Friday, February 5, 2016

Waylaid by Sewing Machine and Darkness Started

Phew! What a week it's been. I had planned to post around Wednesday, but I got sidetracked on a project and didn't get any painting done until Thursday night. The previous week I had put in an order for fabric to make this beautiful baby blanket. I expected it to take some time to create, but not nearly as much as it did. As it was, it took up about two days of my week, but at least it's done now. Next time I will make a simpler blanket as I'm not sure all the extra work was worth it.




Then last night, I finally got some alone time and got my Darkness painting started for the Fantasy wall. I got a good bit of work done, but still have a ways to go. I'd be happy to finish it over the weekend.

Darkness in Progress from Legend


Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!
If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here

Monday, February 1, 2016

Paintings for Prints Poll

I finally bought an Epson printer and am looking at having prints available of my artwork very soon. As paper and ink for the printer can be very expensive, especially considering some of the off sizes of many of my paintings, I wanted to get an idea of which paintings people were most interested in seeing as a print before ordering.

If one isn't listed here, please feel free to comment which one you'd like to see instead on here or on Facebook.

Feel free to pick more than one!


survey software


Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!

If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here

Ladyhawke painting finished - Titled "Cursed" on 18" x 24"




And it's done! This is the next in my latest series to fill my living room wall with 80's fantasy art. It's a painting of Rutger Hauer and of course his Ladyhawke - from the movie..Ladyhawke. I always love to paint birds and this hawk was fun. 

I've already started the next painting which is going to be yet another painting of Tim Curry from his role as Darkness from the movie Legend. I've actually done one already in the past as a commission for a friend of mine. You can see that painting here if you so choose.



Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!
If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why Not Add Painting to the Mix?


For as long as I've had this blog, I've kept the topic strictly to maskmaking. That can be a little tricky, especially when I'm not making and masks. I haven't been doing much of anything the past year or so as it seems everything in life has been hectic. I finally got off my butt and started working on some paintings recently though.

Within You - 18" x 24" acrylic on canvas
As many of you may know already from looking at my blog, I've taken a lot of inspiration from the movie The Labyrinth. I grew up with David Bowie being Jareth and his passing was really hard on me. I'm normally the type of person that doesn't care when celebrities die. I can't even count the amount of times I've caught myself tearing up though just listening to his music or thinking about any of many associations he has for me. I knew I had to paint him as homage for all the memories though. It wasn't much of a surprise that I settled on a shot of Jareth - specifically from the part when Sarah is in the stair Labyrinth at the end and Within You is playing. There is this part where it shows Jareth and he just looks so beaten as he realizes that he's never going to win Sarah over. It wasn't quite the same sentiment I was feeling, but the pain was certainly there in realizing he was never going to create again. I'm tearing at the eyes again writing this and I though the topic was finally safe! So below is the painting and I'm happy with how it turned out.

"Marie's Favorite 80s Fantasy Movie" wall
It's currently hanging on the wall in my living room. I noticed right away how empty the rest of the wall looked and I thought, 'I need to make more'. I decided that this would be a "Marie's Favorite 80s Fantasy Movie" wall. I set forth to create a layout that Jareth would be proud of. The set will include scenes from The Neverending Story, Legend, Willow, The Dark Crystal, and Ladyhawke. It will also be an ode to the lovable bad guy - which is to say there will be no "good guys" on this wall. Like I said, it had to be a wall Jareth would be proud of!

Keep posted for updates soon! And from now on this will be a painting and a maskmaking blog. I will have to update the about page soon, but for now I'm working on the next painting!

Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!

If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's been awhile: Making a Ludo Mask Part 2

 This is part 2 of this post series - please check here to see part 1 if you haven't already read it.  






Wow, it's certainly been a long time! Over 2 years later, and I'm picking up this mask and continuing where I left off. While I did focus on painting for awhile, I've since found myself in quite a rut with it and so I'm diving back into masks. I also sold my Jareth mask this month, and sales always boost my confidence. I've been working with a bunch of new materials and thus have a ton of tutorials planned.


Back to the matter at hand: Ludo! I was a little confused at first as I've been out of sculpting for so long, but decided to go with my tried and true celluclay to start molding Ludo's brow. Something I had never considered originally, was Ludo's nose. He has an almost dog-like nose which doesn't really mesh well with the size of a human nose. I considered leaving it out and just keeping it the human shape, and then though, whatever this is an adaptation - it doesn't have to be identical! I'm keeping the dog nose!

