Hyena Mask, Part 2

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

Hyena MaskTo see the pattern for this mask, and how it was put together, click here.

The hyena mask is done. It was a fun project to do, and I think it came out rather nice. This video shows how I added the fur to his ears (a last-minute design idea), and then how I added the paper mache and the paint.

As I said in the previous post, this isn’t the way I normally make a mask – but for I was in the mood to do something different.

I usually spend many hours painting my masks, but this time I wanted to keep everything as simple as I could. And I didn’t use any materials that might be difficult to find. Be sure to look at the comments below, because several readers submitted photos showing how this mask can look if you spend more time painting it.

A lot of people have used this pattern to make masks for their school production of The Lion King. If you make a hyena mask, I hope you’ll share a photo of it in a comment below. I’d love to see how it turned out. If you don’t have the pattern yet, you can find it here.

46 thoughts on “Hyena Mask, Part 2”

  1. I need to make multiple masks- can I place plastic wrap over the mold and then remove to make more than one,rather than making multiple molds??! Please advise….

    • Hi Libby. This mask is made with a cardboard pattern, but I suppose you could use it as a mold if you put plastic wrap on it. You’d need to let the paper mache dry all the way through before removing it and making another one, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. In fact, it’s a rather good idea. πŸ™‚

  2. Hyenas are not related to dogs. Hyenas are hyenas! Hyena is actually a family (zoologically) and there are four species of hyena. We see similarities often and try to associate them, but they are in no way related to dogs, at least not any more than a cat or a person. (Actually, HORSES are more closely related to dogs than the hyena!) Hyenas are distantly related to civets, mongoose, and binturongs. They are as much their own thing as a giraffe or a rhinoceros or a kangaroo. We don’t try to associate them with anything else now, do we? They are what they are, and we should treat hyenas the same way.

    I love your site, but let’s not spread misinformation, please. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Zee. Thanks for the info. I did a search on this page and the first hyena post, and I couldn’t find the word “dog” in any place except your comment. Maybe I didn’t search using the right words?

    • Hi Lisa. I used raw sienna for the light brown on his face, and black mixed with burnt umber for the muzzle. I used white mixed with a little bit of raw sienna to warm it up, for the eyebrows and the fluff around the inside edges of his ears. I can’t remember if I used a gesso under the acrylic paint or not, but I think I probably did. It would have been the plain white acrylic gesso that you get at the art store. I hope you have fun making your masks!

  3. Thanks so much for your hyena template and instructional videos. They were so clear and easy to follow! I’m loving how my hyena turned out…..now I just have to duplicate it several times for a Lion King school production! Thanks again Jonni, you’re amazing!!

    • Great job, Kevin! I really like the way he’s painted – the hyenas are really going to stand out up on stage. Do you get to make a lion, too?

      • Thanks Jonni! The current plan is that I will be doing the masks/headdresses of the entire animal ensemble for Lion King Jr.! (probably over 50 masks!) I just started and I’ll post my lion prototype when it’s done.

  4. Do you have a pattern for a horse mask? I can’t really do the sculpting like in your other lessons, but I need to make some horse masks. If you don’t have one, can you help me develop one?

    • Hi Leann. I did put a horse-shaped unicorn in my mask book, but I’ve never put a pattern or tutorial for a horse mask here on the blog. You might be able to find that chapter on the book’s page on Amazon.com if you sign in to your account on their site. You’d leave off the horn, obviously. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Jonni. I wanted to ask if your book on making masks might be available as a digital download? I looked on the Google Play Store and I know it’s not there. Do *you* offer it for sale as an e-book?



  6. hi Jonni
    my first mask, I did it like in the lessons but at last I also have used paper marche clay , and now I have to give a color
    that’s going become exciting
    hope the picture comes along
    and hope that google translated well: D

  7. Hi Jonni,
    I love your videos. They are so inspiring. I use a product called Paverpol to sculpt and I am looking forward to trying some of your techniques with this product. It is outdoor safe and environmentally safe. I have a couple of sculptures on my web-site. I have attached a picture of Petunia.
    Looking forward to your next video. Thank you for sharing.
    Take care from Wembley, Alberta.

    • Hi Janet. Your image didn’t come through. Sometimes that happens because someone else already uploaded an image with the same name. Could you rename the file and try again? I would love to see Petunia.


      • You want the wet kind that comes in a tub. This answer probably came a little late, but I hope you found the right kind. And have fun with your project!

  8. Jonni, I have saved every letter I have received from you. I am planning to attempt to do some of these wonderful things you do so well. I love the Humpty Dumpty doll! Do you have instructions for making him? Keep up the great instructions on paper mΓ’chΓ©.

  9. Fantastic all the way around! I agree with Pearl — your explanations were clear and precise for beginners and pros alike. The result is beautiful. Thank you, Jonni.

