Monday, February 22, 2016

Making Another Goblin King Jareth Mask Part 1

My original Jareth mask has long since been sold, but I have had the mask up on a made to order basis on Etsy for awhile now. I get a huge amount of inquiries about how long it would take to have one made, but over the past few years I've been super busy and not really into the swing of things creatively. I've often shut down offers for a commission on one. Crazy, I know, but when you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it.

There was one person however, who was very adamant about getting a mask done. There was one hitch however in that they wanted a mask that was more accurate to the one in the movie, with that boney arm stick holder. At first I was a bit apprehensive as I know the original mask weighed more than I thought a stick could handle. I also wasn't sure how to securely attach a stick to a mask that has weight to it or what to use for a stick even!

The original Jareth mask

I decided I'd try to make the mask as light as I could, which proved difficult using the methods I prefer to create with. Still, I used thin layers of plasterwrap to keep the weight down as much as I could. I had to make a new horn mold because I misplaced the original one somehow. I was able to make the horn a lot thinner this time which was pretty cool not only for weight but accuracy.

I also tried a new sculpting compound for forming the shape on the mask, called Amaco Sculptamold. I can't say it was any easier to work with and it certainly came out just as lumpy as the Celluclay normally does. I have lots of sanding work to do on this one. I really need to find something entirely new that doesn't weigh a ton. I have tried Apoxie-Sculpt in the past year and it weighs a lot as well. All polymer clays weigh too much and paper clay always tends to crack on me. Totally open to all suggestions here!


Work in progress

In its current state, it's a lumpy mess, but the gesso + sanding will help that out. It would sure be nice to be able to skip that whole series of steps though. I attached the stick to the side of the mask first with hot glue and then further attached it with the modeling compound. I am likely going to go  over it again with some plasterwrap cloth pieces to ensure it sticks. I'm very nervous about it falling off. I searched for a ton of tutorials and could only find how to attach sticks to tiny little fabric masks, not something that weighs a pound or more.

I also opted for a thicker dowel instead of the thin one which would have looked better. I'd rather play it safe than sorry though and until I can get the weight down, it's just going to have to be this way!

Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!
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Monday, February 15, 2016

Chilly Down: Making a Fiery Mask from Labyrinth Part 1

I received a commission request through Etsy about making a Fiery mask.I had to giggle to myself as they explained that they were the ones who took their heads off in the movie. I thought, "This is the Labyrinth master you're talking to...of course I know who they are!"

I funny thing is, I had already planned to make a Fiery mask long ago, like probably right around the time I first created this blog. I even had a nose piece in production to make this guy.

Chilly Down with the Fire Gang!


I sent her the picture to give her an idea of what I meant, and she said that was the exact one she had in mind! Isn't it weird when things line up like that? I have a lot going on, but I figured this was something I had planned to do anyway, and this was just an impetus to get it done.

The one snag was that the original craft fur I had ordered years ago turned out to be an incredible flop for the purposes I wanted it for. It was fly away and stringy, nasty stuff. Nothing like the beautiful hair I used for Ludo's mane. I decided right away I wanted to see if I could find that fur again to use for this instead. I did find it on Ebay, and ordered the colors I needed right away!

From the side - check out the neat ridges around the eyes!


I then got to attaching the nose I had made to to a base mask made of plastwrap cloth. I made the nose out of cardboard and masking tape to hold it together and hotglued it the plastwrap. Then you have to go over it again with plasterwrap cloth to make sure it's all nice, secure, and uniform. I employed a new technique with this mask that just kind of happened. To basically fold the strips of plastercloth, then wet them, and then attach them. It has to be done super quickly or else the cloth wants to fall off, but it has an awesome look to it.


From the front


This is what the mask looks like so far, and now I'm mostly waiting for the fur to come in the mail so I can figure out how I'm going to weave in the white and gold fur to the red fur.I'm going to add some molding to the outside of the 'big beak' to help give it a more muzzled look. It should come together nicely.

Thanks for Reading and Happy Creating!
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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!
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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


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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.



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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!

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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!

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