Process, as you can see, split the strands of string up, colour (soaked in acrylic in water), leave to dry, bunch, divide, plait, insert the wire, attach to head, glue and fiddle with hair until happy. Also, eyelashes (wire), eyebrows (wire and string) and hair-tie (fabric) done!

How it looks so far (added plasticine eyelids too) [Thumb for scale].

Bit more digital drawing practice, went fairly well, but rushed it a bit towards the end, few things need improving; the foreshortening on the arm and the boy's hand etc. Not too fussed as it's all part of the learning curve.

Filling sketchbooks full of character drawings is a great way to keep on top of a vital skill, so that is what I shall do!

Early sketch to Sculpey base with wire armature wire. This is so the back can be baked with the main head features and eye indentations. Then the eys can be sandwiched between that layer and the Milliput face, so that the eyes don't have to be baked as they're acrylic. Anyway, back to it for a bit...

 Finishing off the trunk and doing the detailing on it...
 Testing out things like leaf ideas and creeping moss/grass...
 Settling on how to do the leaves.. 
And leave to dry...

And here it is all paper machéd up, next up getting cracking on the props (grave, coffin, tree): 

Just keeping you updated on the set pieces coming together with plenty of glue and clamping...
Next up strengthening with some paper maché.
Oh, and here's the mini set coming along nicely:

A quick update on that armature situation I left hanging.

Even with a fair bit of meddling I just don't think it's going to cut it, short of welding bits together, which will create the type of problems I bought the armature to avoid in the first place... Anyway, looks like it's going to be back to twisty wire ones for this project as at least I know their strengths and weaknesses by now. I'd rather be working with something unreliable but in a reliable way, rather than something unreliable and unknown.

Back to the set building....


Set (1)
The 'distance-shot' set on a paper-maché balloon is coming along nicely, but can't do too much detail on it until the other set (2&2a) is done so I know exactly what I'm making a miniature of.
Set (2)
Diameter is around 1m, being hold together mostly with wood-glue, and trying to make most of its structure self-supporting with the dowelling etc. Needs the support for the foot plate adding then I think I can start the 'filling-in' business. On a side note, ignore the paint bits on the wood - I had to cut up a few old paintings I'd done on the MDF.

Set (2a)

Other half of set 2, bit simpler but does need the support for the tree putting in once these bits have dried.

Getting started on a more substantial set, this will be one of the main one for the puppet based scenes. It was developed from early sketches to get a rough idea of shape and scale (see first image) and then further developed into scale blueprints or each component piece (image 2). I used a few techniques I've seen used in Airfix models and papercraft to make sure every is labelled and lined up easily once it is cut.

First problem was I only had 2 pieces of MDF left and didn't really want to buy anymore so I decided I could make it fit all on those two pieces, which it just about did. It took a faix bit of shuffling around and planning and geometry with bits of string to get it all right, but eventually get it right I did. 

Little mini scale blueprints which i could slide around were made and the layout fixed, before scaling up and marking out these layouts onto the pieces of wood. Next up; the cutting...