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San Mask Tutorial
By meanlilkitty   |   Watch
478 105 30K (2 Today)
Published: February 13, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 meanlilkitty
The wait is finally over! For months I said I was going to do this tutorial, and now you finally have it! This is how I made San's mask from Princess Mononoke. Hope you all enjoy it and let me know if you have any questions!

Also available on etsy for purchase! www.etsy.com/listing/97293590/…

Edit: I actually only do eight layers of paper mache now a days, it makes it so it's lighter but still strong. I also cut the eyes out before I put the paper clay on, just make sure the mache is dry and it's a lot easier than fussing with power drills and whatnot. Also, always cover your foam with plastic, either plastic sheeting or just a old grocery bag. If you don't it is a absolute pain to get the paper mache off the foam and you may destroy the foam just to get it off.
Image size
2400x10500px 8.57 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
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Comments (90)
lovepeacebubble121x's avatar
So sorry to be a pain but on your step 9 what did you cover the mask with was it Clay or spray paint?
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
No worries! The clay goes on first to make the decorative details, let it dry, sand it smooth, then either paint with acrylic or spray paint
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lovepeacebubble121x's avatar
Thank you so much for your help for my project for my mask, it came out really well so thank you again :D 
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lovepeacebubble121x's avatar
you are a life saver thank you so much again :D 
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NightSteward's avatar
NightSteward|Professional Filmographer
This tutorial helped me so much with my own San mask. I made a few changes because for the life of me, I could not find wooden napkin rings in that shape. It turned out great! Thanks so much for posting this.
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Yay, glad to be helpful! I got my rings off of ebay, but either way I'm glad to have been of service and that your mask turned out great!
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AnimeElement's avatar
Can you use another clay instead of paper clay for the decorating areas ?
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
in theory, sure, but most clay I find is adobe clay, which cracks and is brittle, vs sculpie requires baking, and I don't think that would be very healthy for the mask. In general, I know Paper Clay, but if you find  a similar air-dry clay that doesn't crack, I'd say give it a try. I would start off with a tester area to see if the other clay is any good before spending all your time and money on something that may break off
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myth36-kirsty's avatar
Amazing! Also thanks for the heads up on paper clay always exciting finding new mediums 
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For3st-NinJa's avatar
For3st-NinJa|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello! Awesome job with your mask! I have a question~

Did you mod those napkin rings to look like the actual eyes or did they just come like that? If you can, can you also provide the link from where you got them from? I'm kind of contemplating whether I should use napkin rings or just paper clay. :3
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Hello! Naw, I just used the napkin rings as they came from the mail. www.ebay.com/itm/8-Wooden-Gold… These should work fine
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For3st-NinJa's avatar
For3st-NinJa|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much! Do you think it would look as good if I used paper clay to make the eyes instead?
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Sure, it'll be a bit more difficult, but it'll look fine
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Disneyfairy's avatar
Disneyfairy|Hobbyist General Artist
Stupid question, but I would like to know.  Was the foam half-circle hollowed out when you bought it (like a regular mask), or did you have to carve the insides out to make it a mask?
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
No, the foam was solid, and was just used as a base for the shape. Once you're done with the paper mache and it is fully dry, you pull it off of the foam, then over the paper mache in paper clay (or something similar). Once you pull the paper mache off, you don't need the foam anymore, unless you'd like to make another mask at some point. Joannes does now sell a styrofoam half circle that is carved out if you'd like to use that for something
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Galaxy-Tramp's avatar
Galaxy-Tramp|Student Traditional Artist
Thank you sooo much for the great tutorial! :cuddle: I want to use it for my own cosplay but i wonder how do you attach the mask to the coat?
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Actually, just hot glue the mask to the inside of the hood. I've had my pelt for some six years now and it's never budged
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Galaxy-Tramp's avatar
Galaxy-Tramp|Student Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot :hug: I wasn't quite sure if this would survive a convention with just some glue ;)
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LadyRose15's avatar
LadyRose15|Hobbyist Artist
I have two questions:

1.) Is a 7.8inch circle ok, for the foam circle? and

2.)  What is the brand for the Paper Clay?

Thank you.
Reply  ·  
meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Hello! 7.8 should be fine, maybe just a big snug, but as long as you don't have a really big face you should be fine. I'd measure your head and face to make sure it'd fit. Here's a example of Paper Clay www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/sculpture-and-pottery/creative-paperclay
Let me know if you need anymore help!
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LadyRose15's avatar
LadyRose15|Hobbyist Artist
Thank you so much!
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Rivali's avatar
hi,could you tell me what is the paper clay , thanks
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meanlilkitty's avatar
meanlilkitty|Professional General Artist
Paper clay is a paper mulch that works like a clay. You can find it at Michaels or online, it  comes in a black wrapper with white writing and usually a picture of a chess knight. I like it because you don't need to wet it to make it useable, it doesn't crack much, it sands easily and takes paint well
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Goddess-Of-Sugar's avatar
Hello there. I have a few questions. This mask is so gorgeous and I'm about to start to work on my San. I know a lot of this might have been asked before so I'll try not to repeat too much. My first question is what size is your mask? Is it the 8" or the 10"? Second, did you put anything inside the mask to hold it into place when you had it on? I did a Naraku mask for my friend once and I hot melt glued a baseball cap into the inside. Third, what are the dimensions of the napkin rings you used? I really like that size and would like to find ones like them.

Sorry for all the questions.
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