Friday, 15 April 2016

Chosen Furs

Reflecting on my concept art and research into the shape, size and colour of the dodo, I found the overriding tones that kept coming up in the scientific images and paintings to be warm shades of grey, with some yellow-orange hints. I wanted to reflect this using more than one colour and texture of fur, as to add visual interest and variation to the puppet. I decided on using fur because it doesn't always have to be the 'traditional', straight texture. Some of the furs I ordered were extremely sparse - so much so that you could easily see whatever was underneath the fabric. I didn't want to have to add another layer of fabric underneath the foam to disguise it as it would add extra weight, so decided to continue the search. I found the following three fabrics - all of which have a fluffy, clumped texture often referred to as 'Mongolian' fur. This represents the 'down'-like texture of the feathers the Dodos apparently had; it seems they didn't really have many, if any well-defined feathers. This makes them look appealingly soft.
The first fabric I chose is to go on the head, neck and feathers, and is very soft and fluffy. I look forwards to it being stroked; it's really appealing and has a nice movement to it. It's a very soft grey and reminds me of the tiny feathers ducklings have when they first hatch.
The second fabric is a longer, more stranded and curly fur. It is an off-white, cream colour and will sit nicely down the front of the neck, offering a contrast in colour. It has a great 'shake' to it. The third fabric is a darker, mottled curl that sits closer to the weave and gives the appearance of larger strands of feathers. It isn't as soft to the touch, but has a pleasant slight shine and will sit well on the back of the bird.
I also plan to use a more 'typical' fur for the tail of the Dodo, rolled up into sections and attached to the orb base of the tail. This should provide a good contrast in texture and also move nicely. If the Dodo looks like it would benefit from them, I may also add some individually made 'accent' feathers around the chest and neck.

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