Behind The Scenes: Hidden Hollow Stencil Behind The Scenes: Hidden Hollow Stencil

Behind The Scenes: Hidden Hollow Stencil


August 21, 2022

Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted Aug. 21, 2019.

Do you love the details of Wildwood Grove? I sure do. And I love sharing what I learn along the way. Today I want to explain how it took several teams (with different talents) to create the stencil of mountains on Hidden Hollow.

What you see on the exterior of this 4,000-square-foot indoor play structure is lovely—and it all started with a graphic design and an ancient technique.

Did You Know? "Cartoon" is derived from an Italian word meaning outline.

An artist from Creative Studios, the creative arm of Herschend Family Entertainment, drew a cartoon of this landscape and then turned the illustration into a grid. From there, other painters and artists would transfer the small drawing (to scale) on Hidden Hollow. The contractors worked with five-foot squares and even smaller for the more-detailed areas. You can literally see where the grid was marked-or in this case, you see Xs for where the grid lines would intersect.

Before painting, the shingles had to go up as siding. Using conduit because it bends naturally, the workers were able to mark those rolling hills of Tennessee. For the valleys, they used rope because of the way it hangs. This allowed them to cut and create the bottom line.

A team of painters took care of the hills. They were able to use spray paint. The trees were hand-painted by another team of more-specialized artists—they also cleaned up some of the mountains where the hills may have looked too pointed, for example.

This process took about a month as work had to start and stop due to weather and site conditions—remember all that rain we had early in the year? In man hours, it only took about a week to complete this painting project.

From a graphic perspective, the drawing is a mirror image on each side, but modifications were made as needed. The artists have the license to "eyeball it" and do what looks best. While the final product doesn't match the original graphic exactly, I bet it makes the graphic designers pretty proud.

Now if you're still deciding on things to do this summer, better wrap up that list and give Dollywood a visit!


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