Painting Airbrushed Murals and Theatre Backdrops for Sets

Airbrushed Mural Theater Backdrop

 

Airbrushing murals and theater backdrops for plays is relatively easy when you know the basics of how to airbrush.  I learned to airbrush T-shirts, and then expanded it to temporary tattoos, then to airbrushing theatre sets.  It’s easy if you “block out” larger

Airbrushed Mural Theater Backdrop

Airbrushed Mural Theater Backdrop for “Cherry Orchard”

swatches of paint with a paint roller and regular latex housepaint.  The next step I do is lay in thicker details with an HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun
.  And finish the tighter detail work with airbrushes (like the Paasche VL, one of my favorite “workhorse” brushes). Now, don’t forget that, in order to spray with these methods, you’ll need a decent air compressor to supply a steady 20-40 psi stream of air and paint to the surface.

Airbrushed Mural Theater Backdrop

Full-size Airbrushed Mural Theater Backdrop

> Related Article: How I Learned to Airbrush

The efficiency of this method can take you from start to almost finished in a much quicker time than traditional brush painted mthods–for example, the mural shown in this post is from an Artists Repertory Theatre production of “The Cherry Orchard,” and I painted this (from start to this point) in about 4 hours.  Try THAT with a regular set of paint brushes!

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.


2 thoughts on “Painting Airbrushed Murals and Theatre Backdrops for Sets

  1. Love this by the way. What did you use for the canvas? Cotton sheets? Painters Canvas drop cloth from a home improvement store? I need to recreate a backdrop from The Christmas Carol and need your advice. Thanks in advance!

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    • Sorry for the delay, Joyce. Thanks for commenting. In this instance, the backdrop was painted on wood flats and the bare wall. You can easily use a drop cloth, but it would be advisable to stretch it onto frames, if possible.

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