Flashback Friday

I promised flashbacks and here is your first one. I was going to begin with the show I had abruptly stopped with, but I have a recent project that is more near and dear to my heart.

We have these 'deteriorating' columns. They have never been used in a show since I have been here, but we rent them out. A lot. Which is amazing because they look like this:

Now these embody many of my painting pet peeves. The first is bad marble in general. It irks me. I strive to make my marble realistic. Whenever I come across actual marble I become mesmerized in trying to figure out how I would recreate it with paint. This has, more than once, led to me walking into walls or tripping over something/someone. The second is the purple 'fantasy' marble. Designers love this sort of thing for some reason. Marble doesn't exist in those colors, but you paint what you are told. However that is no excuse for the 'pooka-pooka' sponge marks on the marble. I should not be able to see each and every spot you plunk down your sponge. And frankly, if it is marble, I should not be able to see that you used a sponge at all. Then the veining. Oh vey, they veining! No, no and NO! Someday I'll do a post regarding this....too much to include here.

I've seen these things go in and out of our shop on rentals and they make my twitchy every time I see them. When a few of them returned from a end of year event and I had some unoccupied time before the end of my contract I saw my chance. I approached my boss with the proposal of repainting them to look better and make them more attractive for rental and use on stage (read- not purple). Don't get me wrong. I love purple, but a more realistic and neutral color would be more versatile for rentals and productions. He thought it was a great idea and said go for it.

And I did.

The first step was to kill the purple. It took two coats of primer and two coats of  the base color. I don't care what the manufactuaer says; their purple (and some blues and pinks) have dye in them. It can create havoc in other situations, but in this one it just made it hard to cover.

The new marble choices were a creamy brown for the top and keep the black on the bottom. These were my inspiration samples.

Once I had the base set, the glazing of colors began. 

This picture shows a good example of the difference between the base coat and the glazes.

Another example of the differences in the process. The one on the right is the first layer of glazes. The one on the left is a few steps further in the process. 

 This one I was rather happy with. Much prettier than the purple.

With the glazes done it was time to start veining. This was the hardest and most stressful part. I really obsessed over making them look realistic. On a table top or a section of wall it is much easier than on a item you can see from 360 degrees. I tweaked it in some spots but really worked to make it seem like these were cylinders of real marble.

I liked these two sections.

Then onto the bases an the portoro marble. I worked them as if each face was a different slab of marble applied to the base structure. 

The linear nature of this marble felt so very strange to me, but it was fun to do. I'd never painted this type before. 

And here is the whole lot. Big improvement, no? Much classier and more likely to be used on stage as well as for events. I'm rather proud of them. There are areas I'm still not happy with but overall I think they are a tremendous improvement. And it was far more fun than just cleaning the shop.

Here are a few more individual shots.

I hope my first Friday Flashback didn't disappoint.

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