Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make Your Own {Ent} Mask!

I am lucky some extremely creative friends.  One day while perusing facebook I noticed Steve  Colon, a really great guy I went to college with, had constructed a really great mask for Halloween! Any Lord of the Rings fans out there? Well, you’ll be excited because this mask is of an  Ent {from Anglo-Saxon for "Giant"}, which is the name Tolkien gave for his tree people in the Lord of the Rings saga.
      Even if you’re not into Lord of the Rings, you’ll be into this mask because it’s just plain awesome! Steve very graciously provided me with instructions and pictures so anyone who’s interested can make their own. So if you’d like to break away from the pack this Halloween and impress party-goers or little trick-or-treaters, there’s still time for you to follow Steve’s lead and make an Ent mask of your own. This is also great if you’re involved in theatrical productions and want to create a fantasy mask. Thank you again, Steve!   

Instructions in Steve's words:

You will need: Corrugated cardboard, Gorilla glue, scissors, box cutters, a paint brush, pencils, an eraser, clothespins, masking tape, a 6" protractor, acrylic paints (red, blue, yellow, black, and white or you can buy more specific colors if you aren't confident in your mixing abilities), and a palate/something to mix paint on. Other helpful items you may want: Paper towels, a bowl of water (to clean the brush between colors and to help affix the gorilla glue), and something to put under your project like newspaper or parchment and a cutting board.

Step 1: Trace outside of the protractor with your pencil.
Step 2: Mark approximately every 10 degrees and draw a 1" line from the outside of the protractor.
Step 3: Connect the tips of these lines with your pencil.
Step 4: Invert the protractor, line up the ruler side with the bottom of your semi-circle. Trace the interior of the protractor.
Step 5: Draw a line from either side of larger semi-circle to the outside of the smaller semi-circle as pictured. Draw a 1" line from where this line touches the small semi-circle and connect it to the other outside lines as shown.
Step 6: Draw the eyes. You can make these as large or as small as you like, but remember to leave about .5" in the middle. Anything more and it will be very difficult to see out of. You can draw these free-hand or by using a cup to make perfect circles.

Step 7: Draw the nose. The center line should be about 2" long. From the bottom of this line, draw a 1" line going slightly upwards on either side. Draw converging lines on the outside of the nose, connecting all three lines. Erase the top .5" of the three lines. 
Step 8: Cut out the mask using scissors.
Step 9: Cut out the eyes and nose using the box cutter. You may want to shave off little bits around the nose to make it more comfortable to wear as I have done in this picture. Try it on and see what parts feel like they are pressing and carefully remove small slivers until it is comfortable. Remember not to remove the inner pieces of the nose entirely.
Step 10: Cut small, acute triangles from the lines on the top of the mask. Be careful not to cut too far into the forehead.
Step 11: Fold the flaps back.
Step 12: Tape the flaps together using the masking tape. This is what it should look like when you are done taping the flaps.
Step 13: Securely tape the nose into place. I suggest wearing the mask while applying tape to the outside of the mask to prevent making the nose too small. (Kind of like applying a breath rite strip.)Make sure to tape both the inside and outside of the nose, securing the tape by wrapping tape through the eye holes as pictured.

Step 14: Cut out a mustache. It can be as long or as short as you like. It shouldn't be too symmetrical. You can use either the scissors or the box cutter to do this.
Step 15: Cut out eyebrows. Again, don't make them too symmetrical.
Step 16: cut out the "crown". This part should look like random tree branches and should fit approximately to the forehead of the mask. You can make it out of one piece, or several layered pieces as I am doing here.
Step 17: Cut out the beard and the lower lip. You may want to line it up with the bottom of the mask to make sure it fits fairly well. See what I mean? Also, you can cut the square edges off the bottom of the mask if you like. This is purely an aesthetic choice on your part.
Here is what the mask looks like without paint.
Step 18: Mix your paints. If you are using primaries, mix red, yellow, and black to make whatever shade of brown you like. Make sure to make enough to cover the entire mask. Once you have the color you're looking for, add a little black to some and a little white to a different part to give yourself three separate shades of brown. You'll also want to mix two shades of grey, a dark green (blue and yellow with a bit of black), a light green (same as previous without the black) white, and black.
 Step 19: Paint the mask and the crown the "middle" shade of brown.
 Step 20: Paint the facial hair the dark shade of brown. Paint the lower lip the light shade of brown. using the dark and the light shades of brown, add shading and texture to the branches.
Generally I like to put the dark side on the lower parts of the branch and the light on top. You should also add speckles and spots to make it look something like bark.
Step 23: Using the dark and light green, add vines or moss to the branches.
Step 24: Repeat the process on the mask itself. You don't need to be as concerned with detail here as much of this will be covered over with other parts of the mask.
Step 25: Layer shades of brown, grey, green, as well as small bits of black onto the facial hair in a rough approximation of hair.
Step 26: Paint the lower lip like so, using light brown and grey. Outline it with white.

Step 27: Once the facial hair is dry, outline each piece with white paint.
Step 28: Apply Gorilla glue to each piece you want to attach to the mask and dampen the adjacent piece with water. Make sure to spread the glue in a thin layer over the part you want to stick. This allows for even adhesion and prevents over expansion of the glue. If the glue expands noticeably, you can always scrape off the foam while it is still fresh with relative ease.
Step 28 con't: Use clothespins to secure each piece until the glue expands and hardens.Repeat as necessary, applying the branches to each other, the eyebrows to the base of the crown.
Attaching the lower lip to the beard...The moustace just under the nose...
And Finally the beard to the crown and beard to the mask.
Give each connection an hour to dry, or half an hour if you are using fast setting gorilla glue (recommended.) At this point you can punch holes on the sides of the face, attach a rubber band and wear as you storm Isengard!

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