ITHE ADDAMS FAMILY: Scenic Painting

The Addams Family, Dir. Patti D'Beck, Virginia Commonwealth University 2016

This was Priscilla's first experience with trompe l'oeil. They cut out all of the gravestones with a band saw then helped base them with a light gray color. Pre-valve sprays helped to add the base texture. They alternated between three different shades to add depth. To create the green moss, they used a sponge for the texture. White paint was added for the strong highlights. Although they did not do the lettering, they did help write on the other gravestones.

These trees depart from traditional realistic wood grains. they used cross-hatching to lay in the highlights and shadows. First, the darker burnt sienna was based then the lighter green paint was added for the lighter wood grains. Priscilla worked with a partner to apply the paint then go over with a light wash to blend in the grains.

Priscilla had first-hand experience with using corn starch to harden the muslin canvas. they learned how to combine 2:1 parts boiling water and corn starch to create the mixture. Excess particles were strained before entering the sprayer. The Hudson sprayer helped apply it in an even layer. Her crew made a grid to help cartoon the shapes before putting on the base coat. After finishing the flat, they applied an adhesive to the back and attached netting so it could be hung in the fly system.

After the gravestones, this was their second time doing trompe l'oeil. Their challenge was changing positions with their partner at various parts on the crypt so that their techniques were cohesive. This prevented a split appearance from two different scenic artists. She used pre-valve sprays and sponges for depth and texture.

Priscilla helped with each wallpaper design. They all had stencils made to duplicate the designs. For the bat wallpaper, they dry brushed for texture. A chain link piece was used to create the repetitive chain detail. For the red wallpaper, a sponge applied the black base then a dry brush added the white highlights. They lightly sprayed yellow to age the wallpaper and to add more depth.

Photos credited by Xiaolin Lan and Lily Xu

© 2018 by Priscilla Franklin.