Saturday, 10 August 2013

List and Learn . . .

in the wings: Contadine
© Teresa Newham 2013
"List and learn, ye dainty roses, Roses white and roses red,
Why we bind you into posies Ere your morning bloom has fled.
By a law of maiden's making, Accents of a heart that's aching,
Even though that heart be breaking, Should by maiden be unsaid:"

rough sketch and source photos
© Teresa Newham 2013
 As regular readers of this blog will know, it can take some time for my projects to come to fruition.  I've been a member of the Putteridge Bury Gilbert & Sullivan Society (PBGS for short) for more than twenty years - I must have taken part in at least fifty shows - and have tons of photos taken on and off stage.  Recently I finally got round to looking at some shots of our 2010 production of The Gondoliers, with a view to doing some kind of painting.

first washes
© Teresa Newham 2013
 I laid down some very wet washes for the background and held the board vertical so that they could run where they wanted: I could tidy them up later.  Once they dried I started to lightly define some shapes which might or might not become suggestions of a ladder, some scenery stacks, and a wall.  I then put in some flesh tones. The Contadine (peasant girls) started to resemble nothing more than four ladies sitting in a Turkish bath:

starting to take shape
© Teresa Newham 2013
 I thought they might get a bit chilly, so I painted in some skirts, blouses and bodices.  I limited my palette to just five colours, plus white:  burnt umber, light red, raw sienna, turquoise, French ultramarine.  The whole thing started to look a bit more lively:

adding some colour
© Teresa Newham 2013
I strengthened the white of the bodices with gouache and gave them an apron each, then I started on their wigs and make-up.  I wanted to emphasise the incongruity of the scene, so the figure on the left is clutching a water bottle, and they are sitting on 21st-Century chairs (more likely 20th-Century, as backstage facilities are invariably shabby!).  

almost finished
© Teresa Newham 2013
I like to think that these four are waiting for their next scene, thinking about their lines and moves (although experience suggests they're discussing the next production, or last night's curry).  The painting isn't intended to be a portrait - but I hope it conveys an idea of not-so-glamorous life on the stage!

1 comment:

  1. A nice impressionist-type picture, a reminder of a great show!