Step 7: Painting and Detailing (The Joker Thug Mask)
Here are instructions for painting and detailing the Joker Thug mask.
You are going to need to mix up:
Some white for correcting mistakes and making blotch effects
Black which I will talk about later.
When you paint you need to make sure that the plaster in your mask is absolutely dry. I used acrylic paint but tempera paint can be okay too. Usually on a mask you would want to put down a layer of white but my mask was already white because of the plaster finisher so i decided to skip that step.
Sketch out the features on your mask, use your reference pictures religiously before carefully sketching out the places you will need to paint. Keep in mind that you can see the dots on the cheeks from the front; this is a small mistake I made. Be very careful about the shape of the eyebrows because these define the facial expression; try to make them as symmetrical as possible.
Once you have the features sketched out you can begin to very carefully fill them in with color. Before we can have fun with haphazardly applied grunge effects we need to make sure that the original layer is accurate. In the take in mind that it is outlined in the darker blue that fades inward into the lighter blue.
Before the paint dries completely you need to take paper towel and scrape away at the painted parts, you need to do this subtly; try to make it look like the mask is very used and the paint has started being worn away. Keep looking at your reference pictures about where the paint has been worn away. The drier the paint, the harder it is to wear it away.
Now for the fun part: in the movie the mask is very grungy and its colors are rather dull. The white of the plaster is way too white, what you have to do is put a bit of black paint on your finger or at first a brush and mix it a lot with water. Now with your hands and finger rub this gray watery stuff all over your mask and make a patchy bas layer of gray. Its better if you do it with your hands so it is uneven and has a cool texture. Now you need to highlight with darker gray the indentations in the mask for example around the eyes and at the corners of the jowls. Reference is not really imperative here, you can be creative, for instance I liked the unsmoothed texture of my mask a lot so I made a rough patch that looked burnt and bloody.
Feel free to use more of your blood red for subtle blood effects.
These techniques can also be applied to any other mask.