Paper Mache Animals Paper Mache Holiday Projects

Make William the Egyptian Hippo – Painting the Blue Coat with Lotus Flowers



This is the final post in this three-part series about making William the Blue Egyptian Hippo with paper mache clay.

You can see how the hippo armature was made here, (with the free downloadable pattern) and how the paper mache clay was added here.

I used the Deco Art Chalky Finish Paint, color “Legacy”, for the base coat. It was the only blue chalk paint I had on hand. I then pushed it more towards turquoise with an additional coat,  using the stencil brush and some paint I mixed up using the white chalk paint and cobalt turquoise fluid acrylic paint that I had available. A blizzard was forecast, (it started to snow a few minutes after I finished the video. Welcome, winter!) so it wasn’t a good time to run to town for a few dollars worth of paint. But hey – it turned out really nice, imho.

Even though I used three different brands and two different kinds of paint, it still came out really nice. The real color is much more green than it looks in the video (the lights, you know), but if you’d like to start out with a color that’s closer to the Met’s William, Deco Art’s “Treasure” is probably a better choice. I’d still use the stencil brush, and I’d add a second coat in a slightly different color, perhaps with just a dab of white, to make the big expanse of blue more interesting.

One side has the lotus pattern from the Met’s William, and the other side has the pattern from one of Wikipedia’s William, third image down. (I thought I could trust Wikipedia to always get things right …) So – I may not have a museum-worthy William of my own, but I really like him. Now I have to decide who’s going to get him for Christmas. 🙂

And here, once again, is the way my William turned out:

William the Hippo

William the hippo, after painting – this side is close to the Met’s William the Egyptian Hippo’s Lotus pattern.

My Hippo, seen from the other side, showing the pattern taken from Wikipedia’s William..

Be sure to find your own resource photos, and feel free to use other flowers or designs. The Egyptians painted their blue hippos in a lot of different ways, so there’s no reason why we can’t, too. 🙂

Remember – if you make your own copy of William the Egyptian blue hippo, be sure to come back and show him off. We would love to see how it comes out.

You may also like:

How I painted the Unicorn.Unicorn Pattern
Hyena Mask PatternHyena Mask Pattern
Life Sized Paper Mache Baby ElephantLife-Sized Baby Elephant

3 Comments

  • Oh my gosh Jonni, I have just watched all 3 of your William tutorials! I am so impressed with the detail and exactedness (I know, not a word) of your process. He is a beautiful “William” inspired rendition. It looked like you had such great fun doing him and I for one am glad you took a break from writing to share this with us.
    I must disagree with you about the tin foil method not being very intuitive, I find it easier than the paper and tape method. I guess that’s why God made us all different though. It is funny how everyone differs with their preferences. I don’t even use the patterns any more, I just use wire and tin foil.
    What a lovely project! You sell yourself short with the painting of the flowers. I’m sure you could have painted them. Using marker has always smeared when I applied the varnish, no matter how long it had dried.
    What a fun project, thank you!

    • Thanks, Eileen – he was a hoot to make, and I really like the way he came out. A fun project – just what’s needed on the first cold days of winter!

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