backdrop painting transcript continued
Ted is finishing putting that one up and then we're bringing another one around. The walls are large enough by these 5 X 6 canvasses. We can get about three per wall if the walls are empty. Doesn't show up real well in this video but the walls in this paint room are very coated with paint. You can see outlines of many, many canvasses that have been painted behind what we're hanging right now.
At any rate, that's the way the canvas gets cut and [inaudible 00:03:00] once that's done we're ready to paint on it and that's me there. The first thing that has to be done is you can see the wrinkles in the canvas, the way it's hung right now, since it's a natural cotton product. It's just like shrinking clothing if we wet it. That's why we have to staple it to the wall. If we wet it, it's going to stretch. If you're into art at all, you understand that with canvas, that's what you do with a canvas stretcher. You staple the canvas of an artist's painting to a wooden frame. It used to be when I did that I liked to wet the back of it and then make it tight as a drum.
Okay, what I'm doing here is just brushing out the water that I sprayed on so that it penetrates the canvas evenly and you could almost see the canvas start to shrink and tighten up before your eyes as I do that.
Okay, once it's stretched out, somewhat dried, then we're ready for the first base coat. We apply that with a large production spray gun. IN this case we're doing traditional canvases which you can find in our hand painted canvas section and the base coat on this particular canvas is brown so I'm giving a coat of brown first. Notice I went in two directions. Horizontally and vertically. That gives a nice even coverage without too many runs.
As soon as I've got enough of a base coat to satisfy me, then I'll take a brush on the first coat and brush it into the canvas. This helps me spread the paint out and also impregnate the canvas with paint so it will last longer. It also eliminates the possibility of any runs you have on the second coat so we'll go over the whole canvas with the brush. Brush in that first coat.
Okay, once that's done then we're ready for the second coat. This is just another coat of brown over the brush canvas as you can see, the coverage is a lot better on the second coat. It's nice and even.
Once we've got enough of that second coat on, we'll let it dry just a little bit and then come back into it with a detail gun. In this case I'm using white and the detail gun is a lot more, it's a smaller paint gun, it's a lot more controllable than the large production gun that we just painted the background color with and we'll use it to bring up some details in the center area.
Most canvas backgrounds have what's called a hot spot. That's where most of the color and action in the background is located. It's kind of within the added effect and white's a good way to bring up these details against the background.
As I said earlier, I think I may be about the last living background painter in the United States. It's kind of a sad thing. When I started, most of my competitors were still painting their own backdrops but over time, it seemed that everybody rushed to import cheaper backdrops from China and India and everybody got away from actually producing their own backdrops which I feel like is a sad thing and a sad statement, not just for backdrops but for America in general.
It used to be as Americans we could take pride in what we actually made and the country in general doesn't make too much anymore for itself. But enough of that.
At any rate, I'm now over-spraying just a little bit of brown over the white area. The white, if it was left just as bright as it was, it would be too bright in the photograph. So we want to tone that down just a little bit and we'll come back in and add just a little bit of highlight.
Once that's done, then we're ready to change colors in the detail gun and we'll add some glue as soon as I get the gun loaded here.
Okay now I have some glue color in the gun. Come back in and add just a few blue highlights and some white and brown. This old traditional backdrop, I hate to think of how many of these I've painted since 1978. It seems to be a style that never goes out of fashion and it's fairly simple but it photographs really nicely.
Okay, once we got the blue on, we'll come back and give it just a little whisk of brown. Tone that down just a little bit more then we'll change colors in the large gun and do the final color which is black. The black will be misted in around the outside of the backdrop to get more of the dramatic vignetted effect.
The spray gun works really well for this type of effect since the paint is sprayed on the surface it tends to mend very smoothly. Walls are so dark you're going to lose track of the outside of the backdrop. As I finish this black up, don't worry. I'm going to show you a picture of it finished as well as one in the studio.
Okay. That's about it as far as painting this backdrop.
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