I had an enquiry from a visitor to my Youtube channel about how I make characters for my projects. As it happens I am just embarking on making the last of four characters for the lineup in my current project. If you look at previous blog entries you can see the previous three people, a nun, a little girl, and an old women. So I have decided to blog the progress as I make this last lineup character. So Bill, here goes.
I usually start doing hand sketches of the characters I imagine for the project. It usually takes about four drawings before I start to feel comfortable with them. In the case of the lineup characters, they are secondary characters. They will be behind glass and closer to the rear of the scene, so I will not make them as detailed as most. They are also fairly small, the tallest being only 6 inches tall, so a whole lot of detail is difficult to accomplish, so I won't go overboard. A further consideration is that the heads of the members of the lineup will turn, so the the heads are made separately, and a hole has to be created in the centre of the body for the actuating rod. In these characters I attach the feet later instead of carving them into the body block to facilitate drilling and conserve material.
The last consideration how to do the arms. Often I do arms separately as it allows me to position them precisely and change positions if I'm not happy. I can also adapt them to hold things like teddy bears and meat cleavers!
So here is the final concept sketch of the lineup characters. Notice that things are not exactly to scale or proportion, I just want to see how the will look together and what size they should be to fit the available space. You may notice the nun ended up a little differently as I decided that if she held a crucifix she might look a little more pious.
The last character to be made is the woman in the chicken suit. The next step is to do a front and side view drawing of her to the proper scale. (Her head seems a little small in this sketch). When I get the drawing finished I'll post it.
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Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.