How to Draw a Concert Stage Model

Written by anne hirsh
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How to Draw a Concert Stage Model
Concert stage designs require scale drawings. (blueprint image by Chad McDermott from

If you are designing a concert stage, you will need to be able to draw a model, or plan, for the stage to communicate your design ideas to the other people involved in the project. Stage plans are drawn to scale, meaning that each amount of distance on the drawing represents a specific amount of real space. 1/2-inch scale, which means that 1/2 inch on the drawing equals 1 foot of real space, is the most common scale for stage plans.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blueprint of concert venue
  • Vellum drafting paper
  • Masking tape
  • Fine-point pencil
  • Architect's scale

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  1. 1

    Obtain a scale drawing (similar to a blueprint), known as a ground plan, of the venue where your concert will be held. Ask for a section view as well. The ground plan is a scale drawing of the venue itself, including the floor space for your stage design and the seating for the audience, as if you are looking straight down on it from above. The section view shows the same information, but from a view as if the venue has been split down the middle and you are looking at it from the centre toward one side; this view allows you to see the height of each object in the space. If the venue does not have drawings available, you will need to measure the space and draw it out yourself.

  2. 2

    Lay a piece of vellum over your ground plan and tape it in place so it will not move. If you are making your own ground plan of the venue, make the entire drawing on the vellum.

  3. 3

    Draw out your stage design on the vellum, using the same scale as the ground plan (e.g., 1/2 inch per foot of real space), using an architect's scale. On the scale, find the side with the appropriate scale (in this case, 1/2) and the markings on that side will denote feet and inches in your drawing. This way you don't have to calculate each line yourself. Draw the outline of each platform or set piece, as if viewed straight down from the top, exactly where you want it to be in relation to the permanent features of the venue. If you are drawing the venue as well, draw the architecture first, then draw your stage set.

  4. 4

    Note heights for any platforms by marking a plus symbol and the number of inches above ground level the platform top will be, then circling the notation. For example, a 2-foot-high platform would have (+24") inside a circle (without parentheses), noted on the centre of the platform. Add other essential items that will be onstage for the concert, such as chairs, drum kits and pianos.

  5. 5

    Complete the process for all platforms and set pieces. For flat pieces, such as hanging backdrops, simply draw a straight line. For curtains, draw wavy lines, as close to the proper scale as possible. If you have a section view, complete the same process for a side view of the concert stage. Drawing the outline of a person in the section view can be useful for showing relative heights. The height notations used on the ground plan view are not necessary on the section view, since the heights will be apparent as the stage pieces are drawn from the side. Include chairs and large instruments on this view as well.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the drawing simple. To communicate colours, textures and other items, a different piece of paperwork, called a rendering, is used. The rendering need not be to exact scale, although this can be helpful. It is simply a colour sketch of what the finished set will look like.
  • Note that this drawing is generally referred to as a "plan" or "ground plan," rather than a "model." A stage model most often refers to a three-dimensional representation of a stage that is built from wood, paper, plastic or other materials, rather than drawn.

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