Ivy Orth Live Painting @ Inspired 5.2.16

Step by Step: The Process of Creating the Enchated Forest

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Welcome to our Step by Step Series!

I will be guiding you through some of the processes used to create some of the evironmental decor we use here at LunoSol.  As a contributing artist, I want to share my techniques and ideas, so as to inspire and encourage the artist in us all!  If you enjoy these blogs, or have an idea of your own to share, please comment and let me know!  I am always looking for artists, inspiration, and community!

Welcome to the newest set in progress: The Enchanted Forest.

Final Mushroom Enchanted Forest

The plan is for 10 backdrops, all in scenery style, with a certian amount of realism.  This is as opposed to the more cartoonish, whimsical style as seen before in the Duality of Shiva Shakti backdrop.  This will be most effective in creating an emmersive fairy tale-like environment at an event, especialy if in an indoor venue.  The landscape format of these backdrops help to cover large, unsightly walls, and the deep perspective of the backgrounds give the idea of distance and space in an otherwise crowded venue.

I will be using a mixture of airbrush and traditional paintbrush techniques on this backdrop.  I prefer to work with Createx Airbrush Paint.

To begin, I use inspiration from a sketch I drew last winter.

Sketchbook drawing, winter, 2015

Sketchbook drawing, winter, 2015


I like the movement depth, and playful nature of this drawing.  However, I will use a mushroom as the focal for this peice, as it was requested as a comission from a LunoSol client for a private birthday party event. The fairy may make an appearance in a later backdrop development within this setries.

I will use a medium weight black cotton fabric, measuring 150 cm by 300 cm.  This is a good starting size, and will be the average for most of the 10 backdrops.  I start by masking out the the layers of my perspective.  The background, the middle ground, and the foreground, nearest to me.  thie way, I can create a distant light source and sillhouetted foreground.  This technique is great for past painting styles, as we need not put too much detail in the silhouetted foreground.  This technique leaves much to the imagingation.

First mask - Outline of Background, Middle Ground, Foreground

First mask – Outline of Background, Middle Ground, Foreground


Next, I will fill in the details of foilage.  I suggest using stenil masking papaer, or as I did in this case, teh sticky tach papaer used tfor lining kitchen drawers.  Here is a good quick tutorial video on making stencils with masking paper like this.

Step Two - Foilage Masking

Step Two – Foilage Masking

Step 2 - Foilgae Masking

Step 2 – Foilgae Masking


Now, to prevent overspray from the airbrsh, we must mask the full layers, one at a time, as they will be removed in stages.

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Once we are left with only the very centre, in this case, the furthest background, we can begin to paint!!

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I removed the stencil frm the middle ground next, and continued to add teh paint to create the effect of fog.  I used opaque white as a base, and added trasparent fluorescent pink, fluorescent green, and fluorescent blue on top, with a top coast of transparent fluorescent white.


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I used the paintbrush here to paint silhouetted mushrooms in the far dstance, before I will remove the stencil covering the mushroom iself.


I then used white opaque to give definition to the mushroom, and continue this ntil all layers of mask are removed.


By adding texture to the stem, the cap, and the bark of the trees in the foreground, the backdrop is now ready for highlights in fluorescent transparent colours.

Close - Up of Stem Detail

Close – Up of Stem Detail


I use transparent fluorescent green acrylic to create the high contrast foliage in the foreground.


Now, after the addition of some creatures in the trees, I am ready for final touches.  I use black acrylic to define the darkest areas, and white transparent acrylic paintbrush tequnique to give the brightest areas hightlights.  I also use yellow fluroescent to add onto the creatures’ eyes, as well as some firefly-like sparks around the backdrop, for a sense of aliveness.

Here is the final result:


Mushroom Enchanted Forest Backdrop One

Final “Samuri Mushroom in the Enchanted Forest”


I hope you found this helpful, fun, and informative!  I will continue to share my Step-by-Step series as the work progresses.  Look for YouTube videos soon, too!



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