Historic Scene Painting Workshop - USITT, Long Beach, March 1998

Brothers of the French Mineral Orange


The Brothers of the French Mineral Orange

A pre-conference event of the 1998 USITT national conference; a Professional Development project of the USITT: Drawing, Rendering and Painting: The Historical Method was held in the scene shop of Long Beach State University.

Dr. Lance Brockman welcomed the participants and explained the schedule for the all day workshop. The presenters were Lance Brockman of the University of Minnesota, Bruce Brockman of Oklahoma State University, Rhett Bryson of Furman University and Rachel Keebler of Cobalt Studio. They were assisted by Alan Bryson, Wendy Waszut-Barrett and Megan Wilkerson.

After slide presentations offering an overview of the research into the historic methods of scenic painting, the students worked on basic drawing skills - focusing on sight -sizing of symmetrical ornaments as a layout method.

The afternoon was divided into 2 sessions. While one group was working with Bruce Brockman on rendering techinques, the other group worked with Rhett Bryson, Lance Brockman and Rachel Keebler and the student assistants on scene painting techniques. The groups then switched so that both groups could work on painting and rendering exercises.

The following digital photos show some of the various stages of the workshop process - with students selecting images, pouncing layouts on the scene cloth surfaces, laying in base coats, cartooning details, laying in successive layers of detail and depth, and adding finishing touches.

As another activity at the USITT, two busses were taken to the Scottish Rite Temple in Pasadena to see the scenery installed there. Thomas Moses, a scene painter for the Sosman & Landis Scenic Company had joined the Masons at that temple - and a mural by him was discovered over the fireplace of one of the lounges. It contains subtle work characteristic of Thomas Moses' scene painting.