"Bleach," the anime series, features a host of magical characters and creatures, not the least of which are the Hollows. At the beginning of the series, Ichigo, the main character, becomes a Soul Reaper who must send souls on to the afterlife. Souls left in the world too long become angry, evil spirits called Hollows. These creatures live only to consume souls and are characterised by the bony, sharp-toothed masks they must wear. If you want to make a big impression at your next Cosplay event, create your own Hollow mask. You're guaranteed to be a hit.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Picture reference
- Thin cardboard
- White glue
- Warm water
- Large bowl
- Acrylic paint
Choose a Hollow mask to copy, or sketch an entirely new design. Use a picture from manga or DVD sets you may already own or search on the Internet (see References). Note that most Hollows have large, pointed teeth and narrow, tilted eyes. They also have elongated features and have no colour except for white, black and sometimes red.
Cut an oval from your thin cardboard that is slightly longer than your face. The oval should be long and narrow but still cover the edges of your face with about ½ inch leftover. Hold the oval up to your face and press the cardboard gently against your eyes. This makes dents so you can tell where to cut the eyeholes.
Draw eyehole shapes around the dents. Make them large enough that the top edges run along your eyebrows and the bottom edge runs along your cheekbones. This ensures the holes will be large enough for easy visibility and comfort. Draw in any curves and make sure you finalise the shapes of the eyes as well.
Gently poke your scissors into the centre of each eye. Cut along your sketched outlines, carefully opening up each hole.
Cut a strip of cardboard that stretches easily around the back of your head to the edges of your face mask. Staple the strip to the temples of the mask. Attach more strips that criss-cross in a dome over the top of your head and attach to the top edge of the back cardboard strip and the top of your mask oval. Staple these in place as well.
Cover the entire mask with newspaper. Glue strips in place, making sure to keep the edges smooth and paying particular attention to the eyes. Tuck the newspaper into the corners of the eyes, keeping them defined. Cover the inside of the mask as well. Allow the mask to dry overnight.
Mix about a cup of flour and a cup of white glue with about a quart of warm water in a bucket. Tear your newspaper into 1 inch strips and dip them into the paper mache paste. Run each strip between your first and middle fingers to squeeze off extra paste and layer the paper mache on to the front and forehead of the mask.
Add about two layers of wet paper mache. Gently pinch and mould the paper into details. Pinch long, sharp ridges around the mouth area for teeth. Pinch up ridges near the nose for a sharp, skull-like nasal cavity. Define the features as sharply as possible. Allow the mask to dry for 24 hours.
Paint your mask. Start with a white base, covering the mask completely. Allow the first coat to dry for about 2 hours and check your picture reference. Sketch the outlines of black or red designs onto the mask. Paint in the designs and allow the mask to dry.
Tips and warnings
- Build horns or protrusions from cardboard, separate from the mask. After covering the mask with newspaper, tape the shapes securely onto the mask. Cover with newspaper and paper mache and paint along with the mask.
- Picture a medieval soldier's helmet when making your mask. Your entire face should be covered with a domed area covering you to the nape of your neck in the back.
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