This section is dedicated to a small selection of the many fairground projects that Chris has airbrushed in the UK and internationally.
The nature of the game means that the artist is normally painting in less than perfect conditions often in old industrial units or live workshops with welding and grinders being used in the same area.
Showmen worldwide are a breed to themselves, generally having a definite idea of what they want and colours they require, but also quite willing to experiment and normally open to the artists input.
Chris has worked worldwide on these projects all over Asia, the USA and of course Europe. Mainly for individual clients, ride manufacturers and occasionally theme parks.
This project was painted in the superb Steck Workshop, Dallas Texas for Tommy Talley. The funhouse arrived in its original dated decor, so had to be completely redesigned prepared and primed prior to artwork.
The project took just under 3 weeks to complete, Chris and his team worked in very hot conditions, some days over 38c. A major problem was the paint drying too quickly causing a lot of airborne over spray despite adequate ventilation, thanks go out to Mike and John who's work assisted Chris on this project.
Here are a few of the Ghost trains Airbrushed by Chris, mainly in the UK for British showmen. The difficulty is always getting the right balance of artwork, they don't want to be so horrific that it puts families off riding so when designing its important to include a few images appealing to younger children.
Access to certain panels on these rides is always a problem, especially in the track drop areas its almost impossible to get any form of lift in their safely. Therefore its a case of constantly setting up and stripping down trestles and ladders, completing the final lacquer coat can be very awkward.
Painted for Tivoli Engineering Canterbury for an Australian client, the artwork based upon the clients ideas and images. One of the images shows Chris airbrushing under arc lights which create annoying shadows and also give the colours a washed out look when painting, but as with most fairground panels once lacquered the colours return to there original strength.
This is whats known as a Miami backflash, the Miami is a very popular ride worldwide and just about every fairground artist will be familiar with the ride and its little access problems.
This particular model produced by Harry Steer Engineering UK had an additional challenge, it had to be painted in their workshop which isn't high enough to accommodate the scenery panel. Therefore it had to be painted in different stages.
This involves a lot of planning to make sure all adjoining artwork matches up making it a little tedious, it is also very time consuming as panels are continually being assembled and then separated to check on the match up.
This scenery panel was painted in Dallas Texas for Mr Michael Woods president of the American showman's organisation, designed by the highly skilled Paul Wright a retired airbrush artist from the UK. Probably the most talented and original of all fairground artists.
The design was airbrushed in the Steck workshop Dallas and Chris completed it in 14 long days with the help of the workshops Mexican labour force, always smiling but couldn't speak a word of English certainly broke the hours up.
Airbrushed for Tivoli Engineering, designed by Chris and painted on site in the Canterbury workshops. The club/rave/music style of artwork was at the time very popular with the British showman.
Again painted for Tivoli Engineering Canterbury, the artwork based upon the transformers film at the clients request. The airbrushing took approximately 4 weeks to complete, due to the intricate detail required to bring the artwork to life. The scenery panel is approximately 4.5m x 14m and because its not assembled on to the ride platform, access to the complete backdrop is very easy which saves time and therefore cost.
Painted in a large very cold barn in South Wales, the artwork was designed by Chris using various images that were intended to make every panel something different to look at. The client also had some input as to certain effects etc. The project took around 5 weeks to complete using auto solvent based paints and finished in high gloss 2k lacquer.
This was the first of many projects painted in the USA mainly at the Steck workshop Dallas. The client Mr Bruce Perlman had very definite ideas on what he required, so he had Paul Wright design it and he in turn suggested that Chris airbrush it.
It was a very daunting first few days getting the artwork drawn up, then many hours spent masking the graphics off and eventually onto the airbrushing itself. The project took around 15 days to complete working very long days, its always difficult interpreting someone else's design into your own style but the client was very happy which makes it all worth while.