Painting Brown Eyes for the Grizzly Mask

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I’m going to put my bear mask on my wall, so I painted some brown eyes for him.

I made the eyes by painting a small foam ball that was cut in half. I often use foam ball for the eyes on my sculptures, but this is the first time I’ve painted directly over the foam instead of putting on a layer of paper mache first.

Painting Brown Eyes for the Grizzly MaskAnd that caused a little problem – OK, a really big problem – but it was easy to fix.

And I learned something about my materials that I didn’t know before. It’s a mistake I won’t have to make again. ?

You’ll also notice that I sneaked in a rant about the air dry clay I bought. Thanks to everyone who left a suggestion on the last post here on my blog and on YouTube, with ideas for what I should make when I played with the air dry clay. That’s not going to happen, but I will be making almost everything on that list sometime this year. What a wonderful list of possible animals to create!

I’ll be making the first one soon. I just haven’t decided which one to start with yet. 🙂

To see the Folk Art Bunny project, using a commercial air dry clay product that didn’t crack, click here.

If you’re interested in seeing how I sculpted the paper mache clay fur on the grizzly mask, you can see that post here.

Painting Brown Eyes for the Grizzly MaskAnd click here to see the bear pattern (along with a video showing how I painted it).

7 thoughts on “Painting Brown Eyes for the Grizzly Mask”

  1. Gorgeous bear and the eyes look so realistic. I’ve had a melting experience and learnt my lesson! I use Das paper clay for my models and never had a problem with it. Very cheap and it goes a long way.

  2. The eyes are absolutely beautiful. They look so realistic! Thank you for sharing all your successes and oopses with us!

  3. Oh my gosh Jonni, to see that shriveled eye made me gasp! What a way to learn! So far I haven’t had such an incident but I am grateful you could share it before the rest of us make the same mistake. I love the added eyes, it will add beauty t your “wall of fame!”

  4. I’m still laughing after watching this video, having watched the same thing happen to one of my projects, only with spray paint. Gruesome! But I’ll say this Jonni, you sure make mistakes fun for your audience–and memorable.

  5. I have followed you for years and I have a group of woment who join me for art and for a shamanic group and through those groups, each of us make a spirit animal mask each year. Mine have always turned out so well. This year, unfortunately, I got the Eagle as my spirit animal so am at a total loss as to how I can make a mask although I have some ideas coming to me. Do you have any suggestions.

    • I’ve been thinking about that lately, because an eagle mask is one of the pattern designs that I have on my to-do list. The way I think I’d do it if I only wanted one mask is to make a sculpture of an eagle’s face over a mannequin, so you can get the eyes in the right place. That’s how I started the bear mask. If you use wet clay you’ll need to put some plastic wrap over it after you have all the shapes the way you want them. Then cover your clay model with paper mache. You can see the basic process on this post.


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