We talk to Scenic Artist Jack Candy-Kemp, the artist behind Harry Potter:
Jack Candy-Kemp is a Scenic Artist and has worked on the Harry Potter films and Warhorse. He is also responsible for the beautiful forest scene mural in the Rose Theatre’s culture café in Kingston. Jack welcomes commissions for murals and has completed work for shop interiors and children’s nurseries. If that isn’t enough to keep him busy he also works on his own large scale mountain landscapes and mixed media paintings.
There is a crossover between his work as a Scenic Artist and his fine art practice. The techniques mastered in his scenic training are evident in his large scale paintings. These paintings in particular have a presence about them.
Pullingers caught up with Jack to find out what he’s working on this year and asked him a few questions:
Which living artist would you like to have a drink with?
I would have a coffee with Tracy Emin and talk about the effect of her personality on her work.
And which non – living artist?
Jean-Michel Basquiat. We would drink and chat all day and I would say thanks for the inspiration.
If you could show your work anywhere on anything where would it be & why?
Inside the Vatican. I feel strongly about how we are simple mortal animals over complicating life with religion. I like the idea of going to the heart of man made religion and showing through art how fragile and vile the human race can be.
What’s in your Art Kit?
My art kit is fully loaded! I have a brush box that I fill with what I need when I am on set as a scenic artist and a box for charcoals, pencils, watercolours, scalpel, compasses and string. I always take a bow line (a spirit level on a 7ft aluminium straight edge with a screw each end to stretch string across) with me. I always use a Spray Gun and Airbrush for skies and shadows.
Which sketchbooks do you use & why?
As far as sketchbooks go I sketch big! I am so lazy with sketching as I want to get paint on as quick as I can. I use big rolls of paper and large watercolour pads. I like the Daler Rowney Langton cold pressed paper for smaller watercolour sketching.
Is there an art tool / product you could not do without & why?
If I’m painting scenic backdrops on set I can’t go without my bow line!!! It’s a vital bit of kit.
Are there any art materials you would like to try?
I would like to try doing a landscape in Spray Paint… never tried…
I just did a portrait in these XL charcoal sticks for the first time and really enjoyed that:
What are you working on at the moment & hoping to achieve this year?
I am currently working on a solo show on mountains across the world. I’ve mixed up the styles to keep it interesting but still have 4 more out of 10 to paint. After this I want to move away from landscapes and focus more on some real personal pieces.
I’m also about to start some work as a scenic artist on a major feature film which I can’t say the name of yet! I would like to achieve putting on a show in London (not sure on venue).
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
The best advice, is by my friend and teacher Matthew Walker, who I work under on set. It is never get too precious of your work. Our scenic art pieces get torn down after and used as floor covering and sometimes get replaced by green screens.
Part of my scenic artist training was to paint a small landscape in half a day then paint it black after! At first I didn’t get why I had to do this now I realise how liberating and important that exercise was. Paint everything to your best but don’t get too precious.
What is your most notable achievement to date?
I think being part of the Harry Potter movies as an assistant scenic artist and receiving a certificate from the Art directors guild would still be my biggest achievement to date.
What would your dream project be?
I am not sure about a dream project as such but more the chance of a giant work space. Also time to really get involved in personal pieces of work and that free range and space to really crawl inside my own mind. I want to get Shark conservation and awareness of shark depletion depicted through art as well.
See more of Jack Candy-Kemp’s Art at http://jackcandykemp.com/
A big thank you to Jack for his time. I have an inkling as to which film Jack is working on and very excited about it! But sworn to secrecy!
Pullingers sell a large range of Art Supplies for producing scenic art. Perhaps Jack should try the Liquitex Professional Spray Paints. Being low odour and non-toxic they are ideal for mural artists and those working indoors!
Scenic Artists use a wide range of Brushes from wide flat ones, mops and fine detail brushes.