I cured Anya’s lion mask in the oven at 170 degrees F for several hours, and it got hard. Then we painted it. Anya wanted to be a rainbow lion. I had planned to blend a couple of pearlescent water colours — orange, yellow, brown, and cream — to make a tan-ish tone for the fur, then combine the red and cream to make a subtle pink for the ears.
When we were making the mask, I was worried the ears would be unstable. So I’d added a coating of papier-mâché on the back, extending down past where the ears mount to the main mask. This gave us solid ears that don’t seem like they’re going to snap off.
Anya painted the rest of the mask while I worked on the ears.
From the side — I’d left a void through which the strap could be run
We then used a glitter infused soft-gel watercolour paint to give the mask some sparkle – didn’t seem like a lot of glitter when the paint was wet, but the mask developed a nice sparkle as the paint dried. The tones are fairly subtle, and I took a wet brush to blend her sharp edges.
We made Anya’s lion mask a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t get the cardboard to hold together without using a lot of tape. Which meant the surface wasn’t consistent and was not easily painted.
So I decided to use the mask as a base for papier-mâché. First step – make papier-mâché goo. A good bit of research, and I realized there are a lot of ways people make this stuff. But since it’s going to be on her face, I didn’t want to use building supplies or even PVA glue. Decided to try the boiled flour/water binder. Boil a cup of water. In a separate container, stir together 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c cold water and stir until it is smooth. Once the cup of water is boiling, slowly whisk the flour into the water and boil for a few minutes until it thickens.
The paper – I used my pasta pot, and the paper fibers stayed within the basket quite well. Boiled paper for about ten minutes to soften it up, then used the immersion blender to break it up. Pulled the basket out of the water, and set it to drain. It was still wet, so I put the blob into a towel and pressed out more water.
Once I had a fairly dry blob of paper fibers, I mixed in the binder and used the immersion blender to form a consistent paste-like texture.
Then we pressed a thin layer over the mask – tried to get a texture that looks a little bit like fur.
Most important thing, Anya enjoyed glooping the stuff onto her mask, and she likes the finished result. I popped it into the oven on warm and am checking it every half hour or so to make sure we don’t burn it.
Tomorrow, we’ll paint it with a glittery tan paint, adding some pink paint in the ears, nose, and mouth area. Probably sort something for whiskers too.