I have been continuing to work on the Muppets Christmas Carol commission this week with my group and friday the 6th December Karen and myself went the Scout hall in Houghton Regis to put up the display and help them get ready for their scout Christmas event.
I have been created two characters from the Muppets Christmas Carol, Bunsen and Beaker, who play 2 members of a charity asking for donations from Mr Scrooge in the film. I have really enjoyed painting them and working on a large scale has improved my concept for perspective as i drew these characters out freehand and then decided on the colours for their outfits, i looked at several images from the film on google and went with traditional victorian colours and patterns to ensure the backdrop all tied together, even with our different painting styles. this was the early stages of painting, i used acrylic paints and i wanted to add tone but not to the extent they stopped looking like cartoons or puppets 🙂 as you can see my cat is also very interested in the process, this exercise was also a challenge in protecting my work from cat fur! its a lesson for next time to be more careful about where i create!
Here are my finished characters, painted and cut out, i also used some glitter on their bow ties and scarves because i think the age range 4-6 of the children would appreciate that christmassy touch 🙂 it gives me great pleasure to create something like this which will hopefully make the children in the scout troop very happy and set a nice backdrop for their christmas festivities.
To display the work Karen and myself instructed the group to ensure their characters were cut out and finished and waiting at college for us to collect friday morning, it was quite a challenge to fit the large backdrop and everyones characters in my tiny car but after a great deal of careful folding we achieved getting it all in the boot 🙂
The Scout center is in Houghton Regis behind the industrial estates, its quite a bare looking building so i would quite like to assist them in brightening it up for a future project just to make it a little nicer for the children.
once we arrived we were met by one of the troop leaders who was a lovely lady who assisted us bringing in our work and was very pleased by it once we have unwrapped it all! it was lovely to see what an impact our work had made, especially when we were shown what they used last year for a polar express backdrop which appeared to be a polar bear print plastic tablecloth, this makes what we have made much more rewarding because our extra effort will hopefully make the children as happy as their troop leader 🙂
this is the inside of the building, it reminds me of a school hall a bit. The back wall with the compass on is where we shall hang the backdrop, we had initially brought a staple gun to attach it with but as the wall is plain brick we used Gaffa Tape provided by the Troop leader. she also brought tea and chocolate for us which was a very nice thank you and we were very appreciative 🙂
it took Karen, myself and the help of 2 troop leaders to put up the main backdrop as it is large and quite heavy:
but once it was up on the wall we were very pleased with how it looked, if i were to do it again it might be nice to make it bigger to cover the whole wall but as we were unsure of the dimensions this was pretty good 🙂
Karen and myself then proceeded to add the characters using sticky fixers to give a 3D element to the piece, we thought carefully about the placement of the characters and moved them around several times to ensure we have the best composition possible. we used the scale of the characters as a decided factor in their placement, for examples sue’s character was quite small so we used perspective to put him further back making it look like he was down the street.
we added in the rest of the characters, i loved Karens Kermit and Tiny Tim characters, they were beautifully painted and scaled well to fit next to my own characters.
Karen and myself worked very hard on displaying this piece and we are very pleased with the outcomes as were the Scout leaders 🙂
Next i shall evaluate the whole process of the Commission:
This task has been a very enjoyable task and different to anything we have tried before because it gives us a chance to show our skills as artists when replicating imagery, this is something I find quite enjoyable and it gave us a chance to create something very recognizable and popular. I enjoyed working on a large scale and creating my favourite characters. I think it was well organised and an excellent opportunity for Work based learning. Both Karen and myself were disappointed that none of our classmates could help us put up the piece, as it was quiet difficult and we thankfully had the help of Mark and the scout leaders but we will be more insistent on help with our classmates next time. Karen and myself transported the work to the location and put it up, and I am pleased with the result and how it looks and we got a good reaction from the Scout Leaders which makes it all worthwhile because they said the children would love it too. Whilst there we also helped them decorate the hall and put up Christmas trees. The characters all turned out very well, though I found myself disappointed that Annabel had not followed our plans to create characters from the Christmas carol and instead created Miss Piggy from The Muppets go to Hollywood, which I feel did not fit in with the display and a pig having cleavage is not appropriate for a children’s backdrop. Aside from that we all worked well together and it was an enjoyable task especially painting our own characters because we got a chance to showcase our individual skills. I was very pleased with my rendition of bunsen and beaker, although I would prefer to create them on card if I ever did it again so they would be less flimsy.