The resulting brow and doggy nose.
Another problem I ran into at this point was that I was just not confident in the cellulclay's ability to make the specific shapes I wanted for this mask. I planned for grooves on the nose, I planned for a better brow. This wasn't cutting it. And I will say again, Celluclay is an amazing product, but fine detail is not it's fortay. So, now I'm thinking, what can I use that's lightweight, but durable. I did some research and found a good number of options.

One thing I found was 'old-fashioned' paper mache, which uses tissue paper and glue. I did a couple of layers onto the mask to see if it would offer up what I needed and while it added a great texture and did smooth up the celluclay, it wasn't going to give me the rise I needed quick enough (and two layers was quite time consuming).

So, I opted to use Sculpey Ultralight. I made up a new brow for Ludo with a bunch of nice wrinkles and creases. I made the creases over the bridge of his nose, and added some nice shape for his nose. After all the finishing touches were completed, I put him in the oven to bake.

Luuuuudo....baked? (in the oven!)

After Ludo baked, I let him cool and proceeded to sand everything down. Now it's time for the fun part! Painting and finishing up the details. And this mask has a huge detail that I just couldn't wait to use!! I loved the texture the paper mache added to the horns and cheeks. In hindsight, I would have liked to go over the brow with the mache too to make it look more uniform. It's almost too smooth compared to the cheeks here.

The base colors blocked in.
So onto that huge detail I was talking about! From part 1 of this post I mentioned finding this really cool hair in the perfect shade for Ludo. Now it's FINALLY time to use it! I had to cut the swatch I had to fit around the horns, but it came out so awesome. The color is perfect and it looks great on the mask. My husband and I joked that Ludo had the original emo hairstyle xD!

Ludo with hair! So cool!!

And all the hard work was done! I did some touch ups on the horns and spots I missed paint. And sealed this beauty up. The inside of the mask is lined with flannel for comfort and it's attached with elastic. For as many details as this mask has, it actually came out very light - so I managed to meet my goal! This mask is for sale on my etsy shop - please head over and take a look :)

Finished Ludo Mask


Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!

If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here. I'm also on Youtube now; please subscribe by visiting my channel here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Use Plaster Wrap Cloth for Mask Making

Last post I mentioned creating a post to show how to use plaster wrap cloth which is a very convenient method to make masks without the gunk and mess of using papier mache. I recorded the entire process of wrapping the cardboard frame for my Leviathan mask which was almost an hour total. I had to speed up the frames big time to make it fit under Youtube's 15 minute rule and so it's not quite an instructional video, but more of a time lapse to show you how you could use it and the general idea.



Because of this, I'll add in some basic instructions to go along with it. In my video I used a cardboard frame (see this post for details : http://mariemessina.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-make-cardboard-frame-for-mask.html) but you can also create one off of your face or on an armature. The bottom line is you need some sort of support for the plaster wrap to lay on before it dries.

What you'll need:
  • Plaster Wrap Cloth -- available at craft stores or @ Amazon Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth
  • Scissors any kind will do but if you don't have any at all grab some here Soft Grip Scissors
  • a tub for warm water -- I use an old true (cool) whip container
  • a towel
  • a plate (paper is fine)
  • a surface to work on

Once you've decided how you're going to do your piece, the rest is very simple.

1. Take your roll of plaster cloth and cut a bunch of different sizes out. I do thick 1 inch pieces as well as thinner ones. I also do a bunch of large triangle shaped pieces. Put all of the pieces on your plate for easy access.

2. Fill your tub with hot water. By the time you're finished the water will probably be luke warm so might as well give it the longest go by starting hot. The box suggests warm water and I have definitely noticed that the material is more flexible when warm versus cold.

3. Set up you work area with your plate of plaster cloth, your tub, a towel and even keep your roll of plaster cloth and scissors off to the side in case you run out and need to cut more or need a specific shape. Make sure you keep your water and plaster well and separate because if you get water on your plate you will end up with hard patches all over your strips! The towel is usually well put between the bowl of water and the mask so that you can let excess water drip from the piece before applying if needed.

4. After that you're ready to go. Just dip a strip in the water and let the excess off on the towel. Place the strip on whichever surface and smooth it down with your finger. Make sure that there are little to no holes showing through the cloth and that you have a smooth white surface.

Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!


If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! I also love a comment! You can get up to the minute updates by following me on Facebook by clicking here. I'm also on Youtube now; please subscribe by visiting my channel here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Just a Quick Note...

 ...to let you all know that I'm taking a bit of a break here this week. I haven't had much inspiration to get any work done as I got sick yet again with stomach flu last week and it has been taking me some time to get back to normal.

As soon as I get my spunk back I'll continue the progress posts and tutorials!


Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!