Show Us Your Ugly Things: Theatre Prop Edition
* There is a bonus Death By Puppets trailer at the end of the post.
Recently I was asked to make three “large hell hound head” type puppets for a production of The Tempest my son was in. I’ve made a fair number of puppets, but rarely work large, and haven’t delved too deeply into animal shapes, so this wasn’t exactly within my wheelhouse.
I started off with a small mock-up out of foam.
While I was happy with the small version, I really didn’t have a great plan to scale it up, and also realized that two half finished puppet heads I’d picked up from a friend (for a lizard and a hog) would probably work as the basis for hounds if I simply added on a skull.
With a bit of work those two became two very different styles of dogs.
The main commentary I got on the earliest versions of those two was that they both looked too nice… so I added some angry eyebrows and dirtied them up a bit.
The final one I had to start from scratch, and use my mock-up as a model, with the hopes that I’d learned enough with the first two to make one final wolf/dog/hound thing and come away from the project having learned something.
I was pretty happy with how this last one came out, though there are still some things about his ears and eyes that need revision.
I learned a bit more about how to handle the larger shapes, and regained the respect I already had for a well practiced pattern (building on the fly like this stresses me out, even when I like the results). All in all it was a good experience and I’m planning on mounting the largest dog head on a pike on my front porch… as you do.
Added Bonus: Teaser for the next Death By Puppets video in the Tim Vortex Series