Here are the finished roughs for my characters. I started using these as a starting point for development and created a really simple collage by photographing these faces and placing them on a basic shape (body) made from scanned in black fabric:
After placing the photograph of the face onto a simple body shape, I decided that I actually quite like the look of this technique. I then tried photocopying this to make the tone slightly darker which I think has worked pretty well! This has surprised me because it was so simple to create. The only trouble with this is that the red tie didn't show up on the photocopy of the second character, but I could easily collage further over the photocopy?
I'm still going to do what I originally intended and make them into full puppets, this way I am able to photograph the characters from 3/4 angles etc to make them a bit more 3D looking. After this I could always photocopy those photographs as well to gain the dark tone of these little experiments here.
Not sure what the bodies will be made of yet...they need to be heavy enough to stand alone so will probably make them out of fabric and fill them with small sandbags or something...