We have often been asked just where do I start with the Juvenile Drama? Well, it is best to have a model theatre either designed and built by yourself or you can purchase one ready to use from us. Next is to choose a play with a small number of scene and character sheets. “The Waterman”, “The Millers Maid” or “The Blue Jackets” are all colourful and fun to produce and perform.
Mounting Scene and Character Sheets
Before thinking about colouring the sheets, the scenes and wings have to be mounted on stout card and the characters on thin card. Use a spray on adhesive such as Spray Mount or Photo Mount. Other paper glues can be used, but they have to dry out and can make the card curl. The scene boards must fit your stage so they can be removed up or down or sideways, it is up to you. Cut off the top information about the play and scene/act number before mounting in place and fix to rear top of board. This enables you to see which scene is which during a performance. Make up the wings in a similar manner. Now you are ready to colour your play.
I like to use a nice quality mounting board, black one side and white the other. Glue the scenes and wings to the black side. You will find this gives a good effect as the white side reflects light onto the scene behind and the black sets up a nice frame.
Regency: make the boards 9″ (230 mm) high by 8″ (200mm) wide.
Neptune: make the boards 11″ (305mm) high by 10 3/4″ (275mm) wide.
Colouring your play
We like to use watercolours. By their very nature they are transparent and show through the black printed lines of scenes and characters. Keep your palette simple. Originally in the 1820’s, only four basic colours were used to produce any number of shades. They were yellow, red, blue and black. We prefer the solid cake sets. You can use any medium which you wish such as colour pencils, crayons etc. Some water based felt pens offer some very vivid colours.
Start by painting the figures. First of all paint the faces and hands flesh pink and then the main bodies using the lightest first working up to darker ones as you go on. Make sure you colour the figures the same as they appear on different plates. With care, paint up to the printed lines. As our plays are printed on a 90g coated paper you should have a neat line. Last of all paint on a ground piece over the characters name using a terracotta/light brown.
Now work on the scenes and wings. One useful tip is to paint trees and foliage yellow and then add blue and green. It gives a nice effect. Tree trunks can be brown or grey. You will find out which looks best as you go on.
Finishing off Your Play
When figure plates are dry, carefully cut out the figures. You can use scissors or a scalpel. There is no need to be too neat at first as you can always go back to them later. Remember to write on the back of each figure the plate number. Also leave the ground piece with the characters name on it in place.
Our figure slides are made from die cast metal alloy with wire rod/handle. They are painted black with flock base for smooth movement. As the figure holder is metal and has some weight, your figures will not slide around or fall over. We think this is a novel solution to an old problem!