This scene features accoutrements for the budding firefighter: a fire truck pedal car, a brass hose nozzle, a fire helmet with reflective vinyl patches, and a small Dalmatian mascot - all balanced on top of three antique boxes.
I wanted Where’s the Fire to have a sentimental feel so getting the lighting spot-on was key. I moved the whole setting from my studio into my garage so that I could have natural illumination coming in from one side. This placement gave me those marvelous double shadows and warm glow that I was seeking. Since there was no way I could recreate the same effect in my studio, I snapped pictures and painted from photos.
The fire truck pedal car (a favorite of my grandchildren) was made in the 1960s. It was missing its ladders, so I made replacements to ensure the car looked correct in the image.
The hose nozzle is authentic, and is heavy! I have to lift it with two hands to pick it up. The red box on the right with the suitcase handle holds a gas mask. When I bought the helmet, I was surprised to see that some of the vinyl patches were singed on the edges - clearly, this item saw actual use!
Of course, I had to add the Dalmatian - though the original toy was all white and I added the spots.