Realistic Human Faces in Plaster Mask Making
Students who have learned how to draw and paint realistic human faces will have fun with this plaster face mask making lesson. Materials and procedures are simple to follow. Painting techniques from the article on painting human faces can be applied. Ways to make a realistic human face in this lesson are easy to do. Your 7th grade art students will really enjoy this plaster art project.
- Gypsum strips (plaster used in making casts) or paper mache (flour/water/glue) mixture
- Newspaper - cut into strips
- Plastic mask molds
- Acrylic paints - white, red, yellow, brown, black, blue, green, gold or silver
- Paintbrushes - medium & small
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks
- Accessories – yarn, doll hair, earrings, wire, nose rings, fur, felt, false eyelashes, etc.
Cut roll of gypsum into bandage sized pieces. Cut newspaper to same size if using newspaper and paper mache (glue/flour mixture).
Label the inside of the plastic molds with tape write student's name on it.
Using a plastic mask mold, cover in Vaseline so the plaster will not stick to it when dry.
Apply 1 layer of paper mache or gysum to mask by dipping in the water or glue mixture, pressing onto mask and smoothing the paste with fingers.
For the second layer, use newspaper pieces rolled into balls or rings to build up eyebrows, lips, cheekbones, ears, moles, bumps or scars on the face. Create rolls of paper for lip or eyebrow rings, ringlets in hair, mustaches, beards or other facial features. Cover the newspaper with the plaster strip or paper mache mixture so that it adheres to the mask.
Top with a final layer of gypsum pieces to hold down the extra lumps and bumps. Be sure to make ears if they are not on the mask mold as it makes the plaster face mask look more human. Set aside to dry.