Theatrical Scene Painting: A Lesson Guide, 2nd edition by Associate Professor William H. Pinnell B.A. M.A.

By Associate Professor William H. Pinnell B.A. M.A.

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Sophistication and expertise come with practice, observation, and patience. 5. Preparing the Surface to Be Painted Few things arc more annoying for the scene painter than to be confronted with scenery that has not been properly prepared for painting. When first built, framed scenery, such as the common scenic Rat, must be covered with a decent-weight muslin or canvas and evenly stretched, glued, and stapled to the outer frame. The material must then be sized (with glue and water, or size water) so that the fabric shrinks and becomes taut.

Darkening a color with black erodes away the color's richness, making the color duller and more "lifeless" as the amount of added black increases. H owever, with judicious use of black (perhaps the least 25 expensive color) and white, an extensive array of tints and shades of anyone color is possible. To create a shade that retains more ofthe richness ofthe base color than an additive of black would aI/ow, add to the base color its complement (found on the color wheel): that is, add some orange to some base blue to arrive at a shade ofblue.

This color wheel, then, contains the twelve principal hues that make up the scene painter's palette. One might recognize colors similar to t hose on the wheel in the average paint store. No doubt the yellow orange will not be called 23 as such because the name is unexciting albeit true to its base formula . Instead it might be labeled Santa Fe Sunset, for example, to increase its appeal. TIle very complex nomenclature of color is a problem in and of itself, even when ordering from theatrical suppliers, because there is a great discrepancy in the way the terms are used.

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