This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 4 months ago by Erin Auble.

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  • #14878
      • Experience: 20+ years
      • Scenic Status: Other

      Member Member

      Hi Everyone,

      I have been teaching scene painting classes for quite a while now and am looking to change up some of my projects. This is a beginner scene painting class (sophomore-level), but they have already done basic bricks, stones, woodgrain, and marble in their freshman year.

      Things I am considering are:

      –Color Wheel (they always need more practice with color mixing and theory)

      –An image that has sky, foliage, bricks, field stones, and a small trompe l’oeil cartouche

      –Pouncing a cartouche (from the Crabtree & Beudert Book)

      –Figuring out a project they must paint while using a bamboo stick (suggestions?)

      –Translucency (suggestions?)

      –a poster, advertisement, or album cover of their choice (approved by me) that has a painterly quality to it.

      –Ghost sign or another trompe l’oeil?

      Last time, I got through about 3-4 projects in the 15 weeks. But this time, these students have had a stronger freshman lab experience in the basics. I think I can get them through 4 projects realistically in the 16 weeks while still having time to lecture & recover/size/prime their flats.

      I welcome all suggestions. Thank you in advance!


        • Experience: 15-20 years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        When I worked in a paint shop at a university the first student project with bamboo was a cartooning project. I would also think that a faux wood planked floor would be a good place to start. Bonus – they get lining stick practice!

        On second thought, that could be an exercise in frustration.


        Hi there! A really handy book I’ve found is “Scene Painting Projects for Theater” by Stephen Sherwin (with a forward by Rachel Keebler). Its written for instructors and gives EXCELLENT step by step processes , tips, and even color keys. Ill try to share photos in the next post.

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

          Member Member

          I like your idea about having the students working on an image including foliage, a cartouche, bricks and fieldstone. That project would show a few different ways a fitch can be used.

          My final project is a foliage reproduction of a section of a drop from the Twin Cities Scenic Collection. I figured out this year that I need to have the students watch me paint the project from start to finish (no matter how restless they get) then have them do it within a set time period with no time extension. It is interesting to see how the project turns out, and there is no time for agonizing or overworking.

           Erin Auble
            • Experience: 15-20 years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            Member Member

            I teach a Scene Painting class for non-majors, one of my favorite projects I call “No Brushes Allowed”. Students must create a painting using non traditional tools or everyday found objects while still using various techniques and textures that we discuss in class. Since this is a non-majors class we discuss why I assign the project and how it relates to their majors. Basically I mention that in school we have a plethora of tools and equipment at our disposal, but when you are hired for a job, you may not have the same tools. I then pose the question, how do you complete your job without the tools you are used to using? This project is done in teams and I’ve had some very fun and creative results.

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