OKLAHOMA! The Mill. page one
Designer - Kate Jones
Built and painted by - Brian Willis
Performed by - The Mill Summer Youth Group
at the "Theatre at the Mill" Newtownabbey in August 2011


I was asked to build and paint two large pieces for this production.
The first was a three dimensional Farm House which was to be mounted on a truck.

From Left:- Kate Jones (Designer), Leah Burton (Stage Assistant), and my old colleague from Coleraine Provincial Players, Sean Magee, who helped to assemble the piece.
The truck and handrail have still to be painted white.
The window "glass" is gauze with some white and coloured paint to infer reflections.
The door is practical.
Photo taken on the stage under working lights only.

And yes the House does have sides. Here is a photo taken in the workshop.

The House painting is not completed but at least you can see the side. Which made the piece quite three dimensional.

The other piece I built for them was a set of Barn Doors.

BARN DOORS Photo of me putting finishing touches to the piece on the stage. (Taken under stage working lights only) Me thinks I have been a bit heavy handed with the jpeg compression here - sorry about that.
This was built in the workshop in Coleraine and because of the weight, I could not lift it up, so all the painting was done with the piece on the floor. This was the first time I had seen it vertical.
I used several techniques to paint this:-
Scraffito for the deep grain, then splattered with different colours to give it some texture and a distressed appearance. Splattering wet paint whilst on the floor is useful as the paint doesn't run.
Finally I added in shadows using a brush dipped in clean water and then just the edge of the bristles dipped in black paint so I could add a shadow which is darker nearest the object and which gradually gets lighter the further away it becomes.
Incidentally, paint a shadow of a lintel on the top of a door and when the door is opened the shadow stayes with it! That's what's happening here. No one ever notices.
Note green around the bottom parts.
The right hand door is practical.

However, for me, the most exciting thing about this piece is that it was flown.
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