Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cyrano Letters

These letters were created for Cyrano. Since they are the central piece of the show we needed to make them distinctive and special. 
I started with a nice parchment paper. I used a copper color for Cyrano's letters. 
To differentiate Roxanne's letters, I used a silvery blue parchment. 
I had an assistant on the show who actually was the one who chose the fonts and typed the letters. To get the fonts I sent her to, one of a number of websites available to download free fonts online. It's worth checking the whole thing out if you never have, but for this project specifically we used the section of handwriting fonts. The fonts on the site are much more natural looking than any that you likely have pre-loaded on your computer and using them is considerably easier and more consistent than doing it by hand and copying. The fonts are very easy to download and install, the site even has a step-by-step list of instructions if you need help.

 After seeing the letters in tech rehearsals I felt that the parchment didn't make the letters feel special enough. To help give them some definition I outlined the copper letters with a touch of bronze paint and a touch of silver to the silver letters. It's not visible from the audience, but it defines the letters a bit, and helps the edges not feel as new and modern and sharp.
 One letter needed to be soaked with blood (I don't feel bad revealing this because the plot of Cyrano de Bergerac is pretty much common knowledge). To stain the letter I used a mixture of red and blue food dye diluted with a very little bit of water. This picture is with one coat of very wet dye.
And this final picture is with a second coat of dye and the bronze painted edge. 

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