How to Make Masquerade Mask Pictures

masquerade image by Erin Cadigan from

Masquerade masks feature bright, sparkling colours, shiny beads, neon feathers and elaborate scrollwork and harlequin designs. They appear at costume parties, masquerade balls and many Mardi Gras celebrations.

Though you can purchase predesigned masquerade masks, it can be much cheaper--and more entertaining--to draw your own pictures on original masquerade masks. The task isn't easy and may be too difficult for small children. Older children and teens will be able to make their own mask pictures with ease.

Examine your mask, considering the shape and how much space you have to work with. Some mask blanks are full-face while others only cover your eyes. Larger, detailed pictures look best on full-face masks while simple designs work well on eye masks. You can get mask blanks at any craft or costume store.

Sketch on your grid paper. The picture may be a geometric design, a harlequin face, a butterfly, vines or a dancing couple. Follow the grid lines and make your figures as simple and distinct as possible. Use the lines to help you keep your drawing small and even. Once satisfied, outline your drawing in pen.

Flip your drawing over and place a charcoal stick against the back. Rub it over the entire paper very firmly. The back of the paper should be totally black when you're finished. You want a semi-thick layer of charcoal.

Flip the picture back over and centre the picture over your mask, turning it so your drawing lines up with the desired part of the mask. Carefully wrap the paper over the mask so the drawing lies on the desired area. Secure the paper to the edges of the mask with painters' tape.

Go over the lines of your drawing with a pencil or pen. Push hard and work slowly to avoid slipping. Remove the paper; the charcoal outline of your drawing should be on the mask. Outline the lines of the picture with paint pens. Paint in the rest of the picture and mask with small brushes and acrylic paint.