Q. Darren, how will you approach painting the dress?
What we're going to do is use a transparent paint, what they often term a candy paint, which is technically a dye. It allows you to control the transparency of the paint, so the more you build it up, the stronger the colour you get. The less you put on, the better the material behind shows through. Hopefully that's what we're going to achieve today.
Although we're going to apply the paint very gradually and subtly, what tends to happen, and you'll possibly see it as we start going through, is that dust particles will cling to certain parts because of the static charge. Plastic in particular is very static so we've minimised it as best we can by using an anti-static cleaning cloth. It's also about not allowing the paint to stay too dry, but once the first layer of paint has been added then the static will settle down. We've left it a little while so the static charge will have released slightly, but it's just something that happens with paint. I've worked with a range of different plastics and you just have to handle them in a certain way. There are larger bits of equipment that discharge static but for this application it's not really possible to use them.
What you tend to find is that because blacks are a natural earth colour, they have a brown undertone, like liquorice. Although they're black when they're full strength, they have a more brown undertone to them when they're layered lightly. Iris is requesting that we try to move that towards a blue undertone, only very sublty, but it will be just enough to allow that slightly cooler feel of the blue against the warm of the brown. We're going to do further tests to ensure Iris is happy with the colour position. Anything like this will be dictated by its surroundings anyway. If you were to put say this green by it, it will reflect that as a tone.
Once we've painted the dress, we'll seal it with a lacquer. These parictular paints dry to a satin finish, so to keep the high reflection of the wet look, we'll seal it with a clear lacquer and that will just allow all these sharp highlights to remain crisp. Where the spray hits the edges, we'll have over spray going from one side to the other, so we'll have to lacquer the back too. What we don't want to do is restrict the colour by masking, because then we'll end up with crude, hard lines and we want to keep the softness of the whole effect. Finally, we'll hand polish any imperfections.