The First Scenic Painters course was launched in 2009. Over the last ten years or so, the range of training on offer has grown and developed. We now offer one, two and five week courses, in a rolling program that runs throughout the year. The courses are modular. The modules are described below. Many of our students have a fine art or theatre design training, but not all. We have worked with several students who are a love of painting and want to change career direction but who have no formal training.
Five Week CoursesThe five week course contains all the modules offered at Scenic Painters. It is an intensive period of study covering most aspects of scenic art and scenic painting. The five weeks is divided between scenic painting and scenic art with two backdrop projects as well as up to 24 faux finishes. We will also discuss the jobs market and how to get work in the industry.
Two Week Finishes CourseThe Two week finishes course is basically the same as the first two weeks of the five week course. It comprises of the same five elements, two day modules in Scenic decoration / ageing, wood finishes, stone metal and brick finishes.
Two Week Scenic Course.This course serves more as an introduction to both scenic painting and scenic art. This was the format of the first course run from the studio. The first week starts out with a two day module in scenic decoration and ageing. Then there are three days of scenic finishes, seven or eight picked from wood, bricks, stone and metal. The second week is a cloth painting week. This is a good option if you'd like to experience the whole spectrum of work as a scenic.
Cloth WeeksCloth weeks allow students to come and paint a small backdrop usually working from an old master painting. These projects can be tackled with the cloth stretched on a paint frame or on the floor. Its a great chance to improve your portfolio and learn new techniques.
Online Courses.Our new range of online courses is being introduced over 2020. These will build into a complete guide to scenic painting and scenic art, with video tutorials and lots of supporting information. There will be discussion groups around each film so you can ask questions and get feedback
What's in Each Course?
Modules / Courses.
Two Week finishes
Two Week Scenic
Decorating / Ageing.
Bread and butter work for a scenic painter. We look at how scenery is prepared for decoration, how to prime, base coat hang wall paper, cut in, and how to age and distress. Each student paints a corner of a small set from scratch.
Students will learn several wood grain finishes, learn how to dye and build up a patina on a plywood floor, and how to create weathered wood. These wood finishes are central to the work of a scenic painter.
We'll learn how to create rust, galvanised metal, painted gold, gold leaf, bronze and copper verdigris, sheet steel and cast iron.
This two day module covers three different ways of creating brickwork using vacuum formed mouldings, stencils and masking tape. If Time allows we might add some sign writing adding an old advert over the top of the brickwork. We'll also create ceramic brickwork, the kind you might see in a railway or tube station.
The Stone module covers rough and smooth concrete, slate flooring, flagstones, dressed stone and marble. If we have time we may also paint some granite.
Spray Gun Work
We start off looking at the variety of spray equipment used by scenic artists and painters, from the humble greenhouse sprayer through to precision gravity feed spray guns and airless sprayers. Each student then works through a series of exercises gaining skill in using a spray gun, working with and without masking materials.
This module is aimed at those interested in scenic art rather than scenic painting. We learn how to mark out a cloth and about the various methods of moving elements of drawing around. We cover the use of projectors, pounces, mouse traps, stencils. We'll discuss the role of a scenic in clarifying and interpreting the designers work.
Cloth work on the floor
Backdrops are painted in two different ways, either nailed or staled to a wooden floor or a vertical frame. This floor painting exercise explores watercolour techniques that are easier to achieve on the floor. We will be working from designs from a professional pantomime.
Cloth work on the frame.
The old master project involves students creating a small backdrop from part of an old master painting. We us an underpainting technique that allows the cloth to remain soft so that it can be used as a drape as well as a backdrop. This exercise is painted on a simple paintframe.