Here's a first update for the Frank puppet.. If you would like to view the Introductory post..click here
Firstly, before I forget.. or while I remember.. I realised that I haven't mentioned what sort of size the finished puppet will be. Well it is very difficult to be exact at this stage, but it will more than certainly be at least 3 feet tall.. or long. I'm not sure I can say 'tall' as it wont be capable of standing unaided! So thats around 36" ..or a little over 90cm, depending on which planet you come from. It will be quite a nice size!
You can get a rough idea of the size of the head, by comparing to the size of my hands in some of the upcoming photos. Being caricature the head is always slightly larger in proportion to the rest of the body, that is, compared to average human proportions.
As mentioned, the head had been sitting on the shelf for quite some time, so my first job has been to check all of the seams and the inner pieces of the head. Not easy to photograph, but here's a couple of shots of the inside of the head, where you can see the seams on the back of the head, the fastenings for the eyes and also the mouth plate pieces.
You can see the dark Red mouth lining felt there too, sandwiched between the two mouth plates and the outer foam rings, which assist with manipulation. I'm pleased to say this is all as it was when I left it. Some people use neoprene (the same stuff mouse mats are made from) for their mouth plates, but I find them too rigid and the thinner ones mis-shape and generally split over time.
Using foam mouth plates has two advantages. It allows you to be much more expressive with the facial expressions and over time, the foam shapes to your own hand, and this for me assists with confident puppeteering
I had fitted some eyes before, which for some reason I made Blue. Fortunately, they were not finished with the gloss coat, so I was able to remove them from the surface of the eye balls. They need to be green.
This shot of the cleaned off eyes and section of the unfinished face.
At this stage, the foam has been plain dyed in its basic colours for the skin, upper eyelids and the lips. They are dyed before they are assembled or carved, as in the case of the lips.
I always start with the head and work down.. (Ooer!) I like the head to be completed first, then as the rest of the figure comes together, the head is there as reference and to whether things are working or not.
Next step will be some general colouring and shading - theres the eyes too ..and we most definitely need some eyelashes!