Monday, May 02, 2011

Painting Venice on cardboard

This is what I've been working on lately.  I was asked to help out on the decorating committee for the Modest Prom (popularly known as "Mod Prom"), a five-stake dance (it's a church thing) for the sixteen and seventeen year-olds.   Helen Christensen, who has done a lot of the painting for the Festival of the Nativity, has been the driving force, and we've had 6-9 other ladies helping out throughout the process.

We started out with forty 4' x 8' sheets of cardboard.  On the first day we laid them all out on tables in the gym and painted them white.  Then we used opaque projectors to trace scenes of Venice onto the cardboard with black marker, and painted them in.

This is our painting table and color chart. A very handy method! This way you don't have to keep opening containers to find the right color. I'll have to remember that for my future projects.

Helen shows off her plastic-wrap stuccoing technique. 

Mostly I helped out with water reflections, and then ended up designing some arches and filling in some other details as needed.

After painting, we added shading with pan pastels (and then took them outside to spray them with fixative).  Really quick and easy.

It's all been a big group effort. On this one I just did the water lines.

We also made some arches with vaguely Italian-looking scenery (not Venice, obviously) to go along the back of the stage and behind the DJ.

Sponge-stamped cobblestones.  This thing is about 90 feet long. Talk about back-breaking work.

These trees were painted black and then Helen added the greenery with big brush strokes.  They look great!  The black really makes the color pop.

I've been trying to do the same thing with these pots. 

The dance is this Friday at the chapel in Sumner. I'm going to try to get some pictures of it all set up. Should be very cool.

It's been fun, working on a project like this with a group of people, and also a good experience for me in figuring out ways to do things quickly and not sweat the details.  I haven't been there for all the painting--generally people get to the church around 10:00 and I don't make it there till after Doug gets home and we have lunch, so there have been several times when I was working on something one day and then I come in the next day and discover that someone else has finished it. And maybe they didn't do it exactly the way I would have, but it's done and it looks great. "Good enough for church work" has become a common mantra.


Helen in Australia said...


I'm looking forward to see the finished effects.

What a wonderful project.

Chris and Mandy said...

Pretty! Looks like it was worth the time and effort.

Heather T. said...

Wow, what a huge production!!

Kathey said...

Really cool, and you learned some new things too.

Liberty said...

Wow, that is a lot of hard work on all of your parts. What a nice opportunity for the youth of your church to enjoy! Nice job!!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I'm not in your stake and I don't even know you, heck I just stumbled upon your blog. But thank you! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort to make Modest prom (we call it mormon prom in our stake) something so special for our youth.

My non-member cousin went and he had a wonderful time.