The Fun of Paint by Number

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Guest Author Jason Strom

When I was first approached about Don Fox’s design for All Shook UP, at Florida State University, I instantly got a few excited butterflies because of the scope of the project: along with the other scenic elements were eight wing flats and a backdrop; all in forced perspective. Who can say no to that!

 

I was also intrigued by the “posterized” stylization that Don had come up with.

The biggest challenge on this project was not necessarily the technique, but time (isn’t it always!). Our solution was to utilize the down time in the summer. If it wasn’t for the most talented Jennifer Cole, I don’t think this project would have seen completion.

To create the layout of our side wing panels, we used a full size printing, along with an electric pouncing machine to help transfer the image.

 

 

And while a paint-by-number seems simple, the shear amount of color that was mixed for this show was staggering, at least for this little shop!

183 hand mixed colors in all!

Rather than talk about how fun this project was, I think a video is way better!

 

While it appears to be a simple paint-by-number, we still took some time at the end to make sure all the strokes would read properly from stage, and made adjustments as necessary.

 

Photos courtesy of FSU Photography Services.  Photographer: Bruce Palmer

Jason Strom is a graduate of North Carolina School of  the Arts and has been with FSU as the Paint Shop Manager and Adjunct Faculty for 5 years.  Jason’s experiences includes painting scenery for The McCarter Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, John Creech Design and Production, LIV Design, Inc., Carnegie‐Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and for productions both on and off-Broadway.  To see more work of his work, please visit his website.

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