Saturday, February 11, 2012

Painting Faux Bricks

For when you absolutely, positively MUST have bricks, but let's face it, you're just not a mason...

there's always the FAUX brick option.  I had to paint this cube...

(remember my doorstop/table from last week?)

...and I didn't want it to look like the cubes from the last play, so I thought I'd paint some bricks on it. 

First, I got my lovely group of stage crew girls (I have a very small number of boys showing up, and they don't seem to like painting the way the girls do) to paint the whole cube grey. They did a great job - complete coverage and no paint on the floor.  They even washed the brushes and rollers until they were clean and able to be used again - already an improvement over last year!  The next day, during my lunch, I took the orignal grey and added some black for a darker version, and some white for a lighter version, and a dry bushed it on the whole thing here and there for accents.

Then stage crew met again, and I had another student tape a brick pattern with painter's tape over all the vertical sides.  Took her an hour and a half, the poor thing, but she stuck with it.  'ATTA GIRL!!

The next day at lunch, I rolled a brickish red over all of her taped areas.

Then I mixed some dark red (the same way I did with the grey) and dry brushed that on here and there...

 and then I did the same with some lighter red, (which looked suspiciously like pink...) and then let it all dry till this morning when one of my hard working stage crew girls took the tape off to reveal some decent looking faux bricks.

It looks a little bright in the picture, but I can't get hung up on that - it's done, and that's a good thing.  I only have about 800 more things to finish.  For some reason, when I thought of this covered in bricks, Sesame Street popped into my head (in the 70's you watched Sesame Street, and then switched to regular Saturday morning cartoons and Schoolhouse Rock when it came out - maybe that was the connection?).  Can't you picture Gordon or Maria doing a little dance on a cube like this one?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Schoolhouse Rock - Set sketch and plan

It's now less than a month until the play - I can't believe I still have so much to do!  I've been up at school with two out of the three stage crew groups so far. They've all been very helpful, but only only about half of the kids on each day's schedule are showing up...  and interestingly, it's only the girls that are showing up.  What's up with THAT?  Is it because Mr. C. isn't doing construction, and all the boys want to work with power tools? 
Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours up at school with three girls from stage crew, three older girls from the high school, and my own two kids.  Unlike Alice in Wonderland, where I had to build fabric mushrooms and make a bunch of props, this show involves mostly painting... but so MUCH painting.  I have to paint the desks (I'm showing 6 in the picture above, but I might use up to 8 of them)

and all those flats (the rectangles) that you see in the drawing as well.

As for props, so far I just have to make a large painting of a train engine, and a large painting of a ferry.  I found a picture of each online, photocopied them onto a overhead sheets, and we're now in the process of tracing the first one onto a 4x8' sheet of 1/4" plywood.    This is an easy task, but of course, none of the kids want to do it because it's tedious and exacting.  If you move the sheet of plywood before you're done tracing, your lines get all messed up.  Below is the sheet of plywood with the train half traced on it.  Unfortunately, you can't see all the lines.

I decided that we're going to paint the large cube with the step as if it were covered in bricks, so Monday at lunch, I'm setting up everything so that the big girls can work on it that afternoon.  I'll need to clear an area in the green room (which, unfortunately, doubles as a storage room for racks of folding chairs), lay out the drop cloth, put the cube on it, set up grey paint, rollers and brushes, and explicit directions for them so that they don't do something like forget to wash the paint brushes when they're done.  Then we can layer on the bricks on Tuesday, and accent them with more colors later on in the week.  I DON'T want my props looking flat this year.

Here's the large cube.  I'm currently using it as both a door stop and a table. 

Oh, wait, I also have to make the 10 planets.  Make that nine planets and the sun. Jeez, maybe I should should work on those tonight.