The Mask

About a month ago, my boyfriend came home with a black round box tied with a ribbon. It looked like a small hat box. He handed it to me and I asked him if it was a present. He hesitated and said:” Well, I’m asking for a favor but it’s also a present.” That was weird. Turns out that the box contained  a blank papier maché mask and an invitation from one of his suppliers to a celebration. The mask was for a contest, the best mask at the celebration would win a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Sylvain wanted me to decorate it. The present part was the box.

Mask step 1

Here’s what I got, the box and the mask before I did anything to it.

The first step was to remove the ribbon ties so I wouldn’t worry about painting them by accident. Then I sanded down the mask bacause it had all kinds of small kinks and bumps.

Mask step 2

There it is, smooth and gessoed.

Then I applied a few coats of watered down gesso and let it dry thoroughly. During that time, I refined the design I had chosen on paper.

Mask step 3-color

Here it is with the first layer of color.

I unfortunately don’t have a photo with just the lines before I started painting. Here it is after just one coat of paint. Originally, I intended to paint everything that’s white on this photo in black when I was done with the other colors. But I decided that white looked good, so I gave a few layers of white as well, to cover up the lines. I used the same type of acrylic paints I use on canvases.

And here is the finished piece, varnished and with clock hand antennas.

So, we didn’t win, but I got to keep the mask, and the box.

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