This topic has 9 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 10 months ago by Angelique Powers.

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  • #14744
     Angelique Powers
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Hey Teachers!

    This is our place to talk about our scenic painting programs, and share in our successes. Are you lucky enough to have a scenic painting class in a regular cycle? Or are you just teaching techniques on a show by show need? What class projects do?

    #15146

    I teach a painting class every now and again. One of my favorite projects, other than then standard faux techniques, is to have them do a monochrome project to help teach the concept of value. I have them reproduce an image, usually a landscape, but they only get to use one base color and then black and white for tinting. It’s also a great way to help use up those last bits of paint from previous shows.

    #15147

    Aloha!

    I’ve taught scene painting at 3 different Universities and working on my fourth this fall… hopefully I’ll be staying here so my plan is to work it in as part of the normal rotation.

    For class I usually start with a ‘fun’ quiz of what do they know – no points but helps me get a better understanding of where everyone is at

    They have some readings they do and we have class discussions on history of scenic art, terminology (continental vs. eastern), tools, what does a scenic do?, what departments do they work with and how, etc.

    Go into color theory and have a color wheel they have to do – we spend a class with junk paint practicing what a scumble is, wet blend, spatter, how to paint a straight line, etc.

    1st Project: We do a project of wood – 3 ways, 3 panels on the same board

    Use of different types of rockers/grainers and brushes 3rd panel has linenfold trompe l’oeil

    (Mix paint colors from swatches given in groups; cartoon with measuring and projection)

    I use the three panels to also teach time management of working different panels while others are drying.

    2nd Project: Marble 3 ways

    mus net and puddling, denatured alcohol (more of a granite), and feather with a trompe l’oeil chiseled letter and frame on first panel

    (mix paint colors from swatches given in groups; cartoon Letter with projection)

    3rd Project: Brick, Cinder block, and Stone

    All highlight, cast shadow, and cut line with light from same direction

    (mix paint colors from swatches given in groups; cartoon with measuring)

    Final: Their choosing/design

    They can chose and design what their project is but must use techniques learned throughout semester (no fields of color with black outlines)

    Mix all of their own colors for their own project

    It’s great to see their growth and they are always shocked at what they can do!

    #15148
     Batul Rizvi
    • Experience: 10-15 years
    • Scenic Status: Other

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    I taught a scene painting course last year to undergraduate non-theatre majors, so it was a basic/introduction class.

    We started with stretching a flat, then doing a tools & techniques project with slop paint. This taught them how to use a tool and showed them what it looked like when they made those marks. That’s arguably the most important project, although it does become a bit of a free-for-all mess in the shop.

    Then we move to the classic wood grain barn door and cornice fantasy marble projects. Next a swatch matching exercise that coincides with the colour theory lecture.

    I’ve incorporated a logo recreation project after that into the syllabus, which was the favorite according to their course evaluations. They mixed their own colors, found their own techniques, and the logos were about 2′ x 2′. (It was really fun to teach lettering for this).

    Their final project was a no brush landscape recreation on a 3’x6′ flat. I allowed a lay-in brush for the base coat, but after that it was found materials and shop tools and whatever they could come up with. I had a student paint cacti with his shoe once, really fun exploration in mark making!

    The course is a semester long and is a co-requisite with production lab, where they do 20 hours a semester of work in the shop for productions. It’s amazing how the skills transfer from class to lab!

    I think the best part of teaching this is to see students who think they can’t do a project succeed in baby steps. They can step back and see their progress improve so much. It’s hard to see that sort of progress in non-visual classes.

    #15149

    In the past I’ve done something particularly evil. After mid-term, when everyone has the basics down and a few successful projects under their belts, we move on to drapery.

    About halfway through the drapery project, I’ll walk through the class and say, “Dave, go finish Veronica’s project. Veronica, go finish Dave’s project.” And on and on. Everyone has to finish someone else’s project. I typically pick people who are at about the same stage of completion to do the switch.

    At the end of the project, we sit and talk about the experience as we critique.

    What I hope to teach is:

    1. The students have to adapt in the middle of a project to a different painting style

    2. Since we paint for other designers much of the time, I want the students to understand “ownership” of the art.

    3. I want to prepare them for the eventuality, when they are painting in a professional shop that this will likely happen to them again and again.

    #15150
     Anonymous

    Rothgar wrote:

    About halfway through the drapery project, I’ll walk through the class and say, “Dave, go finish Veronica’s project. Veronica, go finish Dave’s project.” And on and on. Everyone has to finish someone else’s project. I typically pick people who are at about the same stage of completion to do the switch.

    At the end of the project, we sit and talk about the experience as we critique.

    What I hope to teach is:

    1. The students have to adapt in the middle of a project to a different painting style

    2. Since we paint for other designers much of the time, I want the students to understand “ownership” of the art.

    3. I want to prepare them for the eventuality, when they are painting in a professional shop that this will likely happen to them again and again.

    I love this! It’s not enough to learn the skills and finishes, but you must also learn to adapt and work with others.

    #18280
     JennyHitmar
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

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    hello!  I’m developing a full semester class for Baldwin Wallace University.  These suggestions have been so helpful.  Can you tell me how long your classes usually run?   I think I’m overbooking my time.  I’ll have 14 – 3 hour classes.  And my rough draft syllabus switches projects almost every class.

    For example, I have:

    Intro- over-view, hello quiz color mixing

    color mixing speed painting

    scaling up – cartooning, projection, possible pounce

    value, limited pallet

    3 types of wood

    no brush – foliage (found materials homework the week before)

    3 types of marble

    bamboo practice

    texture goop- cement, brick, stone- basic glazes the next week

    aging- crackle, rust, grime, oxidized metal

    final 2 weeks – lay down a drop and paint together.

