I found some cherries with stems still attached and had such fun, I ended up with a series of paintings. I will continue to add new paintings until the cherries are gone. Some have been painted five times before eaten! Such restraint.
On the shop floor, shot from the top of a tall ladder. It is now on the wall in Act II of Utopia, Limited. The show opens a three week run at the Bagley Wright Theater in Seattle tonight. Show dates: July 10-11, 16-18, 23-25. Ticket information.
The upper right section of the shield set out on shop floor.
If you click to enlarge, you will see the spattering over everything, the final step in coloring. This spatter softens the effect and makes everything appear more believable from the audience. In the larger image you can also see the chalk marks, guides for the person who will screw all the carved parts to the circle base, finishing the shield.
The set designer, Nathan Rodda, asked me to make the lettering casual, loosely Roman, not perfect. The Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of Utopia, Limited opens Friday night, July 5th. For more information click here.
A little more of the 'shield' for "Utopia, Limited." They are probably ready to deliver to the theater by now. The painting was finished on July 3rd. This image shows the carved characters before they were spattered, the final touch.
The alligator, carved by Mike Andrew, is made of styrofoam mounted on 1/4" plywood. Mike adds as many layers of foam board as need to make the required thickness for the various parts of the design before he begins to carve. He comes to the shop in the evening and works well into the night. I think he can make absolutely anything! He has also carved the flamingo and pineapple for the shield. I will post them in a day or two.
Nathan Rodda, the set designer, has everything painted black as a base. The white is added next, then the coloring layers which are made with a clear acrylic medium (house paint) with color concentrate added, just as you would have custom colors mixed to paint your house. We mix very small amounts in recycled plastic ice cream and yogurt containers.
Getting the center of shield ready for coloring. It is made from foam board mounted on 1/4" plywood. The lower portion of the carved pineapple can be seen in the upper right. It will be added to the center top of the shield.
Next week the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society opens its 55th season with "Utopia, Limited." I have been at their shop working with the set designer and thought I would share something from Act II. This sketch was made several weeks ago. I went to the internet for reference photos of flamingos and alligators. You can see some of them here, scattered on the platform, which is also part of the set. The platform was painted and taken to the theater earlier this week.