This week, our exchange artist, Kira Nehmer and I have been hard at work on the scrims and backdrops for our upcoming production of "The Unfortunates." It has been a real pleasure working with and getting to know Kira, and I have learned so much from her. Among many things, she taught us how to make the ultimate scrim picks. The design comes from her Charge Scenic Artist, Jim Medved at the Milwaukee Repertory theater and involves hot-gluing the tines from a binder clip into a skinny cartooning sized bamboo and then securing them with gaff or in our case, colorful spike tape. They looked like little aliens to us, so we added eyeballs just for fun, but they would work just as amazing if you left them out.
In my previous blog, I talked about and showed the bounce drop being painted by Kira, Amanda and Erin. Kira and I dealt with the final darkening and touch up. Here's what we have to show for it! A nice 25% grey bounce to catch the light behind the scrims.
Our scenic designer, Sibyl Wickersheimer loved the watercolor quality, and so do we!
As I mentioned before, this show has so many layers and lighting effects. I can't wait to see them all together.
The scrims were similar to the bounce, but in dank colors of umbers and siennas. We brought in some of the greys and blues from the bounce to tie the two together. We used brushes to hold true to the brushy, panel-like qualities and garden sprayers to soften the overall look.
Here is one of our awesome scrim picks in use!
It is relevant to note that this process was extremely challenging due to the need to rep the scrims. Instead of being able to paint a full-stage sized scrim and hang it as is, we needed to paint it in pieces so that it could be taken apart and stored. The top panels were to be mounted permanently to hard scenery, and the lower panels to the far right and left were equipped with velcro, and are to be temporarily mounted to a hard frame, while the bottom center panels are pleated and flowing and to be put on traveller tracks. We needed precise measurements, allowing for extra runoff to be wrapped around the hard scenery. We also needed to do something I have never done before: paint a pleated scrim. This required a lot of moving the scrim around with our feet and spraying and painting it in sections so the folds would not leave hard lines when we sprayed them.
Here I am putting the final darkening spray around the edges of the scrim.
Below: A detail shot of the finished scrim.
Ready for our next project!