A Modern Twist Using Metallic Gold Paint

Lindsay Webster is a theatre designer for scenery, projections, costumes, and lighting based in the greater Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. In her dual role as scenic and props designer for Gustavus Adolphus College's production of Cymbeline, Lindsay used Rosco’s Off Broadway Gold paint to bring the gold elements of her design to life. Below, she explains the process and techniques used to create the perfect outcome.

The concept for this piece was "classical meets now." Meaning, it should feel abstract, with nods to the ancient setting, but identifiably modern and relatable. Gold elements were essential not only to signify the royal status of the characters and settings, but to reference the golden wedding ring and bracelet that, as symbols of union and truth, drove the story forward. We wanted to balance the strong presence of metallics with a light and airy space in order to open the story up to an expansive world of possibility. With this in mind, I designed golden highlights into the columns, podiums, hanging rings, and the stage floor.

Paint elevations and scenic design examples created by scenic designer Lindsay Webster.

For the scenery, I used Rosco’s Metallic Gold paint on the base molding of the columns, the vertical wavy lines on the columns and podiums, and as vertical lines along the hanging ceiling rings. The gold markings on the columns and along the upper ring catch light nicely - a surprise glint here and there where it is otherwise almost impossible to spot. These accents were exactly what I envisioned: subtle enough to not be overpowering while still forming to the atmosphere.

Golden highlights created with Off Broadway Metallic Gold paint were added into the columns, podiums, hanging rings, and the stage floor.

To create the gold texture on the floor, we first did some tests on scrap Masonite using a wooden block as a makeshift scraping stamp. Matt Rightmire, our Technical Director, started by using the narrow edge and then rotated to using the full length for a greater width of splotches, which is what ended up being the best technique.

Testing Off Broadway Gold paint on scrap Masonite using a wooden block as a makeshift scraping stamp.

When it came time to paint the stage floor, Matt laid the board down and smeared it downwards, then pushed the board back up to smudge out the smear.

Matt Rightmire, Technical Director, creates streaky smear on the stage floor using Off Broadway Gold paint.

He then rotated the board to be on a narrow edge and used that to smear streaks in selective regions. The texture of our Masonite combined with the texture and grain of the wood board helped to create that streaky smear you see.

Matt Rightmire, Technical Director, creates a modern streaky smear on the stage floor using Rosco Off Broadway Gold scenic paint.

The gold on the floor reacted strongly to red light. The battle scene was particularly exciting because it transformed into  pools of wet neon blood on the stage. In contrast, it nearly disappeared under green light and blended in with the blue scumble base, which was a welcome surprise for the scenes that took place outdoors and in the woods. 

The Gold Metallic Paint worked perfectly for our hyper-modern, sleek aesthetic. Big thanks to Rosco’s Henry Cowen for connecting with me while I was researching which paint to use. I already knew about Rosco, since they are the “gold” standard for scenic paint, but I hadn’t had a chance to work with their Metallics yet. I’ll definitely use this paint again for future projects!

To learn more about Lindsay, and to see more of her design work, you can visit her website: indsaywebsterdesign.com. If you would like to learn more about the scenic paints that she used in this production of Cymbeline, please explore the Off Broadway product page on the Rosco website.

Scenic Design: Lindsay Webster
Technical Direction: Matt Rightmire
Student Assistant Scenic Design: Parker Rogers
Painting: Lindsay Webster, Matt Rightmire, and students at Gustavus Adolphus College.



Brittney Pecor March 21, 2024 Questions?

About Brittney Pecor

Prior to joining Rosco in 2018, Brittney worked as a lighting technician and light board operator in a variety of theatrical and concert venues. In her prior role as a Project Manager for our Rosco Architectural division, Brittney gained extensive knowledge of our architectural products as she built relationships with our customers. Her background in Live Entertainment and her experience with Rosco’s architectural products make Brittney a valuable resource for technicians and designers around the world.