"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Backdrop in the Studio

A couple of months ago I purchased a second hand photographer's backdrop stand from a local photographer who owns a photo store in Campbell River. I have many times over the years just pinned or taped fabric or paper up to a convenient wall when I wanted to construct an environment to use for a painting. Having this stand is an enormous treat! I should have done this years ago! I can drape what ever I want over it, two levels even! Isn't it surprising how the simple things can make a difference? I feel much more motivation to proceed with some new figurative work now that I have this stand. It goes up to about 15 ft. and spread wide to 12ft. and doesn't fall over. I can fold it all up into a long, narrow carrying bag if I want to put it away or take it to where my subject is. I keep thinking I should take a new photographers course - they have all the tricks and methods for getting great images which artist's often lack. I did have a year of photography in art school but it was geared to b& w and lots of dark room work - some stuff on studio lighting, but things like posing models, setting up still life scenes, etc. were not really in the curriculum. We went out on the street and shot a lot of candid things and I learned a great deal from that but often I am after something very specific and I struggle to get that image I have in mind. A simple backdrop stand can't solve all those issues but it is a step in the right direction. I had a great session yesterday with this model, Samanda, and came away with over 40 shots, many of which are probably going to go into paintings. Now I have a new toy to play with and the ideas are flowing!


  1. She is beautiful! I can't wait to see how you paint her, seriously she's like the perfect model :)

    And that stand is so cool, I need to get one of those!

  2. This looks like a really neat piece of equipment. There are so many things we artists need to compose a painting!

  3. I do recommend one of these for any artist who does still life setups or poses models - just be sure to get a sturdy one - I almost purchased a much flimsier version (due to cost) but was lucky to locate a photographer who wanted to sell his more professional stand. Often very high quality second hand equipment is available - call local photo stores, check eBay, or put an ad in your local pennysaver newspaper. And I too am anxious to see "how I paint her!" Isn't she just gorgeous?

  4. Oh Karen, I'm so inspired by your post!! And what amazing photos, I cannot wait to see the painted results! A lovely model too. Wow, my mind is racing. Great post, thank you!

  5. Hi Karen,
    I can just "feel" the excitement in your voice and in your studio! I am so excited for you; what fun this new adventure will be. Samanda is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure she will be a treat to paint. I can tell already that your new tool will provide so much inspiration simply by virtue of the fact that it will be much easier to set things up as you imagine them.

  6. Congratulations on your new prop! And what a beautiful model! I can only imagine the gorgeous paintings that will result.