Not As Black As It Is Painted

Yay for another successful Studio Monday!
Since I’d been stuck for the last three weeks or so, I decided that something had to change today. It does, and it was a tough and challenging task. I also had no visitors, so I set to work alone.

I wanted to move on with the sets for my Orpheus film project, but it felt like running against a wall.

I kept going though. After I made the first element, the throne of Hades, I got stuck again. I had this very clear vision of how the set was going to look like, but every little step was annoying and stressful, and often it took me several attempts to get the shapes right.

Whenever something went wrong, I was about to stop. But I kept going for three long and disappointing hours until something changed. I don’t know exactly what it was, but eventually I made it into the Zone. I continued to work for three more hours and suddenly a large part of the set was built.

Normally, I would recommend to do something completely different when one is stuck. But in this case I have done something different for weeks, and I really wanted to move on with the set building. Surprisingly, it worked.


Throne Room Shot.
This is the main view into the throne room with Orpheus and Hades.

The underworld where Hades is the king of the dead is a world of shadows, and that’s why this part of the film is completely made of silhouettes. It’s a small set: Imagine another landing, and the Throne Room which is guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed hound.

Today I already finished the interior design of the throne room, some parts of the cave and the landing. Most of the elements are made of corrugated cardboard that I’ve painted black with acrylics. I used lamp black which is the deepest black available. (Actually it was my main work to paint things black today. You should have seen my hands…)


Hades sits on his yet unpainted throne.
This is Hades sitting on his yet unpainted throne made of cardboard.

There are only a few things I still have to do before finishing the set: making a door for the throne room from wire and black spray paint and adding more cave elements and a background. Oh, and I need a silhouette boat as well. There isn’t much left now what I have to do yet for the sets. But unfortunately I set the progress bar to 97% on set building, so 3% percent are left. Let’s see if this is an unbreakable rule…


Design of the Throne Room's door.
Today I also designed the gate through which the characters enter the hall.

I really hope to finish this set soon.

02. May 2011 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I’m CHEERING SO LOUDLY overhere, Jessica! Really, so excited to read this. HOORAY! for you! Way to stick out being stuck and making such gains. That’s the way!

    Will you look at those progress bars over there>>> 0.o WOW!

    Much love, s

  2. Shelley, I can’t thank you enough! There’s nothing that could replace *your* support and cheers!

    I’m a bit anoyed that I have to do so many other things this week, I’d rather be in the studio and to move on with the setting… Now, that the things gather momentum again…

  3. I don’t know is it just the way you set up this ‘quick’ set-ups or what – but every image looks so erm done… so ‘completed’… and then there the enhancements and the enchanting and the light which bring the contrasts forth more and and and…

    I really appreciate the ‘boney’ way Hades looks compared to Orpheus with at least a bit of flesh on his bones… and I really seem to finally get the whole idea behind the limiting a character to it’s outline…

    thanks for another great lesson !

    Oh: and congratulations on getting along in such huge steps… progress and progress and progress… huge steps in the last three months, no wait, two and a half…

  4. Michael, thank you so much for your support! I don’t really realize the time it takes to get the things done.

    – I only see *if* the things are moving on or not… But of course progress feels much better than stagnation… (Who would have guessed that?)