As we begin construction of the myriad of features for the Skallywag Bay Adventure Park in Trinidad we have to make many decisions. One of the big ones is about the colors and textures we will use on the features. The light in the Carribean is very different than here. Because of the strong light we will be heavily texturing the features which allows the light to play a strong role. We also have to consider the vegetation of the park. On my first trip to Trinidad we spent much of our time touring many local nurseries looking at the plants we would use to support the telling of the park story. The plant color palette there is primarily multiple shades of green. The features need to read against this backdrop and yet still blend into the landscape with everything needing to belong and look like it's been there a long time.
To do this we use the reference photographs I took on my visit and also paint up some sample textures we have created for this purpose. We also pore over all of the concept drawings (which use a lot of purple to create the shadows) making continual adjustments through the process. There will be four kinds of 'wood' in the park. Exposed woodgrain, tree bark, bare branches and weathered wood. We will use base colors and a variety of glazes to build up the colors. Light fastness was key and also everything had to work together. We do this by using the same final glaze on most features. After much discussion and many test samples we have settled on the most gorgeous PURPLE for this purpose. On the sample piece below there are four different shades of purple glaze for consideration. We settled on the top right version. It will read wonderfully against the bright greens of the landscape and make the shadows appear deeper in the bright sunlight.
With each feature and every color we will go through these same tests to make sure everything looks perfect. It sounds pretty crazy and is far from normal but it will be one more thing (of many) that will magically transform this place into an adventure like no other.