Sunday, June 8, 2014

Giraffe Mask

And now for something completely different...

This is not gaming related, but is still modelling/craft/painting related.The big 'un has a school play next week. Nothing big, just her class for the parents and maybe other kindergarten students. In the play she has the role of a giraffe. For the play, each student has to provide their own costume. K wanted to buy a giraffe mask on etsy, but in my skinflint way, I decided I could do better for less. My bluff was called, so out came the papier-mache. Something I haven't worked with since I was in primary school.

The first step was to blow up two balloons to roughly the sizes of the girls heads. Yes, I only need to make one mask for school, but I have two daughters, so I have to make two masks.

Wet papier mache on two balloons. Left over-night to dry.

Dowel rod cut to size, then glued on with white glue, and toilet paper glued round the base. Toilet paper was also used to make the lump between the horns. Again left overnight to dry.

The ears were cut out from cardboard, leaving flaps at the bottom to be glued both in front and behind. Again, the ears were glued on with white glue, and the join strengthened with addition of toilet paper, white glue and water. 

The ears were covered in a layer of tissue paper to strengthen them, to look like skin, and so the card would take the paint well (the backs of the ears were shiny card). I also put tissue paper over the horns to make them a little less wooden.
The mask on the right has a tissue paper nose in place. This was an experiment in making the mask more 3-D, but I dropped this route, as it was beginning to look less like a giraffe.

The balloons were popped, and the edges trimmed to vaguely fit the children's heads. The masks were then covered with a layer of geso undercoat.

There is a lack of pictures of the next few stages, but basically, I put it on the big'un's head to see where the eyes would go, then cut eye holes, and trimmed the edges so as not to hurt her ears. Then it was on with the painting. I had originally though the eyes of the giraffe would be level with the eye-holes, but I blew the balloon up a little smaller than need be, so the eye-holes were far too low to be the real eyes. this meant they had to become the nostrils, and the eyes were painted on. After the painting was finished, cardboard eye-lashes were added as a final touch.

The nose look more like a cow or a gnu than a giraffe (giraffe noses are rather pointy) but that is just an artifact of the eye-hole placement. I'm sure with the rest of the costume it'll look better, and more giraffey.

Now I have to go finish the other one, once the lil'un has shown me where to make the eye-holes. Then the rest of the costume, which is basically a painted t-shirt. I guess that'll be this year's Halloween too!