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How I make Masks

There are many ways to make a mask, there’s the balloon and newspaper method, there’s the aluminum foil method and there are some that actually use a face cast for special effects. But this is my favorite method at the moment.

Things used:
~ mask base (canvas style not the plastic type) *
~ light air dry clay and container (preferred brand: Sakura) **
~ paints (acrylic work best for me)
~ pieces of card board (I tend to keep scraps for this kind of purpose)
~ glue
~ tape
~ sand paper (rough and fine) ***
~ garter or string or ribbons

Tools used:
~ scissors
~ brushes
~ cutter

Let's start!

Map out the design that you wanted. In this case since I needed to reshape the face of this mask I proceeded to start adding the layers I need. Don’t be afraid to play around and make mistakes, it’ll be covered with clay anyways. Also have reference picture with you, it would help a lot.

makingmask01.jpg

It’s okay to have corners and gaps; you can later fill them in with air dry clay. Once you think you have the basic shape of your mask start to attach the garter. I prefer to add them at this time so the garter would be hidden. But if you want the garter or string to be showing, you have simply make a hole in there then make sure not to cover the hole when adding the clay.

makingmask03 (2)
(picture is from when I was making a Fox mask from Persona 5)

The air dry clay part needs for you to be quick. As the name implies, this type of clay dries up by simply leaving it in the open. So have a sealable container for your clay and take little parts of clay that you would use. It’s a little bit of work but it ensures that you are not wasting any clay.

makingmask02 (1)

When working with this clay, it will slowly dry up and leave lumps and that’s ok. You don’t need to unsure that it dries smoothly, so just work on it. It depends on you on how thick or thin you want the clay but just make sure you would have a lot to work on when you start to finalize the mask. In case you need to add engraved details, just add them before in dries.

Once you think you have enough clay or all the details in, just leave it to dry. I’m not really sure how quick this clay dries but I left mine for a week (I have work so sometimes I don’t have time to make things after shift) but you would know it’s fully dry once you feel the clay is hard and not firm or springy underneath the surface. The surface of the clay dries the quickest (of course) so the underneath part needs time.

makingmask03 (1)

Again, it’s ok for your mask to be lumpy because you can just use sandpaper to smoothen it down; using sandpaper also help to add the engraved details. From what I observed the rough sand paper helps to make sure to remove the lumpy areas and the fine sand paper make sure to make the surface will be smooth.

Once you are happy, just paint it! For kitsune mask, there are a lot of variations but I went with this basic one and the most common (I guess). I also like to use acrylic cause the finish looks almost shiny and I feel like that I don’t need to use a clear protectant.

makingmask05.jpg

This is the finished product. It’s not perfect but it works.

Some notes:

* I suggest using the canvas style because the clay sticks to it better. I’m not sure if the same outcome will happen with the plastic type.

** I used the most common air dry clay available and my problem with this is that its heavy and it cracks. So don’t use it for this case. I have to say though I did use it for my Psycho mask and although the cracks help with the design, it’s not useful for anything else.

makingmask06.jpg

*** I’m not an expert when it comes with sandpaper, so if you know what you are doing, use that instead. Also maybe you can share your knowledge and tell me how to choose sandpapers for certain conditions. I only knew to use sandpaper because I read an article about it but it didn’t say what to choose.

With this process I have done a bunch of masks especially from the series Persona 5. I’m still thinking of making a Son of the Harpy mask from Game of Thrones and the Clown mask from D. Grey Man. I’m also thinking of making another Psycho mask from Until Dawn and another Kitsune mask from Persona 5. And maybe another Kitsune mask with minimal design.

makingmask07.jpg
Persona 5 masks: Fox, Panther, Joker and Skull

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ライカ

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