Saying farewell to summer

Fall is finally here and I am thrilled. The summer did not go quite as planned. The opera job ended up taking much, much longer for various reasons. That and my son learned to walk at the beginning of July. We were not ready for him to be walking at 10 months and life has been a whirlwind since.

This summer's opera reps were Carmen and The Barber of Seville. The project was one of those that takes on a life of it's own. Plus many of us in the shop were still a little ragged and seething from the last two projects. At the end of it all, as the truck pulled away, I realized that I took far too few pictures. By the end it was all about getting it done and not recording it for posterity. But at least I took pictures of the fun parts.

The design was a good one, a proper rep set with a single main structure and various elements that would distinguish between scenes and between the two show themselves. One of the distinguishing features of The Barber of Seville was giant rendering of oranges that hung in the skyline above the main wall. Due to a theatrical trick two identical flats were needed. These were initially intended to be fabric drops, but due to the cut out shapes on the top it was easier to do these as hard, fabric covered flats. Otherwise it would have been a rigging nightmare.

Here you get a rare picture of me actually working on something. Being the only painter, I don't get pictures of me working on something that often anymore. Here I am gluing the muslin to the flats. The curves of the leaves and oranges meant a lot of clipping and wrapping of small sections as I wrapped the fabric over the edge of the luan.

All done, glued and sized, they are ready for painting.


After I laid in a base color, I pounced the basic shapes. If I only were doing one, I would have just drawn on the flats and skipped the pounce. But since I had two that had to match, it saved a lot of time to do a pounce.

Then I started to paint. The style was a very loose, watercolor look that I achieved with lots of watery layers of color.






The final touches were the white washes and black 'pencil' lines.


The other fun piece on this project was the bull fighter painting used in Carmen. I know I took more process photos but I did it on three different cameras, including my cell phone. These are the ones that I have on the hard drive at the moment, but at least they are the finish photos.

I like how the placement of the fan works with the flow of the cape on this one. All by accident too.


I also gilded the frame with the left over leaf from last year's ceiling project.


As I said before, there was much, much more to the set that I didn't get pictures of.

Now onto to a new season!