View Full Version : Anyone DIY paint your own background fabric?

02-10-2012, 02:39 PM
I did some portraits of my students several years ago and had them paint the background too. light blue butcher paper, lots of acrylic paint and hands instead of paint brushes. That was a lot of fun, the images looked cool, and we all got in trouble for making a big mess. (I had no idea water based red acrylic paint was so tough to get out of carpet.). The problem was the backgrounds were temporary.

Has anyone ever painted their own more permanent background cloths? If so what did you use?

02-10-2012, 03:09 PM
Not sure if this link will work... http://books.google.com/books?id=n-MDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA875&dq=duke+dambra+photo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cHU1T5m5IaqpsQLepYjsAQ&ved=0CEMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=duke%20dambra%20&f=false ... but I came across this when researching this fellow (Duke D'Ambra) for a hotel with a print of his hanging in the lobby.

This is from Popular Mechanics, 1931, For several years I have used painted background curtains in making home-portrait photographs, and as the curtains had to be folded and unfoled, the paint at the folds cracked. In making up a new background, I found it much better to ink the cloth instead of painting it. This was done with the aid of a fly sprayer filled with ink of desired shade, spraying until the proper tint had been obtained. The spray was then emptied and washed with gasoline, after which ink of another color was put into it and the other side sprayed - Duke D'Ambra, Lawrence, Kans.

This just reminded me of it!

I've always lliked the fabric backdrops used by Seydou Keita in his portraits.


Tony Egan
02-10-2012, 03:31 PM
Many years ago I came across a large roll of quite thick white fabric at a cheap price and painted one side black and the other approx 18% grey and have got a lot of use from it. I used cheap interior wall paint and applied a couple of coats with a roller. If it is typically out of focus in the shot then the occasional marks, scrapes and dirt it picks up with rolling and unrolling and people walking over it don't matter too much.
My avatar was shot in front of the black side.