Adding Face Wrinkles to a Paper Mache Chimpanzee Mask

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Use paper towels and paste to add the wrinkles to a chimp’s face.

Note: Click here to see how the chimp mask pattern turned out. :)

I also used paper towels to add wrinkles to the elephant behind me in the video, but I did it so long ago that I forgot exactly how I did it! I said in the video that I used the DIY gesso recipe for the elephant’s skin, but I really just put the towels over a layer of wet paper mache clay. That does work, but for a mask I think it could get a little too heavy.

Remember to help Douglas with his new book about making masks using the traditional Commedia dell’Arte methods. I can’t wait to read his new book! Click here to see his post and the link to his survey.

Commedia dell'Arte masks

This chimpanzee is the second mask in a series that I made when I really should have been doing some work on my website. It was a lot more fun than pushing buttons on a computer keyboard! :)

White Rabbit bunny mask for paper mache

Another mask I started last week is this bunny. I painted it white – it was fast and very easy, but I think it came out nice. And those fake eyelashes really show up against the white ‘fur.’

The pattern for the rabbit mask is done already, and you can see it here.

The other two sculptures I started last week are a Pit Bull and a Clownfish. It will be a week or more before I can show them to you, because I’m still working on the patterns. A lot of people have asked me for a mask that could be worn in the Nemo Jr. play, so I decided to try making a fish mask. I’m still not sure how that one is going to turn out, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how the pit bull looks when it’s finished. Stay tuned, as they used to say on TV. :)

The first layer of paper mache on the chimp was made with the brown paper that comes in amazon.com boxes. There’s nothing special about it – I think it’s just unbleached newspaper – but it’s easier for me to see the shapes without the words and pictures of recycled newsprint. I also used the cooked flour and water paste for that layer, just like I did for the paper towel wrinkles.

I used my old chimpanzee bust as a model for this mask, but added a big grin. I wrote a blog post about making this chimp, but I ended up making it over again. I used the same methods, but I changed the shapes and improved it a lot. If you’d like to see how it was made, with paper mache clay over clay, you can see that told post here. I think you’ll agree that my second try came out a lot better!

Paper Mache Chimpanzee Bust

I hope to have the new chimpanzee mask painted, and all the instructions written, soon. If you have an idea for adding that tuft of fur that often hangs down over the front of a chimp’s ears, let me know. :)

2 thoughts on “Adding Face Wrinkles to a Paper Mache Chimpanzee Mask”

  1. Hello! I wanted to let you know that I really have enjoyed your site first of all and secondly… You mentioned on page two of your recipe book, within the tip on the top of the page, the importance of drying your item – I cannot stress this enough! For those that are out there doing Papier Mache – I made a baby elephant that turned out so cute. However, right around the middle of August I noticed mold growing up and round the trunk and the top of the head!! I was devastated – I cleaned it the best that I could and then used Kilz on the whole elephant. I am hoping to not have to put her down!! I am going to start repainting and the sealing process today – wish me luck!

    • Good luck! When you’re finished painting it again, you might want to try the Rustoleum Clear Matte Enamel spray sealer – I’ve had really good luck with it.


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