Scenic painting (theatre)

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A scenic painter at work at the Semperoper in Dresden, Germany

Theatrical scenic painting includes wide-ranging disciplines, encompassing virtually the entire scope of painting and craft techniques. An experienced scenic painter (or scenic artist) will have skills in landscape painting, figurative painting, trompe l'oeil, and faux finishing, and be versatile in different media such as acrylic, oil, and tempera paint. The painter might also be accomplished in three-dimensional skills such as sculpting, plasterering and gilding.

The scenic painter subordinates their skills to the theatre designer. In some cases designers paint their own works.

The techniques and specialized knowledge of the scenic painter replicates an image to a larger scale from a designer's maquette, perhaps with accompanying photographs and original research, and sometimes with paint and style samples.

Scenic paint[edit]

Scenic paint has traditionally been mixed by the painter using pigment powder colour, a binder and a medium. The binder adheres the powder to itself and to the surface on which it is applied. The medium is a thinner which allows the paint to be worked more easily, disappearing as the paint dries. Today it is common to use brands of ready-made scenic paint, or pigment suspended in a medium to which a binder will be added.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Crabtree, Susan; Beudert, Peter (2011), Scenic Art for the Theatre, Focal Press, ISBN 0240812905