Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Haunt Theory: Scarecrow Physiology

I think the success of a scarecrow depends on the positioning of the head. I always aim to make the head below or equal to the shoulder height. That gives a sad and lonely and tormented feeling to the scarecrow. Tilt the head slightly and you have yourself a vile prop.

Pumpkinrot's head was fun because it gave the impression that he was looking down at the people passing by.

Johnny Appleseed backfired on me a little bit since the post was placed further back than I had anticipated, and behind a small wooden fence. For the most part, his face was obscured by the rim of his hat and I think a lot of people didn't realize what was under there. That fit somewhat with my original design, since I imagined people seeing his skeletal teeth and leaning in for a closer look only to see his horrible face. But the distance of the post made that difficult so people didn't even bother to peek - which, in a weird way, suited me just fine. Like it was my creepy secret (not good for votes, by the way).

Bog Man is my personal favorite and his success (as a prop) has everything to do with the positioning of his head. Like he doesn't want to be there. Like he's tired of the torment (probably not good for votes either).


7 comments:

Jonathan, Andi, Joey & Evan Graham said...

I liked how Johnny Appleseed's face was partly blocked by his hat, it made him more mysterious which I liked. I don't even know where to begin with Bogman or Roots, they are almost indescribable to me. Wish I could come up with something like that. I've been sketching a scarecrow that I plan to build this year (starting on it this weekend!), I think you'll like it if I can get everything to come out right. I messed up on my scarecrow from last year by making him too... "Stiff" I guess would be the word, I wish he had looked more alive.

Bones said...

I think you're absolutely right about the head positioning. It's an extension of human body-language. That was one of the mistakes I made on my scarecrow from 2006-- I had the head too rigidly upright and set back from the chest. He stands proud, which is in contrast to rest of its appearance. :)

crudedoodle.com said...

bones, i just checked out your scarecrow. I love that shit. I like how the head is straight up and the skull is oozing out of it. it makes the ooze more emphatic (word?) when it's coming from a straightish head.

just sayin'

Rot said...

Yeah, I agree with Crude. Not all scarecrows need the droopy head.

Letty Cruz said...

Bog Man for the win. If you assembled him around these parts there'd be passer-by's freaking out and calling 911 about a cadaver in no time :D

Citizen 'VI' said...

I absolutely love your scarecrows, but one thing I've noticed about Roots and Bogman that struck me as a little off was the positioning of their arms. Probably just me, but I think having arms that are spread wide like with Pumpkinrot and Johnny really enhances the "scarecrow feeling", and with it the aesthetic, erm, beauty, as it were. Bogman and roots felt a little less scarecrowy and too confined, like they weren't reveling in their scarecrowy nature as much as they could, if you know what I mean.

Rot said...

You're a scarecrow purist. I can see the appeal to keeping scarecrows traditional, and my personal tastes usually take me in that direction (as will be the case this year), but I like to push the envelope sometimes. Roots was a fun invention of an X-creature that happens to dig on crows. The Bog dude was the victim of his discoverer - Mr. Swan - and was jammed on a post for all to see... hanging like a scarecrow.

Sometimes I may go beyond the pale. : ) But they're usually the ones that are the most fun to build.