Monday, July 18, 2011

Mask Making: Paper Sculpture Bird

Here's a creative way to create a mask blank out of cardstock.  This is more than an ordinary flat mask, but one with shape, character and dimension.

Materials:  Paper, Cardstock in any color.  Pencil, scissors (if using an xacto, protect your table with a mat), bone folder, glue, craft acrylic paints, paint brushes

 The pattern.  Whether you are drafting your own pattern or using mine first make sure the eye spacing and shape is comfortable.  Cut it out of regular paper and hold it to your face.  Make sure you can see and blink.  Mark where the ties will go, roughly at the temples, and the center point at the bridge of the nose. 

If you are making your own design, draw half of what you want it to look like, cut that out, fold it in half and trace it to the other side.  Do the same with any other add on pieces. Trace your final design onto card stock and cut it out.

My pattern is here and available for personal use.  Print it out 8.5x11 for average adult size.  Cut on solid lines, fold on dotted lines.

If you have a bone folder, score the lines before folding for a sharper look.

 Construction.  Take note of the slit from the tip of the beak about half way up.  Cross those pieces and see how it bends the beak downward and gives it shape.  Put glue on one side and fold it to a shape you like.  Hold it for 20 seconds, or until the glue is dry.  Cut away the excess at the tip of the beak so that it comes to a single point.

The base of the beak has tabs that are folded up.  These fit up in the nose cut out of the mask, on the side closest the face, so they can't be seen.  Glue them in securely.

At this stage hold it to your face and make sure it fits.

 If desired cut out the eyebrows.  To curl them, slowly and carefully bend down the tips, then the middle to the desired curl.  If done too quickly it will have awkward folds.  Encourage a graceful bend. The lower portion, not cut in small slits, is used to glue these above the eye holes which can be done before or in the process of painting the mask.

Painting. Encourage the mask into a gentle bend.  Push a string through the tie hole and make a knot large enough for it not to slip out on both sides.  Then shorten the string with a knot in the middle until it holds the curve.  The small knots should not get in the way of painting.

This is not your final string, just a working one to hold this shape.
Paint the entire mask in one base color of acrylic paint.  Paint thickens and curls the paper so this layer should be even and over the whole outside of the mask.  Keep paint on the face side to a minimum.

Let dry.

Decorate it however best pleases you.  It can be realistic, abstract or basic blocks of bright colors. 

Cut the working string off and replace it with elastic, ribbon or string.  

 This mask costs just pennies to make. 

Wear and enjoy.