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Submitted on
May 25, 2011
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Keaton Mask Steps by Arizzel Keaton Mask Steps by Arizzel
My mask making process

My masks are made from paper mache. A fairly inexpensive method. They come out hollow and lightweight and are less likely to break when dropped as opposed to a solid clay mask.

1. I start with a full face base mask I purchased from a craft store.
Its is plastic so you can easily draw on it with washable pen, marker, or even pencil to map out special features of the mask to sculpt(in the case of the keaton mask I marked out where the ears would be on the head.)
It is also important to take note of the size of your base mask compared to your face. My mask is not proportionate to a humans so I must add more to the chin to make it lower.( I might have to lower the mouth and make the nose bigger too if it is to be a human face. At least this one is just the Keaton)

2.I then sculpt on the details particular to the mask. For this one that would be the nose and ears.(I also added to the faces shapes by adding cheeks)
For these masks I've been using Crayola brand air drying clay. Its a good amount of clay for the price. I choose air drying because I can sculpt pretty easily the details with my hands and tools and this brand can be smoothed by using my finger dipped in water.
Any clays you don't use just moisten and store away. I can probably get 3-5 masks out of one tub(depending on amount of detail I want on a mask)
Also, as a side note, I have the mask laying on a cookie sheet so I can easily transport it and keep moisture from the clay/ or paper mache from seeping onto and messing up a surface. It is also on paper, I was able to draw the ear shape to sculpt over

3. Let dry completely. Paper mache is wet and must dry so if the clay is wet beneath it prevents this from happening.

4. put on a very thin layer of Vaseline over the mask(this is so the paper mashe can pop of easier later)

5. Paper mache time!You can probably find a recipe for the mache paste online. I use flour, water, Elmer glue and salt(prevents molding) and mine comes out to the consistency of pancack or waffle batter. I then use newspaper in small strips to dip into the paste, wipe off excess so it isn't drippy and lay onto the mask.
Any paper material (printer paper, napkin, paper towel) could work, news paper is a good thickness and one issue could be enough for a couple projects.
Layer 4-6 layers. Let dry completely. Wiggle the edges loose from the base mask and it will pop off.

Wipe off the Vaseline from the inside of the mask. Now the magic of paper mache. It is paper so you can use scissors or an exact-o knife to trim away excess or cut holes for the eyes. Then use more strips and paste to thicken and strengthen thin areas and to smooth out and seal cut edges. More layers all over the better, to strengthen. Let dry

The worst is probably dry waiting time, I dunno how to make it faster. You can possibly use a hair dryer on a cool setting but if it dries too fast it may create cracks(that will show up in the painting stage) like the cracks that appear when mud dries fast.

Sand the mask smooth inside and out.

From there you can seal and paint or move on to other methods to smooth out any bumpiness.

Can find finished mask here: [link]
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xmishaxsorrowx Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Thanks for the tutorial!
Arizzel Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
no problem! n_n
KunoichiAyu Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Traditional Artist
Do you have measurements for how much flour, water, Elmers glue and salt you use to make the paper mache. I have never used it before but I really want to make a Keaton mask like this one.
Arizzel Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Normally I just eye ball it but i can go and actually measure out sometime.:)
It all varies based on how much flower and water mix i am making.

Its not an exact science. I am sure online you can find various recipes.
I used to just use flower and water, and that works too. Glue was added for extra hold and to extend the life, and salt to prevent moldiness(learned that when a mask didn't get dry fast enough)

I add enough water to the flower to make it the consistency of pancake/waffle batter. runny but not watery.

I normally fill half of a 6in x 6in x 1in tupperware container (so I can store it a day as I let the project dry and use whats left) I use about a small palm full of salt. And I am pretty gernerous with the glue. I'm a dork and draw with the glue as I squeeze it out. I only squeeze about 4-5 seconds and that is about how much I use. Then add flower about 2-3 spoon fulls. Then a little water at a time, mix, add more, until I get the consistency I like. (too watery= add more flower)

flower gives the project its hardness so that is why you wont want it too watery, but in my opinion having it too thick makes the surface less smooth. just play until you find something you like.

good luck, and give your project a chance to dry between so many layers.
KunoichiAyu Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thank you sooooo much for all your help. :heart: :tighthug:
Arizzel Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
So happy I could help! And thank you for following up with me and showing what you made. Makes me so happy!
KunoichiAyu Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013   Traditional Artist
No problem. ~^ ^~ I'm glad you like it.
KunoichiAyu Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Traditional Artist
Awesome, thank you so much! That really helps!! :happybounce:
skipperofotters05 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Thank you! I'm making my own mask with the help of this tutorial :3
Arizzel Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
Oh I am so glad it is helping others! <3
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