The next stage in the puppet construction process is to sculpt the shape of the character onto the armature.
At this point Josh will be working on the Mail Man puppet and I will be focusing on 'Elle' the Actress.
In this post I will show the process of sculpting the characters body, ready to be moulded and cast in silicone.
I am using plastiline which is a soft malluable clay similar to plasticine. I apply the clay around the armature, making sure that the right areas line up. For example I ensure that I sculpt the knee in the same area that the armature is designed to bend.
I will only be sculpting the parts of the puppet that are exposed and therefore need to be cast in silicone. Areas that are covered by clothes will be bulked out and shaped using sponge. Most on the Mail Mans body will be made this way. I will be casting six silicone parts for the actress - 2 legs, 2 arms, 1shoulders and neck and 1 hair piece.
I like to rough out the entire figure so that I can see if the proportions are working. I then go back and add details. I print out a lot of reference pictures and pin them around my desk so I can always keep checking my sculpt in comparision the the maquette I made earlier.
The above picture shows the process of sculpting the arms.
The forearms connect to the the rest of the arm at the elbow. Finally here are some turn around pictures showing the progress so far. The sculpt still needs to be smoothed and cleaned up. Also I will add detail the the shoes.
Next I will be sculpting the actresses head and showing how I plan to create different facial expressions.