Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting a head in life, or death or other...

No, it didn't really make sense but I couldn't think of anything wittier. I have seen a lot of haunts and notice that a lot of them have a little trouble with heads and faces. I by no means am an expert but I have found something that might help some of you out there.
Consider the wig head form...
This is basically a head but what we usually need to do is to start from the inside out to make a different shape for a character's head. You have to dig out the eyes to insert eyes, cut and glue back to alter the shape of the face and adjusting the angle of the neck is usually difficult. Some people can do it, I can't. I suggest using a skull... The one of the left is a Bucky from Ebay. It's a 4th quality and more anatomically correct. Unless you're doing skeletal work or animation where you need to have the cranium to mount motors, I wouldn't use these; they're heavy, expensive to buy (the shipping is what gets you) and too pretty for overlaying clay or mache'. The skull on the right is from Kmart, or Michael's. It's styrofoam, reasonably anatomically correct and light as a feather. And cheap, I think that they're going for 5.99 at Michael's this season. I use these with great success. If you need an open mouth, simply saw between the teeth and the jaw connectors and re-hot glue it back where you want.

Now for the eyes, I found that Monsterguts sells small balls quite inexpensively that are the size of eyeballs. If you want, you can use small deodorant balls from roll on deodorant, they're the same thing.


Here it is painted with Krylon Fusion paint ready for gluing a retina and cornea. Here is a page of wonderfully diverse eyes for all occasions. I would recommend that you download and save this page on your hard drive, you'll always need eyes and you might forget the URL.

Now that we have our eyes, let's talk sculpting. Always keep in mind that beauty is infinity harder to create than a grotesque. Lucky for us, Hallowe'en is full of grotesque possibilities. I have a fondness for Model Magic by Crayola. I first saw Mike Fox use it with his creatures in the Fox Haunt and I was hooked.

It's fairly inexpensive, easy to use, extremely lightweight, dries overnight and paints wonderfully. I love playing with paper mache, but I'm not that good at it in getting smoother skin textures with it. Some people are artists with it, I'm not. I take a chunk and roll it through a pasta machine to make "skin". It works best to run it through several times to get it smooth. Glue your eyes in and then lay the skin on top and start to work...This is a prop that I'm working on to hide my fog machine and chiller. Smoke blows out his mouth and rolls along the ground...





A little paint and distressing and we're done!

Here's some of my other little friends that are ready to come out and play...





11 comments:

Diane said...

squeal!! these are great!! and thanks so much for that link! i wont use the eyes for the same thing you do, but i'll definitely use them!!

btw, i'm enjoying a delicious cup of your blooming tea right now!! :)

Wendy the (Very) Good Witch said...

Wow Mr. Macabre...these are spooktacular! You are such a clever guy! Thanks for sharing some good tips with us! I think I like the last guy best of all...but it's a tough choice! :o)

The Captain said...

I wondered what you used to make that last witch I saw post a few days back. Model Magic, I'll have to check it out when I need a smoother look. All of your "scaracters" look awesome, I can't wait to see more.

Those chips were delicious! I don't need to be eating em, but I'm gonna keep my eye out for them down here.

halloween spirit said...

These look great!!

Dixie said...

Love them! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

ShellHawk said...

Great work! Can't wait to see the final results!

The Frog Queen said...

:) If those are not the coolest things I have seen in a while!! Wow, I am very inspired! Your work is amazing!!

Cheers!

Ghoul Friday said...

These all turned out really great. :) You've got a knack for noses.

PumpkinBrain said...

I'm in awe, these are great! I'm also not an artist with paper-mache, I'm not able to do anything smooth with it. I should try crayola model magic when I will need a smoother skin texture. Thanks for sharing.

Also, I just received your prize package. So much wonderful things in it. The talking Boris is already the favorite of the family (except for the dog who don't like it at all).

Shes Off Her Rocker said...

Mr Macabre...you are genius! I too love model magic, it is the most forgiving sculpting medium. You can do a lot with it for sure....I have used to it for smaller scale stuff. I love your skulls and faces! What great work!!!

Mr.Macabre said...

Aww shucks, thanks everyone!