Sunday, 25 April 2010

Winnie-the-Pooh: Take One

I was looking at the original drawings of Winnie the Pooh, by E. H. Shepard, the other day, and thinking what a lovely shape bear he is. I was wondering whether I could produce a design in a similar shape. Unfortunately, I don't think he was drawn to actually be made - I can't find a picture of him facing forwards anywhere.

Anywhere, I've been working on a first attempt, today and yesterday.

He has definitely lost something in transalation. Mainly, it's his head - it looks quite square in the drawing, and flat on top. And he has a little ridge at his brow. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to re-create that ridge without giving him 'corners' on the outside of each eye.

Also, one of my first thoughts in looking at the pictures was that he is a seamless bear. A lot of sketches of teddy bears have the seams drawn on - thus clearly indicating it is a teddy bear. I guess the top of Pooh's legs and arms are the giveaway in the drawing above. Anyway, conscious as I was of the seamless thing, I decided to make a centre-seam bear - with no head gusset - in order to reduce the seams to the face. The problem with that is that centre seam bears always seem to have more domed faces than bears with head gussets.

Another thing I noticed in the original drawings was how tiny the legs look in comparison to the body. So I made my bear tiny legs - although I'm still not sure whether I've overdone it or not. The problem with the tiny legs is that they make it difficult for him to sit - seeing as that they give barely any support. I put plastic pellets in his bottom to try to combat this problem - i.e. so his bottom is flatter and squashier - but it hasn't really helped. He can sit, as pictured, but only with some careful balancing.

Either he needs a loop of ribbon in the back of his neck - so he doesn't need to sit - (in which case he probably needs to be smaller), or I need to figure out what to do with those legs. Perhaps a pieces of strong wire armature in each. Part of the problem though is that his limbs are only string jointed - which means he is as likely to fall on his face as a result of the looseness of his limbs, as of the imbalance between his big body and short legs.

So my little bear is a non-seller, then. Having decided that's its alright to keep projects which don't go right, and which can't be sold, I seem to be collecting them at quite a pace! The past few days haven't been a complete waste of time though - I can make alterations to the pattern, after all. And - aside from its dissimilarity to the original Pooh Bear drawings - I actually like the new head design.

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