Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#2 Please Mr. Gravedigger...

So Now we come to a bigger project.
Creating an entire person out of Paper Mache!!!
 This is our cemetery caretaker.

I wanted to make a life sized figure. I had all of these styro-foam skulls sitting around. I had done some dodgy looking last minute witches out of mache the year before. This time I wanted to spend more time and make a detailed prop.

I was looking at a picture of Lon Chaney on my desk....don't we all have
framed pictures of Lon Chaney sitting around?
I wanted him to be a part of my haunt.
As I searched the web for good pictures I was reminded of Disney's Haunted Mansion.

So now I had the Hat box ghost in my head and the caretaker at the mansion mixed up there.

Then I came across a Dead Spiders, Grounds Keeper, and her amazing tutorial!

Her work is amazingly beautiful and detailed.

So there is my guy a mix of Chaney, Disney and Dead Spider.

So this is a large project requiring lots of steps, and layers, and dry time.
I used Dead Spiders techniques mostly, and modified it to the materials I had on hand.

For his head I used one of those cheap styro-foam skulls they sell everywhere around Halloween.

In the DS tut the inside of the mouth was finished and I just loved that
(plus I kind of also wanted to make nasty teeth and a tongue).
That part could be skipped and it would still look cool.

 I serrated him at the jaw bone with an exact-o knife.

Next I hollowed out the eye sockets with the exact-o, to fit the eyes I made. Then did few coats of regular paper-mache. I went right over his teeth because I am making him new ones.

Here are the eyes. I made these of polymer clay and hand painted them.
But I found an even better idea that I will post it later. It's called easy eyes it's so simple!

When he was dry, glued the eyes in.

I kept bulding his face up with paper-mache pulp and started adding new teeth.
 Building a face is a drawn out process pulp takes a long time to dry between coats.

You have to be carful only to do a little at a time.

The teeth are made of Creative Paper Clay. I also used this to build his lips and eyelids.

I painted inside his mouth top and bottom before reattaching everything

He got a paper-mache tongue, and a coat of glossy varnish on all the parts that need to look wet...gross!

After I reattached the jaw with glue... still more layers of the mache and pulp.
I used more of the Paper Clay to build the features up including his nose and brow.

I decided to get his PVC frame going here. I used a heat gun to warp it and give him movement.

Lots of layers again. I forgot to get a few pics here. His torso, I made chicken wire frame and covered it. I used old pool noodles for his arms and legs then lots and lots more mache.

Here is how I kept him standing. Cement in shoe frames.
I made them using old coke boxes, duct tape, plastic bags, and Jim's shoes as templates

So now that he had a body... I was able to tie the head neck and body together.
 I built his head up more... his brow, his jaw


I spent some time here as well giving him wrinkles, jowls etc. Oh and he got a some ears.

And nice coat of Dry-Lock masonry sealant he awaited the rest of his body.

I am going to post a more detail hand How-To but here is the short version.

I traced my husbands hand and marked all the joints on the paper.
This hand is a PVC Pipe with coat hanger wires.
I cut them to match the finger length in the drawing.
I cut straws at all the joints. Anyway better tutorial later

I started the long mache/pulp process again......build! build! build!

The white is just a different kind of pulp.

So any way his arms attach at the elbow with elbow joints (how appropriate). His cloths are good will finds all for $10. His shovel is ours and his lantern I bought on clearance the previous year at Spirit.

 Oh yeah, I forgot his hair and paint!
 His skin color was some grayish taupe exterior paint I found on the oops! shelf at Lowe's. 
And his hair is from an old cheap wig. I just glued it on.

Below are some images of his 2011 makeover.
He got some new long hair and a pair of gloves, for all that digging he's been doing.