Paper Mache Bear Head
First thing I do when creating a sculpture is to create the armature. Your armature is the foundation for your sculpture.
In sculpture, an armature is a framework around which the sculpture is built.
Here is a quick list of materials.
Utility Knife or scissors
Paints and Paint Brushes
Poly acrylic Varnish
H20 and Rags
Let's Get Started
1. Creating Your Armature
To create a armature draw 1 large circle onto a card board box and cut it out. Cut two smaller circles out for your bear's ears, cut those out (2 ears). Use scissors or a utility knife, but the knife needs to be sharp to cut through, be careful.
"I always cut 2 of everything and now I have quite a stash of templates."
Your cardboard cutout is the basic shape you will build around.
By crumpling up and stuffing newspaper you will begin to build your bears face. To build his nose, off center just slightly below the middle, add more newspaper.
Please refer to the Free tutorial on our Youtube Channel "WhimsyMacheGirl".
Once you have the face built up with newspaper slide it into a plastic bag. Tape around the ears to give them definition.
The first steps you take to create your armature will determine how much work you will have later so take as long as you need.
Here I also add a copper wire hanger to the back by cutting to slits and inserting my copper. You can use a large ribbon; tie a knot in the ribbon after you insert it for a good hold.
Now you are ready to cover your armature with paper mache strips dipped in our homemade paper mache paste. You will need to apply four layers of newspaper strips over the armature. After applying the strips you will set your armature aside and let it dry over night. We will be applying many more layers in the morning.
You'll love them for their simplicity and organic look.
I would add 10 or more layers to the armature before painting. However many layers you add to your armature, is how strong your Bear head will be.
Also after each stage of applying paper mache strips you must let it completely dry, I'll say it again, completely dry before applying any primer.
Drying all those layers of newsprint strips will probably take more than 24 hours just depends on your weather outside.
3. Sanding and Priming Your Bear Sculpture
Lightly sand your Bear and then wipe it clean with a dry rag.
I like to prime all pieces before adding acrylic paints. So you are going to paint gesso all over the Bear head, front and back letting the Gesso primer dry completely.
If need I will lightly sand my Bear head again.
Decide now how you wish to finish your piece: paint, decoupage, leave it alone, etc….
Bear Head Finishing Touches
4. Painting and Varnishing Your Paper Mache Bear Head
This is fun stuff.
Of, course paint your heart however you choose, it will be lovely.
In the free tutorial I decoupage the Bear head with bright paper that I had in the studio.
Now that you have decided your colors, paint your heart and set it aside to dry, overnight works well for me.
After it is dry you will now add the finishing protective coat of Poly Acrylic Varnish. You can pick up Poly Acrylic in gloss or satin finish. I add several layers of varnish to each of my pieces and this takes several hours between layers to dry.
That's it you guys, I hope that this has inspired some creativity in you. Thank you for stopping by the studio and I look forward to seeing you again soon.