Scenery: A Manual of Scene Design

By Harold Helvenston | Go to book overview

A PROCESS FOR SCENE DESIGN Working Drawings

DRAWINGS for scenic production may be classed under two general headings: those of a technical and those of an aesthetic nature. Technical drawings are those which explain the setting from the standpoint of the stage itself, showing in detail the arrangement of the different stage units with reference to each other, together with construction plans for all parts of the setting, and plans made by the draftsman from the designer's drawings to guide the carpenter and technicians in constructing and assembling the scenery on the stage. Those drawings which are classified as of an aesthetic nature show the stage setting completely visualized, with setting, actors, properties, and lighting unified into a single dramatic effect as they will appear in actual performance, and viewed, therefore, through the proscenium arch. In brief, technical drawings show details of construction and arrangement from the point of view of the technical craftsman, and aesthetic drawings show the proposed effect of the complete production from the standpoint of the audience. To the builder of houses the technical drawings would be the architect's plan of the house; the aesthetic drawings would be the perspective sketch showing any two sides of the house as it will appear when finished.

This chapter will be divided into two parts, the first dealing with the technical drawings, the second with the aesthetic or perspective drawing. This order is by no means mandatory, for unforeseen circumstances often arise which govern the artistic and technical procedure in a dramatic production. Sometimes it is advisable to follow a different plan. Important factors governing drawings of each type will be considered in an attempt to explain their importance with reference to the completed dramatic production.


Technical Drawings

YOUNG designers sometimes have a tendency to disregard or slight the technical drawings for scenery, believing that the finished sketch is all that is required in the execution of a stage setting. When a setting is poorly constructed or the original ideas miscarry, the designer soon learns that the scenic production really rests more upon carefully detailed technical drawings than upon the "dream picture." The designer should learn to create from a plan and furnish complete technical drawings in their proper order. It is much better to prevent a mistake than to try to correct one after it is made. For this reason the importance of technical drawings cannot be overestimated.

Another important thing for designers to remember is that all working drawings should be made on thin, tough tracing paper with a good black pencil in order that clear sharp blueprints can be made for the technical staff.

-17-

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Scenery: A Manual of Scene Design
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xv
  • Scenery and the Designer 3
  • A Process for Scene Design 11
  • A Process for Scene Design Working Drawings 17
  • A Process for Scene Design - The Scene Model 32
  • Light in the Scene 38
  • Scene Painting 51
  • The Exterior Scene - The Natural Exterior 61
  • The Exterior Scene the Architectural Exterior 68
  • Economy in Cost of Construction and Materials 72
  • The Strange Case of Scenery 79
  • The Scene Webster 83
  • Index 91
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