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Background artists
Old 03-10-2007, 11:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does anyone in G1's sphere of supreme enlightenment paint their own backgrounds. I've taken a stab at then on canvas but i always think the next one I paint will be better. Is there a book or web site that can help an aspiring backgrounder with some much needed guidence. I like some of the old master's look but I would be interested in some more modern looking treatments. Thanks Steve
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-15-2007, 02:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We do that... :-)
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-15-2007, 05:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I discovered two things about painting backgrounds -- first, that seamless paper is two sided, but most photographers only use one side -- and second, that I'm NOT AN ARTIST and you need to be to make painted backgrounds look good. LOL!

My first attempt at painting some backgrounds was just to spray paint simple white clouds on sky blue seamless paper (see results below). My second attempt was to try and paint a sunset on orange seamless. That turned out to be a disaster, so I put down my spray paint and went back to photography.

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Re: Background artists
Old 03-15-2007, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have known photographers to contact local professional painters to get their used drop cloths. Maybe do an exchange of new for used etc. I guarantee a ton of paint and mostly being very random for most painters.

You can buy large amounts of burlap from the landscapers supply store. Also 3 foot by 50 foot rolls of Mylar from garden supply stores. If you want black shiny surface you can get at the large home centers 10 foot wide by 100 foot rolls of heavy plastic for about 20 bucks.
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-15-2007, 09:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Like Dirty Harry used to say in the movies, "A man's got to know his limitation." And when it comes to painting backgrounds, I first except the fact that I am not a Rembrandt or Carl Spitzweg and have not attempted to paint master pieces.

When canvas or muslin I normally take about three to four complimentary colors of varying shades of flat latex paint and delute about one part paint to two parts water for application by sponge or brush. When I use my air compressor and paint gun I mix it about one to one.

I start out using the lightest shade for my first application and then add the various deeper shades to fit my taste. I would recommend that the first three backgrounds you paint be a solid white, a jet black and about a 20 percent gray. You'll find yourself continously going back to use the gray - its almost universal. You can also paint a solid background (say a forest green) and then take things like a brick, dip it in a diluted paint mix (of say light brown) and randomly pattern the background. There are no really wrong ideas, just ones that aren't tried.

Also remember to step back from your background painting and either squint your eyes at normal camera angle or look through a camera viewfinder with the lens stopped down to your normal shooting aperture to really get an idea of how the background will function.

I would not recommend using the household washer and dryer to dye a muslin background, its a mess to clean up and it gets you in the dog house with the spousal unit.
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Digital photography - Whatever happened to cave painting?
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-21-2007, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lamar Williamson has a book on how to paint photographic backgrounds. I took a class from him years ago and it was great. If you really want to do it right, I would get the info from him. It is better than what you have gotten here so far. That isn't meant as a dig, just a statement of fact. Kinda of like telling someone about disposable cameras when they ask about being a glamour photographer.
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-21-2007, 06:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you have the name of the book?
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Re: Background artists
Old 03-21-2007, 05:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It was a video called How to paint your photographic Backgrounds. YOU will have to search for it. I reccommend Professional Photographers of California members as it was at West Coast and Golden Gate School where he taught.

I sent an email to one who might know, but only time will tell.
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