  10. Another great video! Thanks so much! I want to share a tip I and my fellow acrylic painters use (we’re decorative tole painters)–use hand sanitizer gel to get the last stubborn bits of acrylic paint out of your brush’s ferrule. I squirt a small amount of the gel into the palm of my hand then gently press the brush into that with a sort of sideways up and down motion (you don’t want to smush the brush’s hairs, but you do want the gel to get up into the ferrule). When I don’t see any more paint appear, I rinse my hand and do the same thing with a gentle gel soap, rinsing well with water afterwards. It’s really helped my brushes to last a lot longer. This technique will even dissolve paint that has dried in your ferrule–give it a try!

    The hand sanitizer also quickly removes acrylic paint from your hands/arms, even if it’s dried on.

    But the best thing ever for the hand sanitizer is cleanup for spills. It’ll get paint off your tables, floors, etc. My dog snuck a bottle of burnt orange paint from my paint room, carried it downstairs and then squirted the entire 2 oz bottle over my light gray carpeting. I wiped up as much of it as I could with paper towels, then I poured the hand sanitizer gel directly onto it, pressing clean paper towels into it to soak it up (I also rubbed it a bit). It took nearly an entire bottle of sanitizer gel, but it removed every single trace of paint; you couldn’t tell where it had been.

    I didn’t test the gel on an “inconspicuous” area of my carpet because honestly, I didn’t have a choice. I figured even if it lightly bleached out my gray carpeting, it couldn’t possibly look worse than a burnt orange area that was larger than my hand. I got lucky–no bleaching of color on the gray, but I do suggest that others might want to check it on an inconspicuous area. Just do it very quickly before the paint dries–and do what you can to the spot to prevent it from drying while you test (maybe put a wet towel over the spill).

    This also works if you spill paint on your clothes. Squirt the gel onto the spill, blot with paper towel, repeat as needed. Then coat the area with your favorite soap (I use Dawn) and run it through the wash with your regular clothes. When the laundry is done, check the spot to make sure you got all the paint out before it goes into the dryer. If not, grab the gel again and start over.

    • Thanks, Barb! I have ruined so many t-shirts with acrylic paint. And my brushes are a mess – I don’t even bother buying nice ones, because I knew I’d wreck them. I will head to the store for some of the hand sanitizer today. Is there any particular brand I should buy?

      • Hi Jonni,

        No you don’t need a specific brand…I buy whatever is cheapest. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it will work on keeping your new brushes clean and how much it will clean up your older brushes. If the bristles have been splayed out too long though, it won’t help them much. (I don’t think it will restore your fur painting brush, but personally, I think that brush is totally PERFECT for fur; it takes a long time to build up to those brushes!)

        Another tip about your brushes–if you’ve got synthetic detail brushes, especially liner brushes, and they’ve got bent or splayed bristles, try this trick. First clean them well using the sanitizer gel and then rinsing them. Next, pour boiling water into a pyrex measuring cup (or any heavy glass capable of withstanding boiling water without shattering). Now slowly swirl the brush in that water for a few seconds. Not too long–it’s better to do it for a brief period, check it, then do it again for a bit longer. It really straightens the synthetic material.

        This is just to “fix” destroyed brushes–I would never use such a desperate measure on a good liner brush.

        I hope you’ll let me know how it works for you! By the way, I buy the giant bottles for home use and then the purse sizes to take to painting classes.

        Good luck!

        • Fantastic tips!!!! Sometimes, if I’m not paying attention, I’ll grab one of my watercolor brushes when I am using acrylic paints — not a good thing to do. Now I have a way to get the acrylic out. Thank you, Barb!!!
          Also, using glycerin will help put you brushes back into shape. I keep some with my painting supplies…and add some hand sanitizer πŸ™‚

    • Barb, thanks. Almost all my pants have paint on them, a few shirts and socks! And I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in the kitchen window and never use it. Now I have a use. (The pants I’m wearing right now has a nice big yellow spot on them!) And I’ve ruined most of my watercolor brushes! I knew better.

      Jonni, thanks for the great videos. You are always an inspiration and fun to watch.

      • Hi Wex,

        I don’t think you need to do this to watercolor brushes–that is, I’ve never had to do it because the watercolor paints usually dissolve as soon as they hit the water.

        And about the paint on your clothes–the gel trick works when you first get the paint on your clothes, I don’t think it will work on clothes that have already dried paint on them.

        I’ve never tried it on dried paint clothes before, so if you do and it works, please let me know!

        One thing our group has done with paint-“ruined” clothing is to intentionally paint the ruined area. For example, your big yellow spot would become a smiling sun maybe–paint a face on it and rays bouncing off it. And if the mood strikes you, paint some flower spots below your sun.

        • Yes, I didn’t like the hard bristle brushes I had and the watercolor brushes were handy. Won’t happen again. Too expensive!

          I love your positive attitude. I’ll try cleaning the pants, and if it works, I’ll let you know; otherwise, smiley face it is. A throwback to the hippy days! Thanks.

  11. Love it. Love it. Love it. You give such clear explanations for beginners like me. I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to try making a mask. Please continue to share your talent with us. Your videos make it so much easier for us and encourages us to believe that we can do it too.


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