Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Puppet 3

I had a class project for which I decided to perform as a ventriloquist, after building a themed puppet. I chose to make him look like Cicero, a Roman orator.

I started with a foam ball.
I carved it using a dremel and belt sander until it looked kinda like a face.
I cut a jaw line and added a mouth, including space for my hand and thumb.
I covered the whole thing in tan felt, adding a couple facial features in the process.
Some eyes, eyelilds, and paint, and he's starting to look... terrifying, really.
His body is made of hangers for shoulders, and a water bottle wrapped in cotton batting makes the torso. Yarn for hair.
The torso was wrapped in felt and then white cloth as a toga.
I added some sewn arms and legs, hands and feet.
Ta-da! Here's a video of the performance!

Pirate Puppet

For my second puppet, I wanted a more traditional ventriloquism dummy. But not the poop-your-pants death stare dummies that everyone recognizes. Again, I decided to build my own.His eye moves, his eyebrows raise, his mouth opens, the head can move around, and the parrot's beak can open.
I really wish I had documented the process of making him, so that I could show how I did it. Next time I make one I'll record how I did it.


A few years ago, I saw a video of Jeff Dunham perform on Comedy Central. I'd seen him before, but this time when I watched him I thought "I bet I could learn to do that!"
At the same time, I told myself that if I were a ventriloquist, I'd have a great excuse to make some ventriloquism dummies. Which I did.
So here is the first one!

First, his head. I was making it up as I went along.
Eventually I got around to giving him a body. Nerdy little fellow, in't he?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jareth the Goblin King costume

I was Jareth, the villain from the movie Labyrinth. Since David Bowie is bizarre, and Jim Henson was a weirdo, this made for a fun outfit.

I made pretty much everything for this. The wig was a blond "rocker" wig that I had to straighten, cut, style, and paint to give it brown roots. The front chest piece is a breastplate I made. Wire mesh coated in plaster strips, then covered in decorative leather. I made the boots out of pleather over some cheap dress shoes. The blue cape is just a simple cape made form two kinds of cloth sewed back to front. The web-looking cape is cheesecloth that I destroyed a bit and dyed to look like that. The leather hood and cape are the fun part.

The leather I bought online. There's actually two parts; most of it is one kind of leather, and the inside of the hood is a darker, less textured leather. The part that bothers most people (mostly my sisters) is the skeletal add-ons. They're actual deer bones. A month or so before I started on this, a small deer was killed on the edge of our property at my parents' house. Behind the house is just mountains and sagebrush, so this isn't in the middle of the city. Anyway, around the time I was making this, there was nothing left but bare bones. So after looking online at how to do it best, I cleaned them VERY thoroughly and assembled them as you see here. They were much whiter looking before I pained them to look like they were decaying.
Half the people who saw me in this costume loved it, asking for pictures with me. The other half clearly had no idea who I was, and gave me some very weird looks, even though it was Halloween.

Nightcrawler costume

I was Nightcrawler from X-Men 2. It was fun!It involved a lot of makeup (with lots of help from my sister Larken!) pointy ears, fake pointy teeth, yellow contact lenses, and blue latex hands.

Jack Sparrow Costume

I love making costumes. I discovered this when I worked on making a Captain Jack Sparrow costume my senior year of high school. It turned out ok, and lots of people liked it. But I knew that it could be better, that I could improve upon it. It took a couple years to get around to it, but I did a lot of work to make it better. I don't have the greatest photos of it, but I'll post what I have.

The coat was heavily modified from one found at D.I. the boots I made out of leather and some short leather work boots (I know, they're cut off in the photo), the wig and hat I made... it was a lot of fun. I ended up building a better version of his compass.

I've ended up selling a couple of these, and I'm working on a new one right now.

Some of my previous portrait work

A lot of what impresses people most that I've done is my portrait drawing work, so here are some portrait drawings I've done.

This is a self portrait I did in 2007. I don't plan to post much from before then, because I don't like it anymore.

A lot of the portrait drawings I've done have been of pretty actresses/famous people (girls). This is for two reasons: they are famous, so if it looks like the person, people will recognize that it's well done. Also, they are beautiful girls.

This is Diana Agron, mostly famous from the tv show Glee. This probably took around 6 hours to draw, and I used half a dozen types of pencils.

In a rare break from tradition of drawing female actresses, here's Apollo Ohno, USA speed skater. This was done as a speed drawing, I think it took maybe an hour to complete, using a mechanical pencil.

I was taking a drawing class recently where, for the first time, I used charcoal. It was neat. But what I really liked was using black and white charcoal on toned paper. Finally, if something needed to be lighter, I could draw it lighter instead of erasing what was there.