This topic has 11 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 11 months ago by wimblytunes.

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  • #14746
      • Experience: 5-10 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      I have to generate samples for an upcoming show that requires large amounts of painted tree bark. We will be covering 1/2″ ply with muslin and painting. There will be several 30′ tall structures made like this.

      I am confident I can paint bark but I was curious if there are any tricks to doing it quickly on a large scale.

      I was thinking a dark base coat, come in with a broken roller and then brush in highlights with an end spatter. I’m afraid that will take too long.



        What kind of bark is it? If it’s like oak bark, which kind of looks like it’s made up of long strands of broken mulch pieces, I love a cut roller to lay in the basic shapes, and then choose what to emphasize with a brush passes. It sounds like the steps you laid out are pretty close to what I’d do too.

        If that’s too much time, could you lay in some of the texture with a stamp?

        Lately I’ve been cutting regular 3/8″ nap roller sleeves into thinner width rings for irregular and wider width outlining steps. Current favorite cheap tool that could work here, too.

          • Experience: 5-10 years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Oooooh the stamp is a good idea! The cut rollers could work nicely too.

          Yes the bark is very much like what you’ve described. The project manager for the show wants to try to sell the client on the idea of painting as opposed to a printed vinyl so I want to keep it to no more than a 4 step process.

          I’ll be trying a few things out on Monday. Thanks!!

           Lili Lennox
            • Experience: 15-20 years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

            Partner Member

            I’d second the cut-roller idea. Or, depending on the width of bark and your panels, a foam roller with rubber bands tightly wrapped around it. I used that once to create a braided rug texture, and I think it would transfer to bark quite easily.

            I would:

            base coat

            roll bark

            fat spatter with base color to add pocks and irregularities

            roll again with lighter level of bark color (bouncy and missing areas)

            fine spatter to finish

            I realize that’s one more step than you wanted, but I think it would give you a nice texture.

            Please post pics of your finished bark!

              • Experience: 5-10 years
              • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

              My other thought was to kind of wet scumble the top colors as a base. Then cut a foam roller to be able to roll in the darker areas then spatter to break it all up. Does that make sense?

              The rubber band idea is also good. Great stuff. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was too busy thinking about these things.



                Ooh, that just sparked an idea for me. What if you made an innie version and an outie version of your bark-shaped cut roller/stamp? Like, one that makes mulch-shaped bark pieces and one that makes the spaces between? Overlaying the two could create enough variation that you might notice less repeat.

                Here’s a version of that idea done with brick & mortar shapes:

                  • Experience: 5-10 years
                  • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular


                  Now we’re on to something

                    • Experience: 5-10 years
                    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                    I made some rollers. Laid in a base coat, rolled in some texture, splashed some paint and called it a day. I quickly grabbed some colors off the shelf just to give the process a try.

                    First one on the left was very quick and I used black (yuck)


                    One on the right turned out better. The client ended up like the colors (strange) but I’ll go with it.


                    Now I wait for it to be built and then comes the fun.

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

                      Member Member

                      Can’t wait to see the final project!

                      That looks like so much fun!


                        This is great! Super successful and quick solution. I’d love to see more as the project evolves- thanks for posting a followup!


                        Aaaahhhh these are such great ideas! I have cut rollers for brick, but wood bark cut rollers would be great to have for just in case someone needs quick tree bark!

                        Thanks for the idea!

                        Can’t wait to see more pics.

                          • Experience: 5-10 years
                          • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

                          Could you take a pick of the rollers you made for that sample? Beautiful product!

                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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