Paper Mache Angler Fish – Adding Eyes
Before getting into building the eyes I did one funny thing. On my Facebook page we have been having funny discussions about Wilbur. One suggested he could be afraid of the dark. This would be an interesting situation as anglers live deep in the ocean where there is little light. Another suggested glasses. I put some old glasses on him but it made the character too cartoonlike. I want contrast and conflict in the look.
I had a thought. If Wilbur is trying to prove that he is a tough guy, he might get a piercing, but what type? I did some surfing and found lip rings were popular. But a fish like Wilber would want more, a lip ring with a fishing lure hanging that he took from a fisherman. Here is the result.
Building the eyes
I did not want the eyes to look cute. I like the conflict in look of a ferocious fish with braces. Eyes are very important as they are often the first focus of attention on a face.
I found some stick on clear eyes and cut off the trim then glued them on. Next is building up the eye structure around the domes. I call them eye lids but as fish can not blink that is probably the wrong name.
The first image is attaching folded cloth around the eyes. This was part way through the positioning. I didn't want any of the glued base with cut plastic to show. The eyes need to be symmetrical so each step was repeated before it dried. The folds here are too far apart by the mount. In the second picture the cloth is in place and paper was applied to cover the cloth edges.
I tried some blue garage towels to help bridge the layers but did not like the result. It expanded and looked rough. Two types of cloth were used. The top and bottom small lids were folded muslin cloth. This works nicely but has no give. The lids are a stretchy fabric. Then I could get better curving. Each cloth had glue applied, folded into the glue then more glue applied to the bottom and stuck on the fish. Some masking tape was used to hold them in place. Then strips of kraft paper towel applied. I applied lots of glue (90/10) to the cloth to firm it up.
Once this is hard I can go in and touch it up. I can see adding pieces of the stretchy cloth and gluing it in place. Then cover with more kraft paper to create effects on the skin.
I need all of this to dry. Putting on too many layers of wet glue can melt the structure below. Once this is rock hard I will start building up some of the muscle structures around the eyes.
I realized when I papered over the cloth I could create ridge lines. I had a box of large shoe laces. I cut and glued on two strands on top of each eye to give an interesting ridge line. I am going to try cut pieces of felt under the paper to build more interesting structure. This gives me tremendous control.