Friday, June 21, 2013

Backdrop Experiments

With a bit of downtime awaiting the delivery of the next batch of signals, I decided it was time to take a first shot at painting some of the backdrop that I had installed last year.  It had been painted a light, sky blue color, to suggest a mild, humid late summer day in Central New York.  First, I selected a light grayish blue green for the distant hills in the Finger Lakes.  Here we are at Nine Mile Creek, looking west, with that part completed:

What a major change to the feel of the space!  Suddenly, there is a sense of distance, and the whole space to me feels much larger from this one simple change.

After painting the distant hills around the whole layout, I selected a medium green for the base coat of the closer hills, in the places on the layout that will need closer hills - namely, the M&E.  This green is too consistent to stand alone.  It will just be the first coat, intended to suggest the shaded leaves in the forest canopy.  At least one more pass will come soon with a lighter, more yellow green color, applied unevenly, to suggest highlights and leaves on the surface of the canopy.  I also plan to paint clear areas with rows, to suggest distant farm fields.

Even with that said, however, when viewed from a distance, I am still excited with the illusion that the backdrop now provides, even with just these simple shapes painted onto the backdrop.  Here's a quick snapshot looking west at CP280, with the new signal bridge being test-fit as well.  The backdrop in view here is the same as the area above:

I'm excited with that view, and it will only get better once I find time to paint the highlights on the closer hills!  I am just a beginner with artistic painting like this - in fact, I haven't done any of it for decades.  I will be experimenting with techniques I have read about and am always open to any suggestions.

Enjoy the start of the summer - more progress coming soon!


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