THEA 409 SCENE PAINTING STUDIO                                        W-F 12:35-1:50            

Ron Naversen              Comm 2030                 453-3076           



This class is a studio course in the techniques and processes of scene painting encompassing skills necessary for theater and theater related painting projects.  Tools, materials and painting techniques will be demonstrated by the instructor and explored and executed by the student. The class is repeatable so students with a special interest in Scene Painting can continue to work on advanced techniques and projects. 



1) A Lab Fee has been accessed to purchase paint, muslin, plywood and brushes.

2) Each student is required to perform 20 hours of laboratory time as scenic artists for Department of Theater productions. Painting sessions will normally happen during studio hours, but after-rehearsal and weekend paint calls may occasionally be necessary.  Students who do not complete this lab requirement will receive an incomplete in the course until they finish these hours. Graduate students fulfilling assistantship duties in the various studios are exempt from these hours, but should attempt to help in painting whenever their schedule allows.

3) Bring in as many coffee cans or other non-breakable containers to store your paint.

4) Wear clothing appropriate for painting.  Even water-based paint will not come out of

clothing after it has dried.  Forgetting your paint clothes is not an excuse to not paint during class time.

5) Readings. There is no required text.  Please refer to the suggested reading list.

The instructor may assign readings and video showings if they become available.

6) Leave the paint area cleaner than you found it.  This is an extremely messy class which

requires everyone to clean up after him/her self and help keep things organized.

7) The Department is increasing its safety instruction and at some time in the semester

students may be required to take a pulmonary test at Health Services to determine if they can use a respirator. The cost of this test is $5.00.



1) The Departmental Attendance Policy will be followed (see Student Handbook). If you are not in class you aren't painting, you do not learn from your instructor & classmates and your classmates are denied your insights.

3) Each project will be critiqued in class, and a written grade will be given by the next

class period.  Students may improve their grade, if desired, by incorporating the instructor and student's suggestions into the project after the initial grading and resubmitting the project for a new grade. Even if your project is not complete you must attend class so you will hear the commentary on your classmates’ projects.

4) A Midterm exam on terminology and processes will be given.

5) You are responsible for the material indicated in the syllabus at the time it is due.  Late

assignments will be lowered one letter grade, which cannot be raised if the project is resubmitted at the end of the semester.

5)  Picture “morgues” for the various assigned projects.  This way the teacher can

help the student choose the project that best matches the objectives of the class.



Pecktal, Lynn.  Designing & Painting for the Theater

Parker & Wolf. Scene & Lighting Design for Theater

Burris-Meyer, & Cole. Designing for the Theater

Pinnell, William.  Theatrical Scene Painting: A Lesson Guide

Collins, John.  The Art of Scene Painting


Video Bibliography

“Setting the Stage: Scene Painting” Video Series 1-3, Rosco Laboratories. 

“How Do I Paint It?,”  DVC, Inc. 

“Fundamentals of Scene Painting,” Ransom, Ron. Theater Arts Video Library



Scene Painting Tools


Painting Techniques

Base Coats

Scumbling (wet & dry) 

Wet Blending


Brush & Painting Techniques

            Lining                           Stippling                       Ragging

            Scumbling                     Spattering                     Rolling

            Spraying                       Sponging                      Dry Brushing

            Stenciling                      Patterns                        Schlapitchka


Beginning Projects

Brush Techniques practice                    10%

Wood Grain                                         10%

Highlight & Shadow                              10%

Brick & Stone  (stenciling)                    10%

Marble                                                 10%

Drapery                                                10%

Foliage                                                 10%

Midterm                                               10%

Final Project                                         20%     (combination 3 of previous projects)


Advanced Projects: (students will select projects in consultation with the instructor)


Stained Glass

Damask Wall Paper

Faux Painting Techniques

Spray Painting Projects

Metal Reflection


Black Light Projects

Fabric Painting

Union Exam Project (8 hour painting project)


Individuals who have any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to execute projects in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester.  The instructor will adapt the class for these individuals as necessary.  The instructor reserves the right to alter the course content to benefit the class.