Set designed and painted by Brian Willis.
Performed as part of "Stars" a Ballycastle Nativity in two Ballycastle schools 2010

Simon (Lighting) in the process of adjusting the floods on this cloth. Among his many tasks still to do includes centring the Pin Spot on the star. I love the way his warm salmon colour. bottom left, helps to make my painted bank of snow look three dimensional. No-one else knows it but that's reindeer hoof marks in the path, pulling a sledge.

To extend the cloth, I made two Fir Tree flats (with cut out profile edges) These are either side of the main 16 ft wide cloth making a total width of 22 feet.The Producer's brief included a velvety night sky but I was loath to make it too dark as lighting people have great trouble lighting a black backcloth!
I did the whole cloth with more or less two colours - midnight blue and white. With of course a touch of other colours to bring some life to the picture. Simon has put a blue wash over this scene.

I painted the Cabin windows and the star with my normal emulsion paints then, once dry, overlaid those areas with fluorescent colours which should emerge and glow as the lights are dimmed.

Here's a detail photo of the cabins. Photo taken in the workshop under natural daylight.

Note the out of focus, indistinct edge, to the background snowscape.

I painted the graduated sky with layer upon layer of translucent colour using a sponge, leaving each to dry.

Psst - the smoke coming from the background chimney follows a crease in the canvas

Photo taken in workshop with flat just resting against the cloth. See shadow at bottom "snow" front of flat

At 16 feet the cloth was not wide enough, so I built a plywood fir tree flat to go either side.

These flats were held tightly to the cloth so that the join was not very noticeable. I also hid the join by cutting out the profile edge of the plywood flat and also painting some fir fronds on the cloth.

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