Showing posts with label backdrop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label backdrop. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

New Paper Sky All DONE!

Christine! and I pushed on and completed papering the entire 12' new sky backdrop. We painted dozens of large pieces of brown paper with shades of blue from the black-blue of Night to the pale-cerulean of Dawn. 

We cut the dried pieces of blue into irregular shapes and slathered their backs with ample matte medium. This was used like wallpaper paste, and pressed into the collage of graduated shades while wet and brushed down flat against the wall behind.
Here are some test shots of what the finished sky backdrop looks like behind the plastic scrim layer. Dreamy and hand-painted looking. No harsh corners.

The Christine!-Painted Backdrop

Like a miracle, Christine!, a fine art painter, has come along to hand-paint distant hills and a continuation of the birch forest on Halfland's backdrop. Above, her sketch of the main set she drew to plot out the shapes and proportions. Amazing.
Once the backdrop was fully papered, Christine put down the hill shapes all across the horizon at the right height for puppet-eye level on the main set. The two shots in the middle show her painting in the juncture of where Day meets Night, and then how the finished area looks behind the plastic "air" screen. On the right, her lovely Summer birch trees.
At the opposite end of the sky, to the left of the cottage in the wintry night, Christine made the same landscape as seen in a cold, moonlit darkness.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Day Kisses Night: Paper Sky Tiles

Painted paper tiles 10 feet tall, 12 feet wide, mosaic a new sky backdrop. Features the new 1/2L sky concept of Day kissing Night, depicted in shifts of color and a large rendering of face shapes on brown paper. A concept sketch from an old picture of the set and a (unknown source) artist rendering of the day time sky kissing the night time sky as backdrop. I placed PS guidelines in the sketch on my computer and taped a clear plastic envelope to my monitor to trace the face shapes onto a grid. Then I grided up a large swath of brown paper to scale and drew the shapes into it. Filled in with slight shading and attached to backdrop wall with tape until it was papier machéd into the paper tile mosaic. It was Christine and I struggling at a loss for how to complete the sky backdrop that had us brainstorm the papier mach´solution, so fitting for this project. It gives me control over the blend of shades and shifts. And since the machéing was done on top of an unsuccessful layer of cloth and plastic backdrop, it allows me to color the entire area needed for this without harming the room I'm using. Plus, it's safe to say that all of Halfland has been made in this same fashion; brown paper and Nova Color Matte medium maché!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Just by varying the lighting a bit, it's possible to alter the skyscape dramatically. For rain clouds, backlight, for sunset, blush pink gel on key light, soft daytime, light the far backdrop with a diffuser and hit the front too, and night time's moon glows just right thanks to a spot on the far back with no front.

I'm still working to install the sky backdrop, however, I wanted to give an update on the successful cloud scrim test made today.

I'm on a Halfland Retreat and haven't left the house for days, heavenly. And I only had on hand a small swatch of clear plastic drop cloth to try out my concept for an "infinity" backdrop effect.

I found it much easier to paint on the plastic than I thought it would be, especially after I got the knack for doing it after spilling half HA! the jar of precious Phatho blue paint on the floor last week. I found that wiping it up with a wash cloth left the most perfect transparent layer of blue tint! But I digress.

I sponged on white house paint and painted over with matte medium then tinted the scrim casually with a pale hint of blue. Not knowing how it would look I touched up any blank areas with additional white, etc. I might ultimately go more translucent on the clouds on the final scrims. But I was completely stoked and thrilled with the effect, even with this quick test.

The concept gelled as soon as I got the idea to DOUBLE the plastic scrim to further blur the flaws and offer myself much more in the way of animation of the clouds and changing the time of day.

I plan to buy a couple of large 20' x 30' clear plastic drops and light weight connectable tubing track to string them on, install ceiling and floor, with a pull string attached to advance the scrim every so often, thus moving the clouds slowly during the filming. natural and yet hand-painted. Perfectly what I was hoping for. I'm dropping the idea of buying a stage scrim this is working so well for a 10th of the cost.

I'm surprised and thrilled with these results.

Now, if I could only get the far backdrops up properly!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to Drawing Board

UPDATE: My Team of Kindly Experts have weighed in... NO WAY! on the shelter solution. R u qwazy beeeotch!?

What a ride! Today I saw a very sturdy 10' x 10' garden gazebo in the hardware store for $199 bucks. That got me thinking. If I were to spend about $300 to construct something--and lugg up heavy panels, etc. why couldn't I spend $200 for something already designed and built, lighter weight and strong enough to be stable?

Hey, maybe I could even find one for less? Googled crazy and stumbled upon an amazing solution. It's a 15' x 15' geodesic dome nylon shelter for, well under $100. THANK YOU SRI LANKA!

I'd need to construct stilts extensions under the legs to have its roof reach to the max ceiling height but that I can handle.

I'd still need to backdrop the interior with a painted surface, maybe actually painting the nylon? and I'd also like to scrim that surface with painted stretch nylon, as shown in the lower right photo in yesterday's post.

My only bum out over this idea, is how much it closes down the environment. I love the expansive feel of how the set looks in the giant space of the shop. Ah, but all that chaos must be covered so...

If I don't hear a disparaging word from you clever readers, I'm buying one of these doggies tomorrow! NIGHT!
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