Starting to Paint the Walls

“It should look like a swamp.” Wait, you want more?

Creative Director Roy Davis here again, even though I said that last blog would be my last blog before Red Lantern’s official opening date (so collect any bets you made). But we’ll be open soon. I promise.

Anywho, for those who haven’t read our bio page–I’m an author with three novels and several dozen short stories under my belt. I have two advanced degrees in creative writing. I taught writing in college, ran my own murder mystery script company, and have been editing others’ writing for decades.

Through all this I’ve unlearned lengthy descriptions; I was taught to incorporate setting into plot or dialogue so that it wouldn’t slow down the action of a story. I learned that a few choice words could paint a picture in the reader’s head. Of course, such a paucity of description would create different pictures for different readers…

Skip ahead to my first conversations with our talented muralist Allyson. For the bayou half of our escape room, I imagined a Louisiana swamp shortly after sunset. A dark and overcast sky would leave just a band of blue-ish light on the horizon, through which the silhouettes of swamp trees could be seen.

And that’s how I would’ve described the setting in a book. But that was not good enough for our muralist. (Thank goodness.) She wanted to know at what height and how quickly the sky transitioned to black. What species were the swamp trees? Did they have moss? How tall and thick should they be? Would there be multiple trees with forced perspectives?

I didn’t know the answers to those questions.

Lucky for us, Allyson was very patient. She made sketches to help me understand what the heck I was talking about. She asked more questions. Made more sketches. Finally, after several days, she had a plan for the swamp skyline.

First Drawings

That’s me on the right pretending I’m in deep thought and not in full-on panic mode.

That just left the second swamp, three carnival games, and two houses….

Below you can see some of the process.

Next blog, full art!

Starting to Paint the Walls

Sky transition before the trees and (lots of) blending.


First Draft of Carnival Paint

This artist plans ahead.

We know you are excited to see the final product… you’ve been reading this long already!

Please follow and like us: