Monsters, lovely monsters

It’s been much too long since I made any masks.

And I’ve never made a classic latex mask using a plaster mould.  My masks have all been one-off creations in instamorph, baring some very early efforts with papier mâché.  I’ve always thought I should know how to work in the basic method that so many other mask-makers use.

Soo, this week, I’m taking advantage of a short course at a nearby university, run by a properly famous creature creator, Jordu Schell.  Today was Day Three, when we all finished our sculptures, covered them in casting plaster, and then cleaned our moulds of clay.

It was a pleasant novelty to take a sculpt to a really finished texture, fully creating a character in clay.  This is not my usual mask-making process, when detail is added directly on the mask’s plastic surface.   The clay we used, WED clay is also new to me.  It’s not made to be fired, and is smooth and firm and very slow drying.  I even made some new tools last night to help me create the scales on my glum reptile’s skin, inspired by a cunning tiny loop that another student made with old guitar string and a chopstick.  Mine used ukulele string, clay wire, and Instamorph handles.

I should have done more research on reptile skin techniques before beginning to hand-draw scales, as I was slightly cross eyed by the end. But I’m pretty happy with where I got to.

Tomorrow when the moulds are dry it will be time to pour the latex, while Friday will be the  fun of finishing and painting.  I am taking  many notes, which I hope will still make sense when I eventually try to follow them.

cof

Glump, ready to get plastered

 

tools_feb2017

Tiny tiny tools

 

Working up a mask from life

I spent last weekend in a portrait class that focused on understanding how faces twist to express emotions.  On Sunday we worked from a live model in one long pose (the expression collectively chosen was ‘anxious’).  The rest of the class worked in 2D, using paints, pastels and pencil to capture a likeness.  I decided to instead use clay and Instamorph to create the base for a mask.  It was an interesting challenge!

Next step: taking the white mask base and painting it, adding in eyes etc.     With his permission, I took photos of the lovely model, and will use them to help finish the mask.

Model and clay base

Model and clay base

instamorph mask

Model and mask

Nosy, very nosy

I’ve been making some “less than half” masks – some manly character noses for stage use.  This one is going really quite large.  Pics here of the clay sculpt, and then after being draped in a low temperature thermoplastic – I used Instamorph, heated and rolled into sheets, then dipped in boiling water for draping.  Now comes the trimming, painting and the adding of moustaches to this and other noses I’ve made in the last few days.

Image

noses and half mask

1st coat of paint