Hi everybody! BillCitrus here with another spooky tutorial. I know, Its happy winter new years time, but why not make a scary mask anyway! To all the beginners in mask making, welcome! I hope my description of all the steps make some sense! This time I am going to be using Liquid latex, if you are new to the stuff, there plenty of good tips here you can use for any latex project! Have fun!
Step 1: Matearials.
A manikin head.
A bag of jumbo cotton balls, because jumbo cotton balls work the best.
Liquid latex, and a lot of it!
Something to mix paints in.
A hole punch.
"Burnt umber" brown, black, blue, red, and white acrylic paints.
Some sponge brushes.
Some sort of sculpting tool, but I just used a chop stick!
Baby powder, or flower.
WARNING: IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO LATEX OR HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN, PLEAS USE RUBBER GLOVES WHILE YOU WORK! Also, latex contains ammonia, mask making latex contains more ammonia than makeup latex, but you should still be careful using this stuff!
Step 2: Prep Your Work Space.
First I would recommend using something plastic to cover your work space, I made the mistake of using news paper and the latex soaked right through, now I use cling wrap just because I have a lot of it. I'm sure there are better alternatives to this meathead, but I think it's the simplest! Next, you can use cling wrap to cover your manikin head, this not only keeps the latex from sticking to the manikin head, it also helps to cover some of the facial features, like the bridge of the nose. what I'm going for here is sort of a Slender manesque, white featureless face, in short, creepy!
Step 3: Prep Your Cotton Balls.
Something important you should do first before you get latex all over your hands, is prepare your cotton balls. What you want to do is pick apart the cotton ball until you find the end, then you can unroll the ball into a long strip. then separate the strip to thin it out, you don't want to thick of a layer of cotton or else you will have a super stiff mask that won't be very easy to de-mold. unless that's what you want, then you can skip right ahead to the next step. But if you want to make a full head covering mask than you will want to make it thin. You will need enough cotton to cover the entire head, once. Any more layers and it will be to thick.
Step 4: Mixing Your Latex.
Latex drys transparent in thin layers. To pigment the latex you can use acrylic paint, about 1 teaspoon to 1/3 cup,or something like that. I'm not sure what other kinds of paint would do when mixed with latex, though I have tried water colors and it just added a faint hint of pigment and a lot of water! I suppose that could be used in some cases, but I digress, acrylic paint works good. There are other special latex pigments you can buy but I prefer to keep it simple. I had some old green latex that I decided to use. The green doesn't matter though, once I use it all up I can just mix up some with the right color and cover all the green! And yes, it will completely cover up the green! Besides, we will be adding several layers of latex on top f the cotton!
Step 5: Adding the Latex and Cotton to the Manikin Head.
First off in this step you can start by adding liquid latex to your manikin head. cover a large enough area for the cotton to adhere on all sides, if there is no latex underneath the cotton in any place, you will have cotton showing through on the inside of your mask. If this dose happen after the mask is dry and de-molded however, no need to worry, just add a few layers of latex to the inside of the mask, it's as simple as that! Repeat this step until the entire head is covered. I would recommend covering the front first, let it dry, then flip it over and cover the back, just to make things a bit easier! So don't let it dry just yet, we still have some things to do while the latex is still wet!
Step 6: Sculpting.
While the latex is still wet, take your smooth sculpting tool and make a small hole where the eye would be, you have to see after all! I forgot to add slits for nose holes, so you would probably want to do that while it's still wet! I you are using a chop stick, like me, you can firmly roll it across the surface of the head, this will more evenly spread out the latex by squeezing it out of cotton, and smooth out the bumps. Make sure to clean any cotton or dried latex off of your tool, or else the cotton on the head will stick to your tool and rip it off!
Step 7: Let Dry Then Continue Sculpting!
Let the front dry, then add some dry cotton balls on the bridge of the nose, cover that with some thin cotton, and lightly add latex to the thin cotton, this will smooth out the curve of the nose. Keep adding thin layers of cotton and latex on the rest of the head until there are no spots left uncovered. But remember, we still want this mask to be flexible enough to get on and off of your head!
Step 8: Painting.
Once you are finished sculpting your mask, let the latex fully dry, then mix some blue and white paint with latex, when painting latex in large areas, you have to mix latex with your paint. but for detail I just painted the acrylic strait on the mask and it adhered just as well. Coat the entire mask in blue latex and let it dry. To dry it quicker you can use a hair dryer, although I have noticed that latex mixed with paint doesn't dry very well with a hair dryer unless it's thinned out a bunch with water. And yes, you can thin out latex with water. Now coat the mask with a batch of white latex, only this time don't do an even coat, keep it splotchy, let some of the blue show through. This will add to the overall creep factor once it's done! Then do THAT same thing again but with a flesh tone. To obtain a flesh tone, I mixed a small amount of "Burnt umber" brown with white paint until I got the color I liked. Why "Burnt umber" specifically you ask? Well, different brown paints are different shades, for instance: "Raw umber" is a greenish brown, sort of like poo, while "Burnt umber" is more of a reddish brown, sort of like the color of hair, or a leather jacket, if you know what I mean. Anyway, give a splotchy coat of flesh tone to the entire mask. Then mix a similar color but now add a little bit of blue and red. Now give a really thin splotchy coat of this color.
Step 9: Final Details.
With that last batch of latex I decided to make an outline of sort of a crude smile and outlined the eye with a sponge brush, then I just took plain black acrylic paint and filled it in, using the last color as sort of a fade. I also made smile marks with the black paint.
Step 10: Removing Your Finished Mask.
I would advise you to leave your mask a few days before taking it off of the manikin head, when I removed my mask, there was still some wet latex underneath, but that's not to bad, you can just used a hair dryer to quickly dry it. Find the middle of the back of the head and cut up until you can stretch it over the head. After removing, make sure to punch a hole at the top of the cut to prevent it from ripping, while you're at it put the mask on your head and feel for your ears, once you have found them you can mark where they are and punch a small hole. I cheated and used a sharpie to cover up the green on the rim of the hole :p. Now for some nose holes, I just cut thin slits in the black area and used that trusty sharpie to make it inconspicuous. And you're done!! please leave me feed back on how well I explained this tutorial! if you have any questions PLEASE leave a comment, I love to hear what you all think! happy making and have a super spooky 2017!! BillCitrus.