Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates

backdrop sketch

Wouldn’t it be great if I always had a team of young helpers ready to fill in the blanks when I had a big illustration to do? While the crew set up the eight flats that we use as the backdrop for our Pageant Player pantomimes I set about sketching out some ideas.

Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates starts in a village in some unspecified country in South America. We’ve never featured South America in one of our productions before and as I’ve never visited the continent I’ve got the nearest thing that I know in mind; Pollenca, Majorca. I add Rio’s Sugar Loaf mountain in the background, although Pollenca has some pretty impressive limestone crags of its own.

sketch to scaleWhen they get the flats in place,  I realise that I need to go for more of a letterbox, wide-screen format, cutting out the ground altogether.

Robinson Crusoe backdrop designI usually concoct this year’s scene from the basis of last year’s but this time I decide we ought to make a fresh start.

While my team of young helpers put a coat of white emulsion over last year’s Snow Queen village, I make a more accurate drawing to grid up onto the 11×4 ft flats, which have three cross-members – easily visible beneath the canvas – which I adopt as as my grid.

The swatches are a reference for Ken for mixing the emulsion paint.

My proportion goes awry as I get to the right hand side mapping things out and the village church ends up looking more like Barnsley town hall. No bad thing.

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