So I've spent a day making my first versions of puppet heads. I've followed Mermaid Theatre’s instructions for the style I want. They are made from carved styrofoam balls held together with toothpicks. They are then covered in small squares of cheesecloth coated in a glue and water base. Mermaid uses other mediums for puppets as well. Often using carved soft foam, and some are even made of wicker. They are on display here at the theatre.
So, the concept is simple enough, but there are a few rules I didn't know.
The nose must be oversized. The nose indicated where the puppet is looking, so the bigger the better.
Eye sockets must be clearly defined and deep and even. This makes the nose even and then puppet is again, looking where it should be.
When placing the collar on the inside, it must be perpendicular to the nose and at the center of the head. This way you trust that the puppet is facing the right way.
So my old man puppet head and dog head were good practice, but I messed up one or more of these things on these heads. I'm now making a raccoon to test it out again. Eventually, I will get this right.