In addition to working as Production Manager and Technical Director, I also do some design and paint work. The Painter’s elevations on Gypsy for Drury Lane were a joy to do. This is the kind of thing I can do late in the evening at my dining room table, put them all in a drop box file, and send them off.
There are a variety of ways to do a paint elevation. Some people use Photoshop, some people prefer handwork, and some graphic design techniques can also be used. Generally, I like to start with the CAD file and then either attach samples of texture and color, layering and step by step examples. For Children’s backdrops, I really love to do a full hand color paint elevation. I prefer opaque and translucent inks, Berol Prismacolor markers, and colored pencils. I am all for mixed media. Taking a hand drawn piece, uploading it, and finishing it in Photoshop can take a mediocre piece from good to great in no time because of digital capabilities and the experimentation that can be done that takes a lot of the pressure of failure off of the artist.
I think one of the things I particularly like about theatre is that it is a process of mixed media resulting in a final production. It is always good to provide a sample of what you mean the final product to look like. Paint chips and process are important to note if you are not sure of whom is executing your work.
Lastly sign your work and be sure that you discuss process with your painter and design team verbally to be sure that the final outcome is what you yourself would prefer.
Martin Andrew’s production of Gypsy was beautiful, and I was pleased to be a part of the process.