Scenic artists (sometimes credited as scenic painters) work to briefs set by production designers and are usually highly trained artists or the may have trained to be scenic artists for film and TV productions. Scenic artists are usually a single person working on set pieces that include; painting set pieces, such as backdrops, cutouts, props, or permanent structures. They are often responsible for the recreation of authentic surfaces, as well as ageing and breakdown. Common tasks include simulating wood, stone, brick, metal, or stained glass. Scenic artists may also be responsible for the execution of portraits, murals, and similar pictorial assets for that production. These tasks may be credited to a scenic painter who performs largely the same role as a scenic artist
The credited role of scenic artist it one isolated to the 21st century BBC Wales-produced Doctor Who and Torchwood. However there are items from 20th century Doctor Who that are cited as being the creations of scenic artists. The copies of the Mona Lisa used in City of Death would have been the creation of a scenic artist at the BBC.