Monday, October 4, 2010

Update to "Off with their heads" Head #1

So this is the first head of the severed head series for wolf creek. I have to say I was pretty creeped out while making and waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.....I saw one and almost freaked haha. They are made from balloons, sorry no tutorial yet. When I make some more I will created a how to photo documentary. Anywho, they are ballons layered with paper mache strips, dried and then cut to shape to a more human head shape, i made a jaw and attached as well, then coated with paper mache again, then allowed to dry yet again. Now I make a neck and attach it using recycled cardboard (i.e a cereal box, frozen pizza box, whatever ya got) Figure the desired length of your neck and make a circle with your cardboard. Cut down ward on the cardboard to make a few strips to bend so that you can attach the neck to the head. You will paper mache over this yet again and dry again. (Photos to come of exactly what I mean soon) Once it was hardened and I had a good base I would cut out a mouth keeping in mine accuracy of a human mouth when it is dead. Yeah, I know creepy and gross...maybe a bit morbid? Anyways, I went ahead and attached the teeth that I use now to the open mouth. I bought these play teeth at the Dollar Tree here in Madisonville. They come in a pack of 3 and are the funny gag teeth kids play with. They worked wonders in this case. They were a time saver for sure because teeth, especialy human teeth are difficult to sculpt. I painted over these teeth to add blood or however I was designing the heads to look, but that's later.
Next, I began applying paper mache clay (my recipe is toilet paper soaked in water until pulpy then I add 1 cup of paper mache paste, 1 cup of joint compound and some kind of mold prevention agent like antibacterial soap, salt or even some bleach.) I apply the clay  and shape and sculpt out the nose, the eye brow ridge, cheek bones,ears and lips. For the eyes, I took small foam balls and cut them in half and hot glued them where I thought they should go, this was once the paper clay was dried. Be sure to have a fan or two to place in front of your heads to dry faster...they are a life saver! To prevent your heads from falling over while drying place some can foods around them to hold them up.

Once that is dry I take a few strips of paper mache and mold eye lids over the foam balls and allow that to dry. Note!: Now is the time to insert the stick..see below.Trying to make everything as realistic as possible can be a tedious job. I took great stuff foam and filled the inside of the head and the neck. In the head take an old butter knife or a plastic knife and sculpt the foam while wet to look like a tongue. Tip!: Let the foam dry a little bit and then shape it, but you want it to where its still wet. I paint the mouth a dark red and black anyways so it doesn't really matter if you do the foam, I just liked to fill the head up a bit for waterproofing later. The foam in the neck, poke it with a knife a bit to make it stringing and like torn flesh. When it dries, it may bubble up, I ripped into the bubbled creating tearing and this gives the neck a nice torn look. Have fun when painting, get wild and creative, I did. Imagine what a severed head looks like, yes, once again morbid, I know, lol.

Adding the stick:
Add the pvc before you coat the stick, hot glue in place. You will need to hold the head in place while theglue dries, then fill in with the foam. The sticks are pvc pipe that are 1 inch thick and are wrapped with paper mache and bunched up to look like wood. A few nobs were added to add extra detail. When inserting the head onto the stick, pick where you want the stick to go, whether through the neck and out the eye, or through haw and out the ear or even straight up the neck and out the top of the head, be creative. I would add the stick before you fill the head with foam so that you can add the extra protection with the foam. It helps keep everything in place. Remember to bloody up all entrance and exit wounds.

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