Painting Quick Links Painting Quick Tips



Here Iíll demonstrate my favorite method of painting a mask, that being the classic sponge method. This method is quick and easy for beginners to understand and apply, and the results are consistent.



Step 1 - Undercoat

The undercoat for this piece will be black (for most of my work this is the case). The basic idea here is that we start with a dark undercoat and build up highlights with our sponge in the next step. I will airbrush the entire mask black, although it wonít take much, as the latex has already been dyed black. I give it a quick covering, making sure not to let any area pool with paint.




Step 2 - Stipple Sponging

Next, I will apply the base color with a sponge and a stipple technique. For this technique, I pour a small amount of paint (brown in this case) on a plastic lid of a 5 gallon bucket. I use the plastic lid as a palette instead of a porous surface so that it doesnít suck moisture out of the paint. I then lightly dab one side of the sponge into the paint, trying not to get the sponge too saturated with paint. I then dab the sponge around the lid to remove a bit of the paint.

Iím now ready to apply paint to the mask. I tap the painted edge of the sponge on the mask. The higher areas of the mask will pick up the paint, while the lower areas will remain untouched. Again, itís important not to have too much paint on the sponge, it should be dripping. You can always add more paint if needed. Run a few tests first.

I will continue this process of adding a bit of paint to the sponge, dabbing some off, and applying some to mask until I have covered the whole mask. When Iím done, Iíll discard the sponge.


Step 3 -Hazing the Base Color

The stipple sponging does a great job of punching out the high and low areas, but the contrast is too sharp. To take this down, I use the same color I stippled on, and load up a bottle for my airbrush. I lightly spray this color over the whole mask and try to take down the contrast. Iím just adding a haze, I donít want to paint away my dark areas completely, I just want to soften the details a bit.


Step 4 -Eye & Teeth

The eye and teeth are now given a base color too. I typically paint the teeth a flesh color with a sponge, or a small plastic disposable brush. The eyes are painted white with an airbrush.



Step 5 -Airbrushing Color

I now will add color with an airbrush in a few separate rounds:

Grey/ Blue ĖI paint a ring for the pupil around the eye. This can take practice! You may want to try some tests on ping pong balls before jumping right in on your mask! I also like to spray the eye with a glossy clear coat before moving on. This seals and protects the paint I’ve already applied in case I mess up with any other paint.

Red Ė 1. I apply red around the outside of the eye.

2. The edge of the teeth where they meet the skull.

3. Inside the nose.

4. Finally, I spot some red in around a few decaying sore spots.

Black - 1. I apply black on edge of the teeth where they meet the skull. I always use this Black/ Red combo around my teeth, it gives them a classic mask feel.

2. I paint some black in to enhance some low lying areas, like the temples, under the cheek bones, ect.

3. Last, I add a few spots and age marks.


Step 6 -Adding the Iris

A quick an easy method I learned from Jeff Death, is to use the bottom of a small paint brush, and dab it into black paint. Use this to stamp on your pupil Ė quick and accurate!








Step 7 - Additional Detail

I like to wrap it all up by adding a few veins around the eye. I do this with a very fine brush and red paint.