     

    I know none of these are detailed, but I got a little nervous reading that I should expect to fit in 3 or 4 class projects over 5 weeks.  Do you have several hours for each class?

     

     

     

     

    #18282
     Ellen Jones
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Part Time Freelance

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    Hi,

     

    I could not attach a document so I copied part of my typical syllabus into email body below. I don’t teach there any more but it is my standard class pattern at the undergrad level.

    Scene Painting is an odd course because little can be done as homework outside the building. If you don’t control the shop space you may be limited on the number of complete pretty pictures possible because you can’t be in there with the students and without someone spreading sawdust in the air.

    Your choice to do one day a week for 3 hours is best. I always tried for Friday afternoon. Students in the class want it and  have few conflicts since hardly anyone wants to rehearse or work late in the day on Friday. And you have more space for your needs.

    I always integrated what was happening in productions to teach some techniques ans those were also graded assignments.  For a beginning class I used the Sherwin book so they had a road map.  One thing that is not really reflected in the syllabus clearly was my requirement of a semester long mixing book that showed both experimentation and the formula for ever color they mixed for any project. Also the price point was not out of sight.

    Instead of stating the number of projects my syllabus contract has some flexibility by grouping kinds of work.  In the end because some projects build on the base of other technique projects we had 6 projects and show work . I was also using smaller flats for projects 4′ x 6′. Remember projects do not have to be completed masterpieces. You will have to teach basic texture and graded wash techniques that may be the basis of other more complex projects. but still provide some diagnostic grading opportunities early on. It also give the timid student something graded that is not frightening before you get to more complex work/

     

     

    Required Text:

    Scene Painting Projects for Theatre by Stephen Sherwin.  I will place one copy in the shop, but you really will use the book.

    Additional Reading Materials and PowerPoints may be placed on the Blackboard shell.  Ask if you don’t know how to use it.

    Required Supplies:  Architect’s Scale Rule, pencils, and a black sharpie marker.

    Recommended: You can get 4” natural boar bristle at any paint store – inexpensive (Harbor Freight $1.49 each). You will need 3 or 4 at a time.   You will also use a large sea sponge frequently. Those may be purchased at a paint store.

    I will provide my brushes scenic fitches and there are shop brushes. If you decide you want your own scenic brushes you can order them from Limelight Productions for the best price.  Try my brushes first to see which sizes work best for you if you don’t want to spend $100 plus for a set. If you destroy my brushes, you will have to replace them.

    Course Description:

    This course is an introduction to the craft of scene painting.  Students will create studio projects and work on mounted productions to master the skills of creating faux materials; three-dimensional tromp l’oil, and evocative images in paint.  Students will paint almost every class meeting. Safety for the artist is a focus of the course as well.

     

    We will start out learning basic techniques using the projects in the text book. Then we will move on to projects related to painting Twelfth Night. Those projects will use techniques from the Sherwin book, After Twelfth Night opens we will do individual paint projects from the Sherwin book. At each due date, we will critique the individual projects.

     

    Course Objectives:  By the end of this course each student should be able to:

    ·         Learn the common vocabulary for scene painting.

    ·         Clearly understand color theory.

    ·         Read scale paint elevation and transfer it to a larger surface.

    ·         Identify common scenic painting materials and understand how to use MSDS (SDS) sheets pertaining to those items.

    ·         Use common brush strokes and techniques to create painted finishes for theatrical scenery.

    ·          Select paint products for color mixing.

    ·         Select products and painting techniques to create specific faux finishes.

    ·         Use paint products for color correction on scenic elements.

    Student Learning Outcome: Introduction to skills needed to create painted elements for a staged presentation according to the discipline standards within the theatrical arts. To put it another way: No matter your planned career trajectory, this goal is to give you an understanding of materials and products that will allow you to work confidently and safely as a scenic artist at YSU or for another company.  An equally important goal is to give you the knowledge in this area that will support your future work whatever your area of interest in the discipline.

    Grading:  There is not an hour work requirement in this class.  However you will be given paint assignments on Twelfth Night and your projects will require painting time outside of class.

     

    ·         Twelfth Night  assignment                                                                                         40%

    ·         Other assigned projects  – at least three must be completed                         50%

    Every group and facility is different.  If, collectively, you are having trouble keeping up with the due dates of assignment and are spending more than 6 hours a week outside of class or cannot work at reasonable hours due to space conflicts, then we may need to reassess the due dates of assignments. If the Twelfth Night projects go more quickly than I anticipate, then we will add some fun things.

    ·         Final Project                                                                                                                        10%

     

     

    Hope this helps. Feel free to email me directly.

    Ellen

    #18326
     JennyHitmar
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

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    Thank you so much Ellen!

    I’m much further along now, and I wanted you to know that you really gave me  a jump start!

    Another question for all teachers.  Now that I have a better outline for the class structure and learning outcomes attached to them, I see that without “THE” correct rendering, the lessons will be pretty hard to focus exactly .  Are there a few resources and libraries that I can choose and pull renderings from?  Thanks 🙂

    #18358
     Angelique Powers
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    I admit, I only use actual renderings for about half of my class projects, because as much as I want my students to learn how to “Enlarge and Copy” I also want them to learn how to see and trust their instincts and eyes.   So for Wood, Stone, Marble, etc I use some reference photos for inspiration,  but they get to be creative as they learn how to use the tools and basic techniques.

    I pull out renderings from past designers I have works with- (often scanned copies) Art Books are always a great source and then there is Pinterest – which I often find can be a better image search engine than Google Image.

    Also, don’t forget that we have a great list of books on our Resource Hub! 

     

     

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