Thursday, 7 July 2011

Masks - The Swan and Allegretto

Damnit! I'd written the entire post, and then accidentally clicked 'back' and lost it all. *shakes fist at sky*. Anyway, this year I've made quite a few masks so far – some for another play (for which I also did the costumes), one as a present and one as commission. I'll start with the commission and the present, and save the image heavy posts for later.

This first mask is called 'Allegretto' (for obvious reasons). The printed music is Vivaldi, the other side if Bach – with a deliberate mistake: it was from my Cello music selection, so it was written in base clef, but I stuck a treble clef in front of it. Partly because treble clefs just look prettier, but also because a treble clef is more recognisable to non-musicians. I expect practically everyone to recognise a treble clef even if they cant name it, I don't expect the same of the base clef. In retrospect, I'm not sure I'd make that decision again. I always hate it when I see a photograph where the model has been told to hold the instrument in completely the wrong way because "it looks prettier" – not to musicians it doesn't, it just looks painful! And it completely ruins the photo for us, we just stand there, looking, and going '...ow. Ow. Ow.' I've always held that if you're a good photographer then you'd be able to find an angle that produced a good photo without making the musicians look like an idiot who's never held their instrument before... I'm not sure if what I've done here is really any better than that.



Apart from that I was quite pleased with how the edging round the printed music turned out, not so pleased with how the '3D paint' worked and overjoyed at the discovery of gesso. This is the first mask I used it on, and it helped it look notably smoother (though the guy in the shop I bought it from seemed to object to my proposed use of it "that's not what it's for!" – I don't care, it's what I'm going to use it for :D) There is actually a gradient on the blue: darker at the top, lighter at the bottom, it's not just a trick of the light. Though I find metallic paint really hard to photograph well: the slightest hint of direct light and all you get is white.

It was made for someone attending the University of Bristol's Goldney Ball. The theme this year was 'Masquerade'. Apparently he ended up swapping masks with his partner because she liked it so much and it matched her dress. I hope those were the only reasons, and not because he didn't like it/it didn't fit him very comfortably! >_<

This next mask is called The Swan (again, for obvious reasons, I think), and was a birthday present for someone. It's the first mask where I've actually been able to leave the lips intact, knowing it wasn't going to be worn. I spent ages shaping the lips on the clay model the cast was taken from, so it was good to finally be able to show them off. I also experimented with some acrylic ink, too. I kinda' like it, though I suspect it might work better on the gesso, or at least not on the gold spray-paint.




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