Joined: Nov 25, 2004
|Posted: 2013-07-28 05:08 am  Permalink|
Well, Wendy I understand what you are saying and if it was a fantasy painting I would agree. However, this is to preserve history and the little bit of an archaeologist in me screams against changing things. I did actually want to be an archaeologist once, and even took a few preliminary classes and had discussion about my aspirations with an archaeologist professor. One thing he said that really stuck with me is: "never change the facts of what you find to fit your hypothesis. Our profession is one of discovering and preserving the past. Do not intentionally rewrite history, there are already enough revisions of history through accident." I am already appalled at how little documentation there is on the past of this theatre, I would be ashamed to add to any future historian's distorted knowledge of the truth. So to the best of my ability I will document through my painting how the theatre originally looked. This of course means I will need to continue doing detective work to piece together how it must have looked.
Besides the stage originally had a very time period specific design when the pillars were in their original place. It formed an older type of stage with what is called a proscenium arch. This means that an archway with sides was designed to frame in the active part of the stage. It isn't used much anymore because it often would leave open wings where you could see the actors "backstage" which is where the term "breaking the fourth wall" comes from. To give some idea, here is another restored Egyptian Theatre in Boise Idaho that also has a proscenium arch: http://www.egyptiantheatre.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Egyptian-Theatre-1-of-1-2.jpg
In the case of Egyptian style it is especially important because it copies the actual look of papyrus pillars as they are found in egypt with a load bearing cross piece resting on the pillars. You can still see some of these intact in Karnak. http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/2b0256b2-2d38-47bb-a25a-02333d41e68d.jpg
That is my long winded way of saying I will be changing the pillar.
Meanwhile, I decided to work on the other aspects of the painting that I am near 100% certain are correct in their depiction. Which is mainly the organ loft. I do know now that the bottom half of the wall beneath the organ loft was painted over at some point, and memories of people seem to point to water damage via a flooding problem. I am not sure, but I think I may have discovered some traces of what may have been painted on the walls before the repainting through blowing up some of the photos and messing around with contrast and such in photoshop. So I may have to make an educated guess on what was there since no one remembers.
And I really do not know why I never thought to do this before, but I took a page from Brad (tiki shark) Parker's current painting project and outlined all the details in paint first. Normally I just plunge ahead with filling in the darks and lights and generally drive myself crazy (case in point the mermaid painting at the very beginning of this thread). With outlining in paint I can see much clearer the details and whether anything is "off". I think I may do this trick from now on it really came in handy.
Then I started filling in the pure black recesses between the wood carved parts of the organ loft.
It was at this stage that I really started to appreciate the incredible motif details incorporated into the organ loft carving. I love the lotus flowers at the top and the clever snake head canopic jars. Actually, those are probably a vulture and snake head to represent the rule of upper and lower Egypt as was on the head piece of Tutankhamen, but it is difficult to tell from the photos due to the fine detail. Even blowing the picture up doesn't reveal precisely what type of canopic jars, but I am betting they are probably trying to depict kings head jars (which never had the snakes/vultures, but could be a "westernized" art deco style interpretation). OR, they are Duamutef jackal head jars and those things that look like snakes in the photos are actually ears like here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/CanopicJarsOfNeskhons-BritishMuseum-August21-08.jpg I am going to assume most folks know what canopic jars are, but in case you don't they were used to store the sacred "innards" of the mummies. The reasoning behind it all is much more complex of course. I am not sure what the other pattern below the jars is, unless it is just echoing the shape of the harp. It could be some actual Egyptian design though, since the large majority of the rest of the theatre designs are based on real ones. Difficult to tell sometimes where the "real" thing is, and where the art deco stylization starts.
Then I started in on the color. This is basic under colors though so be aware that it is just a starting point. I always try to make my under colors very bright and then dim them down with layers over them. I don't like starting dark and going light because for me at least, it tends to muddy the colors and dim down the parts I DO want bright too much.
With the outlining before painting technique, I was able to see some of my perspective was a bit off. I am trying to pull off a very tricky slightly forced perspective (in a corner no less). I see I am going to have to completely redo the harp strings as the spacing between them is all wrong and ruins the illusion, as well as some of the stripe decor. Stripes are difficult normally, but to do them in forced perspective.... I must be insane to attempt this. There really is no other explanation.
Okay, until next time... walk like an Egyptian my tiki friends!
[ This Message was edited by: tigertail777 2013-07-28 05:28 ]