Our Construction Diary
Page 61



Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop


May 27, 2002 (page 2 of 3)

Well, let's get started building the Giant Living Puppet Mural. First we need an idea of what it will look like, and then we have to bring it to life.

Drawing lots of animals

Once we had decided on the basic design of the mural, we needed to make drawings of the chosen animals. They were reduced to basic line drawings and then scanned into the computer. Since the animals are fully articulated, we had to decide which parts of them moved, and draw those pieces separately.

Working at the light table

The light table comes in handy for inking the final drawings. They need to be crisp and clean to make good scans in the computer.

The HP Pavillion 7966 Computer

The HP Pavilion 7966 computer. The HP Scanjet 4470C along with Thumbs+ and Corel PhotoPaint image wrangling, and Corel Ventura Desktop publishing software, and a HP Deskjet 1220C printer produce the finished drawings on clear transparencies. The trick at all stages is to have the animals and the background images remain in proper relationship to each other.

The first animals

The first animals drawn and pieced together. The individual pieces of each animal are held together with brads. At this point they are not in proper size to one another, we just wanted to see them.


The overhead projector image

We then take the images on the transparencies and blow them up onto the 4 x 8 foot sheets of 1/2 inch foam core board. (The image shown here is solid to show the process. The real ones just have the outline)

Cutting the foam core board

The next step is to cut out the animal and scenery background pieces. The jig saw makes short work of this step, but then all the pieces need to be sanded to get rid of the fuzzies.

The primer-painted pieces

Then they need to be primer-painted -- BOTH sides at the same time. Foam core board has a nasty habit of curling if only one side is painted and allowed to dry. Even after you paint the second side, it may stay curled. The solution is to quickly paint both sides and the edge -- all at the same time. Messy, but necessary.

Pieces ready for final painting

The primed pieces are once again traced in magic marker (using the overhead projector) with the details of each animal or scenery element. Now it becomes a paint-by-number project -- a BIG paint-by-number project. To give you an idea, the piece in front on the floor is over six feet long.

On the next page we'll finish the mural

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All text and photos © 2002, Olde World Puppet Theatre

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