• CUESCE04C - Use research, innovation and experimentation to produce scenic art

Use research, innovation and experimentation to produce scenic art

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to research and experiment with various techniques and media to achieve new scenic art effects. No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Scenic artists and designers in the entertainment and screen and media industries apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Typically this process takes place after the creation of the overall set design, or it can be an integral part of the design process.

This unit has linkages to other scenic art units and units within the Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package. Combined assessment and or training with some of those units may be appropriate.

It is strongly recommended that this unit be assessed with or after other scenic art units which focus on the development of techniques.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify the potential or need for new techniques and media

1.1. Analyse design or production elements to determine areas where research and experimentation may be appropriate

1.2. Pro-actively assess the potential for the use of new painting techniques and media to maximise the effectiveness of scenic art

2. Conduct research

2.1. Undertake relevant research to identify the historical, cultural and other factors that might influence techniques or media

2.2. Research, adapt and use relevant ideas and approaches from other practitioners with consideration of intellectual property, moral rights and copyright requirements

2.3. Identify appropriate specialists who may be able to contribute to the overall realisation of scenic art elements

2.4. Maintain references in an accessible form to allow for use by other colleagues as required

2.5. Use research material to adapt styles for integration into scenic art production

3. Experiment with scenic art techniques and different media

3.1. Conduct or coordinate trials to establish the best ways in which the desired scenic art effect can be achieved, including experimentation with: colour mixes, textures, materials and painting styles

3.2. Assess results of experimentation, balancing the need for creative effectiveness and cost practicality

3.3. Select, adapt or introduce new materials, tools, equipment or technology for the achievement of different effects

3.4. Liaise with colleagues to provide information on the results of experimentation and to make appropriate decisions on new techniques and media

3.5. Set-up or coordinate specific resource requirements which arise from the use of different techniques in accordance with workplace requirements

Required Skills

Required skills

research skills and sources of information to inform research and experimentation on scenic art

literacy skills sufficient to undertake research and interpret information and material from a broad range of sources

numeracy skills sufficient to evaluate resource costs

Required knowledge

the expressive qualities of scenic art as it relates to the nature of the work, the style of the production and the qualities of the performance

innovative and experimental scenic art production techniques in 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D)

ways in which highly effective interaction between the effects produced by scenic art and performance action can be achieved

the behaviour of various materials, finishes, painting techniques and colours under lighting

ways of adapting scenic art skills across styles, genres and art forms, including film, television, radio and live performance in dance, music, drama

colour theory, line, dimension, chiaroscuro, depth and their application on the stage

painting techniques, including water colour technique and opaque technique

the use and properties of a range of paints and media

testing finished and unfinished materials, such as fabric, leather, vinyl, plastic, foam, latex, found objects, straw, paper, and cardboard

the properties and characteristics of a variety of materials before and after art finishing

costs and costing processes for scenic art elements

organisational and legislative occupational health and safety requirements particularly in relation to scenic art, e.g. fire-proofing

copyright, moral rights and intellectual property issues and legislation as they apply to scenic art

environmental issues associated with tools and materials used in scenic art and potential issues associated with new approaches

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The following evidence is critical to the judgement of competence in this unit:

in depth knowledge of a wide range of techniques and media that may be used and adapted for scenic art

ability to create innovative scenic art effects through appropriate research and experimentation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

The assessment context must provide for:

creative collaboration with others in a process to experiment with new techniques to achieve effects for a particular production requirement.

Method of assessment

Assessment may incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of essential underpinning knowledge, and might include:

evaluation of effects developed by the candidate to meet a particular brief

evaluation of ideas and methods developed by the candidate to create a range of different effects and production contexts

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of materials and techniques

review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities, and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment of this unit requires access to:

scenic elements, equipment and materials as identified in the Range Statement.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Research may involve:

approaching individuals with relevant expertise

conducting material and technical experiments and tests

reviewing approaches of other practitioners

reviewing work for other productions

seeking out information in books, journals, newspapers

visiting exhibitions, museums

Techniques and methods used may include:


anti-clogging techniques for scenic gauzes







scaling up drawings

stencilling, e.g. rollers and stamps

traditional scene painting techniques for canvas

transparent painting for silk and nessle cloths

velour and velvet painting techniques


Intellectual property, moral rights and copyright requirements may relate to:

extent to which the work may be used

procedures for seeking permission to use the work of others, including systems for the administration of copyright

protocols for the adaptation of work by others

Scenic art elements may include:



flooring and floor cladding, eg: tarkett

flown pieces


large props, eg: furniture






soft drapes, eg: legs border, cycloramas, back drops, drops


synthetic fabrics, eg: plastics




Materials used may include:



fire retardant

solvent-based paints


texture mediums

water-based paints

Painting styles may include:





Unit sector

Competency Field

Visual communication - scenic art

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.