jordan 11.14

Hello folks, this is Jordan! I’m the newest Scenic Paint Assistant in the scene shop. While I most recently lived in Anchorage, AK, I’m originally from Southern California. I attended the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College where I realized painting was my preferred contribution to theatre. I’ve worked at several theatres throughout Los Angeles and its surrounding areas but where I truly honed my skills was at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA. There I interned for two summers and a fall season. If you’re ever in central California, it’s definitely a must-see!

It’s my first week here and I’ve jumped right in. We’re currently working on the set of The Cocoanuts. Some of my co-workers and I have been working on the flooring and I’m loving the colors we’re using: peach, yellow, and green – very Florida! Pictured here is the floor in-progress: the beginnings of a palm tree, a sun, some lettering and peach diamonds along the edges. It’ll surely be a great escape from the cold when it opens.

In my time here so far, I love Ashland! I really enjoy being able to not only walk to work (exercise!) but the ability to walk to so many places around town. I’m also very pleased with the variety of restaurants there are! The co-op is especially fun to explore. There are quite a few interesting shops ranging from music, books, and clothing. Seems there’s always something new to discover and friendly people to enjoy it with.

“One Brick at a Time” from Jose Rivera

In Internship on January 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Jose Rivera Photo Week 1

Beginning my internship was somewhat intimidating to me since I don’t have any background experience in scenic painting. However, after being in the shop the first day and after getting to know the paint crew I was more at ease because of the support they gave me. Overall, my internship experience for the last month has been great. Time seems to just fly when I’m in the shop working on something new. It impresses me and fascinates me the amount of detail and hard work the paint shop invests in each piece for the set.

The first things I began working on were the brick walls for the set of Two Trains Running. The first step I was taught was texturing the brick in order to add more dimension to make them appear more realistic. After that, the bricks were primed with a grey color and then each brick was painted one by one with a red/brown color. The bricks were also given highlights and once they looked like realistic new bricks we then began the aging process. A very translucent wash of dark grey was then brushed and splattered to all the bricks, which gave them a more worn look.

This process will be very useful to me in the future, not only because I will be able to use these skills as a scenic painter, but I will also be able to use this knowledge in my own artwork. I truly enjoy working with everyone in the Scenic Paint Department and I appreciate them taking time to teach me new techniques in scenic painting that I do not know. Being surrounded by humble professionals who don’t mind helping me out motivates me to keep striving to improve and leaves me with deep and meaningful appreciation.

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