Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Background painting - Part 01

I've been rather productive of late. Of course, when I got back to work, all that ended. :)  It was a great little vacation time this holiday. My wife and I exchanged kid duty times to make sure we both got time to do our tasks.

One of my major tasks was to get the background sorted on my layout. I was so tired of the brown paper even though it was there to block the wood panels. I had to get a little color up.

The brown paper did the trick for a long while....

The first step to getting this dialed in was ordering some prepared canvas on a roll. Well worth the investment. I timed the order to arrive right before vacation. Worked like a charm.

My plan was to take down the paper, put up a continuous piece of canvas, sketch the locations, then pull the canvas back down for a painting. After that, I planned on hanging the canvas permanently. However, after working with the canvas a bit, I found that...
1. Putting it up and taking it down, then putting it back up would be a pain.
2. Doing it as one sheet...would also be a pain.

So, I choose to sketch on the paper, then transfer it to the canvas.

The canvas would be split into three sections - harbor, main and city. After the sections were cut, I realized that getting them up once was going to be enough and that I should hang the blanks, then paint them ON the wall instead of separately. The massive winds we had here the day I planned to paint outside helped make the decision for me. SO MUCH was falling from the trees! :)

This was going to be tricky, so I thought I'd do a test pass on my shelf layout before taking on the main layout. Much smaller. Much more forgiving.

I snagged a small piece of canvas scrap and painted it up.

It was ok, but I found through the effort and through several MODEL RAIL RADIO conversations that I needed to scale back what I wanted to do on the large layout. Things like clouds needed to be much softer and less "in your face" to get the look I wanted. Hazy and soft. The clouds above were to hard edged and puffy white. They became distracting when placed in the scene.

I did like the way the mountains and trees turned out, however. Even though they needed to be softer as well, they were working in the right way.

Overall, it was a good first effort that I plan to go back in on and tune at a later date. With this one done, I moved on to the larger layout....

(CONTINUED HERE: http://n-rail.blogspot.com/2015/01/background-painting-part-02.html)

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