I’ve sculpted Puppet #2. Don’t have a name for him yet. (Click to enlargeth.)
I’m really fond of that ear. The other one isn’t as good. They’re hard to duplicate exactly, and I did this one first.
I used Medium-density plastecine, simply because when I first started doing these puppet sculpts, I didn’t know the advantages of working with hard clay, and just figured I’d make things easier on myself by not having to knead rock-hard clay for 4 hours before being able to sculpt it. I’m new to the moldmaking process, so I’ve since heard the theory (from Ron Cole in his excellent mold-making tutorial) that the rock hard stuff is the way to go. So when I run out of this stuff, I’ll try his advice. But for now I really like the looseness and ease of modelling with the Medium.
Anyhoo… I thought I’d mention my thought process behind creating these characters. I don’t sketch my characters before sculpting them, which may be a mistake, but I just find I think better in 3 dimensions. I start out with an idea for the character, i.e. all my characters will have these tiny pouty lips and some kind of exaggerated aspect to their features. For this guy, it’s his nose. I like the elongation and the knobbiness of it. I wanted him to look friendly, so angled his eyes down a bit at their outer corners. I wanted him to look a little awkward, so stuck his ears out a little. Basically I work away at the shapes until they just feel right.
I’m not too influenced (consciously anyway) by stop motion characters that already exist. For the characters I’ve sculpted so far, Sabela and #2, I’ve looked to illustration and sculpture. Specifically, I like the illustrations of James Jean, Jonathan Viner, Sam Weber, and the sculptures of Scott Radke. I think you can see a little of Jonathan Viner’s male characters in #2 here. Perhaps.
Next, I need to make his plaster mold. I’m juggling 5 different things at the moment. One of which is letting the latex skin dry on a backup Sabela head — I should be posting the next stage of that casting, the urethane foam stage, in the next couple of days. Then the legs, hands, and hair.