Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the studio


We've been in the middle of another gigantic project. This on is being created on a very tight schedule. Pictured above are the designs for the show. The designer sends us draftings, and color renderings, and we figure out how to engineer and build his show. This is a particularly thorough information package, for which I'm really thankful. Did I mention that we're building this show on a very tight schedule? We're on a very tight schedule.

The main element of the design is a huge, ominous wall that's made up of dozens of huge old doors that loom over the stage. Of course, you can't reasonably expect to find forty four perfect antique doors at the Antique Door Emporium, so we built them ourselves. But that means that we have to make them look old and worn. In the photo above, the doors are covered with a variety of textures that the scenic artists have applied. We've also manually gouged and bashed up the doors.

The texture is multi-colored, so that it can peep through the subsequent layers of paint, and create a been-painted-a-million-times quality.

Do you see the Greek letters on the floor, above and below the doors? Since the doors already had a alpha-numeric labeling system (doors are designated like crossword puzzle clues -- row d, column 7), we need a way to indicate which doors got painted which colors. Labeling with either numbers of letters would have been confusing, so we decided to be whimsical, and went with Greek.

Here, we are painting a blue-tinted base coat over the texture. We use bamboo poles to hold our brushes. That way, we don't have to wreck our backs, by stooping for hours of painting.

We apply this paint in a comesy-goesy manner, so that the colored texture is still apparent. Pretty subtle stuff!

Mike applies the first layers of color. He has been in charge of the color portion of this project. He picked out all the color recipes, and developed the painting techniques. You can see the designer's rendering in his left hand, with the Greek letters written in the middle of each door. Mike is painting a "delta" door.

By the end of the day, Mike's shoes had turned a beautiful blue, because they had been in the path of his paint spray gun.

Mostly finished! We've painted soft spray layers of blue, and then "floated" a thin glaze of "dirt" into the cracks and crevices of the textured doors.

We love how this looks.


Pica said...

Wow, these doors are AWESOME. I love the colors.

But I feel for you with the tight schedule...

LunaSea said...

Wow. That whole process looks amazing.
How does one go about getting your job? I'm just green with envy.

Anonymous said...

Ah now I know why we missed you at the fungus-spaghetti event in San Jose Tuesday! Hey, if you get a project like this again, I have a couple of cats who could make those doors look real old, in a hurry. LOL.

Kaaren said...

So very cool!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of Monsters, Inc.!!


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