I finally finished my latest papier mache project, just in time to give it to a friend for Christmas. So months later, here it is. This one is a dragon, which in the early stages resembled a velociraptor with wings. After consulting Ultimate Paper Mache, artist Jonni Good's fantastically inspiring website, and browsing her tutorials, I was driven to tackle one of these pieces.
I used crumpled up newspaper wrapped with masking tape (wads of it) to create the armature. Each body piece--the head, neck, torso/body, arms, legs, wings and tail--was made separately and attached together with masking tape.
The recipe I used is more traditional, and differs from the paper mache clay that Jonni uses. I plan to use the clay method in the near future. I mixed white flour, water, a bit of salt, and carpenters glue in a plastic bowl, and whisked it together until the consistency was that of a somewhat thick pancake batter. I didn't measure anything. I added several layer of "skin" using strips of paper towels and waited for them to dry thoroughly before adding more, because there are few things more depressing than when your sculpture gets moldy.
I made the plate scales on his back and tail out of thin cardboard and attached them with the masking tape. They got a few layers of paper towel skin as well. The teeth and claws are made from rolled up bits of paper towel dipped into the papier mache mixture.
When I was done with the many layers, it was time to paint. I used a dry brush method with craft acrylics in greens and browns.
Some of these shots depict the newsprint and masking tape armature before I added any of the "skin".