DIY Making Illusions:Dioramas-In the Park


You may remember the backdrop above the HFIM house when it was in the bedroom. A very sketchy view of the Chicago skyline from the rooftop. I added a few artificial tree branches(ferns) between the walls and the two hand-painted foam-core boards.
Some of the photos I'm showing are unedited,
 so you can see the setups. 

The painting itself, is more of a suggestion, much of it done with sponging, the buildings are watered down grays, with shadowing on one side and highlighting on the other. Very few details. 
The trees are all sponging---with some branch brushwork--here and there really quick and no details. 
These are views in the distance in relationship to the dolls. 

Below I used it on the table in the craft room, to create a rooftop party. 
Even closeup--the lack of detail, doesn't matter. It just gives the illusion of distance. 


I tried to simulate late afternoon lighting, but this cast shadows on the backdrop. 


Gray flooring(dull silver poster board) is nice and non reflective and gives a good illusion of concrete.


Besides the new overhead lighting, now LED instead of fluorescent, I tried to use a spot light give the illusion of a low sun. Bad part was shadows..on the back drop so nix that next time.


Here, I used the same backdrop for 'the Park'. I did add some bushes in the corners to mask the edges. 
The painted tree tops become bushes. By lowering the camera eye---the buildings just seem tall behind bushes and trees.


Add a park chair or two---I haven't done anything to either of these chairs. 
They are as found in thrift stores.
Left on the backdrop is the Hancock building and maybe the old Prudential builiding in the distance. 


Stick a hot dog stand in the middle and you have a party in the park. 
No one sees the bushes are sponged paint.


I don't make my artificial greenery permanent, its always in pieces. I use various containers as planters or modeling clay as anchors. Rocks are a great arranging tool in a container. They hold stems and fronds just fine! The grass is from 80% off grass/plant mats---from Michael's. Seems people dont' want to pay 19.99 for 1 square foot of greenery, but at 80% off I picked up two styles. Cutting the backing apart, makes great little pieces to tuck here and there. 


Grass. I would love to be able to buy some real looking non-shedding grass mats, but.... Special order and 15' wide, is an option----LOL, if I were building a doll golf course. So, I use grass scrapbook paper, taped together with painter's tape---which is somewhat removable if you don't press to hard. 


This is nice paper, most stores carry some form of grass paper. UPSIDE---the dolls don't have to balance on a squishy uneven surface.


Set up---the paper seams basically disappear. Again, here is the rough set up of the park. 

Back Drop Materials List:
6 pieces of scrapbook paper-
2 foam-core boards from the Dollar store
Acrylic Paints or water color- green, yellow, black, white, brown 
sea sponge or kitchen sponge ripped apart irregularly

Grass is 6 sheets of 12x12 grass scrapbook paper. Painter's tape.

Artificial greenery and 
doll chairs ...or benches.

Who knows who might show up?

Looking lovely in the park, Barbie says, 
"Have a great day, and I hope we gave you a few ideas."

ll the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

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