Full Version: Gary's "Painting Backdrops from Prototype Photos" How-To
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Many of our members watched in amazement as Gary's remarkable layout build - which included a purpose-built building - began to mirror the real world in an uncanny way. Statements of incredulity were quickly followed by questions on how such remarkable results were achieved in a seemingly effortless way. While Gary's models are indeed remarkable, it is his backdrops that have had the biggest impact.

Modest to a fault, Gary is convinced that anyone can replicate what he has done with some time and practice. To that end, he has put together this "how-to". Originally presented to his local club, his detailed presentation is now here at Big Blue.

It is bittersweet that we present this fantastic tutorial a year following the sudden passing of biL Marsland. Gary gives a lot of the credit for his success to biL - a life-long artist and designer - who in his short time at Big Blue inspired many, and freely gave guidance and support to Gary and all those following his many threads.

Table of Contents - Click to jump to each section:

0. Introduction & Overall Process
1. Finding Prototype Scenes
2. Obtain Photos
3. Edit, Print, and Splice Photos
- Experiment with Photos
- Tape Photos Together
4. Draw Outlines
5. Paint the Major Areas and Details
- Paint Consistency
- Dry-brush Technique
- Is Black Really Black?
- Notes on Painting Techniques 1
- Notes on Painting Techniques 2
6. Shadow and Light
7. Light Blue Wash
8. Hiding the Layout / Backdrop Junction
9. Final Thoughts

Gary's Threads

Original Building
WOOHOO! Good weather = time to build

Painting Threads
Backdrop at the Team Track
Backdrop - Houston Skylines
Backdrop at Mason Park Bridge
Adventures in Perspective
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