Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This is what I've been working on for the past week and a half! I got a call from Helen Christensen, who I helped with the Mod Prom decorations, asking if I'd like to do some set painting for the upcoming Broadway Revue at the church.
We met JoLee and Patrick Watson at the church on Monday morning and went over the planned sets. Castle walls for Once Upon a Mattress, River City store fronts for The Music Man, vaguely Middle-Eastern-looking buildings for Aladdin. There was also a library set for Fiona's song "I Know It's Today" from Shrek the Musical. JoLee had printed off a screen shot from this video. When I saw it I said, "Ooh! Can I just do the whole library by myself?" and they said, "Sure!" So I got to focus on the library while Helen did everything else. (Helen is good at getting things done.)
After Day 1 of painting. Helen had some electric pink acrylic paint. Very bright!
The end of Day 2.
On Day 3 I did the bricks--I stippled them with one of those sponge tools that looks like a sea urchin on a stick, and then scrubbed a thin layer of light blue back over the top.
"Still Life With Painting Shirt." I've been wearing this shirt since Bruno's. It has memories of all my projects on its sleeves.
Day 4. We had some metallic gold paint, but didn't think it would show up very well, so I did the book spines in white first, and then went over them with a couple of coats of gold.
Books before outlining...
...and after. Helen found some great (and cheap) markers at the dollar store that worked really well.
Beginning the chalk shading. I used Helen's pan pastels. They're just perfect for this sort of thing. Much faster than shading with paint.
The end of Day 5. You can see which books have been shaded and which haven't.
Day 7 and all finished! I added some chalk shading to the bricks and the window frame, too. (And then I gave it all a good spraying!)
There are 27 books on each side. This was not planned at all.
All together it took almost 40 hours. Which is way too much work for a set painting, I know. But I thought, hey, if I get to do something like this, and take pictures, I might as well do a good job. Who knows--maybe I'll get some work out of it.
When I've been working on the train table backdrop at home, I really can't paint for more than an hour or two a day. It was nice to be able to go somewhere else and work. I never would have been able to do this if Doug hadn't been available to stay home with the kids. He was very patient and supportive through the whole thing. (It did end up taking a bit longer than I'd anticipated!) He made lunch every day and called me when it was ready so I could run home and eat. What a great guy.
At this point we don't know if they'll be able to use this piece again for anything else later (or even where they'll keep it--it's too tall to put out in the storage container or down in the basement). But they're doing seven performances, so it'll be used seven times, at least! I'm planning to take Kate to the matinee this Saturday. Should be a great show.