Composite panorama depicting the entire dome, with the original painting and plasterwork. The domed ceiling of the auditorium, which had greatly deteriorated over the years, was repaired and replastered and now requires repainting. As the remaining trompe l'oeil decoration of the dome is not original and was painted in 1985, this presented the Trust with an opportunity to commission a new design in a more contemporary style, that would become an attraction its own right and greatly enhance the King's Theatre.
Read more about Composite panorama depicting the entire dome
Read more about Plaster gilded crown half cleaned shows the accumulation of dust and debris over the decades
The entire dome spans 12m in diameter and is approximately 1.5m high giving an approx. area of 57m2 the box shaped free standing scaffold inside the King’s theatre disconcertingly swayed as painters ascended or descended ladders, and John said “it’s like painting on a bouncy castle,”…..so if I had to make a long exposure or take shots in sequence it had to be done when the workers were on a break and as there were teams of artists and painters this was not always easy.
Read more about Panorama of the primed dome, prepared for outlining
Against a white primed dome, and using digital projectors, the original painting was digitized and projected upwards onto the curved dome ceiling, position and scale is critical, and had to be accurately measured, artists then outlined the design in paint.
Read more about The original painting had to be projected onto the curved dome ceiling
There was no daylight this was a problem because the artists and painters had differing lighting needs, the painters needed small 110 volt 80watt portable tungsten light at 2500k, the artists needed high power 500watt halogen lighting to maximize illumination covering large areas of the dome evenly, and to approximately match daylight at 5000k to match paint colour, every time I was on site the lighting changed as workers moved around. I needed to get a soft painterly light in my images to match the original painting but the lighting was harsh and mixed I tried various methods to get this right including flash, also a ring flash it gives a softer feel to the light but nothing worked all too harsh. Eventually I used a mix of long exposures (when the scaffolding stopped swaying) and against my better judgment increased the ISO. Increases the sensitivity of the digital sensor.
Read more about Applying a soft wash similar to watercolour as a base for additional layers of paint
Read more about Using a ruler and brush to produce a star effect, on the flame-haired woman’s banner
Read more about Panorama of the dome with high resolution scanned prints, to represent the full scale image, determining detail and texture
Read more about Blocking in and adding texture and shadow to the theatrical masks comedy and tragedy
The artists are dwarfed by the enormous legs as they paint the centre cornice and clouds.
Read more about Showing the scale of the 57m2 dome
Read more about John Byrne with his design adds some touches to the face of the large female figure