Thursday, January 8, 2015

Background painting - Part 02

((continued from BACKGROUND PAINTING 01))

So, wrapping up this background epic. :)

Hindsight is 20/20.  I think I might have gone with foam core panels or some other solid wall covering sheets for this project had I had this info before starting. Heh...:::sigh:::

So, here I was in my office/layout space....alone...and trying to hang these GIANT canvas panels. Yeah...with the layout in place because I can't really move it at this point. Oh yeah...everything was on it. And...yup...I had about a foot of space between me and the wall to work in, too. Perfect storm. hehehe

I had talked to my wife about it before she left for the day with the kids and we were both all in on the "just jump in, start and work it out" execution style. I had a limited amount of time and wanted to get it in place, so I jumped with both feet and started tacking.

Then, as I was working on panel two in the city section, I thought, "You know...they usually stretch canvas over the frame good and tight. How am I going to do this on the wall? By myself. With no space." Yeah...needless to say it's not easy. I did an ok job, but it could have been tighter for sure.

I wanted to do a cyc wall effect in the corners - curving the canvas to avoid a hard edge in the corners. Another interesting challenge.
Working out the cyc wall

Harbor section with sketched in mountains. This still may happen in the near future.

After I got everything up and tacked, I started to see the waves in the canvas. Lines running vertically through the canvas at intervals. (SEE: "They usually stretch canvas tightly over a frame...") Proper lighting helped to remove these pattern lines when I did a test - moving the light higher and at the right angles (...proper lighting to follow in the future...) , so I moved to painting.

Yeah....this was a challenge. hehehe  However, the result was exciting. Actual blue with hits of clouds behind shots of my layout was a huge improvement. However, the first round of painting was too dark. The blue was just too deep and rich for a proper sky.

So...two days later I was back at it, mixing color and sliding around in the space between layout and wall like a pro. hehehe  While better, it's still not 100% what I wanted.

However, after bouncing some things off the MODEL RAIL RADIO group, I made the choice to chill on the background for now and move on to other items. I'll sit with it a while and I'll see how things jive after a week or so. For now, it's nice to say goodbye to brown paper and wood panels.

The idea is to go back in and flesh out areas with mountains and completion elements to scenes - like a continuation of a roadway that leads off the back of the layout currently.  I'll take my time with these items and I'll stick to the lower detail/hazy look I spoke to earlier. I think it will really add to the overall feel.

Joe D.  from the MRR group suggested something that was looking grand. He said that it might be worth looking into something along a traditional, Japanese illustration look for the background. Give it that sort of feel when I'm starting in on mountains and the like.

Then he said that there might be something to a stylized version - something along these lines: 

I really dig the look of this and I'd love to hit somewhere along those lines, just a bit more "tame" as to not distract from the layout too much. I tried hitting close to this on my shelf effort as far as the "trees with mountains" look goes. I think that was the thing that worked the best when I was painting up the other backdrop.

So, now I'm moving into another area and shelving this for a while. I'll be paper kit building and working on the subway section a bit unless something else jumps out at me.

One thing I want to invest in in the near future (hello February birthday and freelance ca$h combo!) is another KATO portram and a small, tight radius curve friendly track cleaning car. I'm officially sick of cleaning my track by hand.

Of course, I'll need to get something to pull the track cleaner, too.....

Tee hee


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