How To Make A Latex Mask
You need to make a negative-mood gypseous form and wash it thus getting rid of the bits of clay or plasticine left. Cut several small pieces of foam rubber – these will be the “sponges” that you’ll use to cover the mask with latex. Cut a wide bandage roll or gauze in small pieces. The size is, approximately, 10x10 cm. You will need to glue gauze to those areas of the mask that should keep the form. These are big wrinkles, cheeks, chin, forehead, neck, nose and temples. Do not glue gauze to the area of eyes and mouth. These are the places where only latex should be. If it’s possible, you need to make the layer of latex as thin as possible there. This way the latex there will be elastic and the edges will be thin.
If you want your mask to be tougher and have a bigger life span, mix latex with PVA adhesive. There should be 2 cups of latex for 1 cup of PVA. This is a good solution in case you are making a mask for all your head. Such a mask should keep its form well and have a long life span. If you are working with the mixture of latex and PVA, ho not use a hair dryer since the surface in this case becomes uneven and doesn’t dry equally.
In the majority of cases, there is no need to use PVA. The gauze will make the mask tough enough. This refers also to the process of creation noses, bald patches, face covers etc. If the item you are making is small, you do not need gauze at all.
You need to wash the form several times with soapy cream, dry it and take away with the help of a brush the excess of soap left. This is necessary in order for the mask not to stick to the gypsum.
With the help of a foam rubber piece, you cover the mask with the first layer of latex so that there are no air bubbles. You do it as if you are making stamps on it carefully and neatly. You’d better circumfuse the form with a lot of latex and smear the whole surface with a foam rubber “sponge”. You merge the excess. The first several layers are the most important, they should dry on them own!
Cover the form with 3 layers. Once the 3rd layer completely dries, you may start putting gauze on those areas that should keep the form.
Cover with more 2-3 layers of latex (combined with gauze). Give each layer time to dry well. The number of layers to be done depends on the thickness and quality of the latex and on the purpose of the article. Here you’d better not put latex on the area of mouth and eyes. This way the edges won’t be thick. Press the empty spaces areas when you’re putting on gauze and when you are simply covering the form with latex using a foam rubber “sponge”. Try not using tiny pieces of gauze. If you do, the surface will get uneven. Keep an eye on the gauze so that it’s not tightened over the holes but covered them well. The number of layers to be done depends on the purpose of the article. It’s very likely that gauze won’t be needed for the creation of face covers.
Having covered the whole area, soak the gauze in latex, give it time to dry a bit and stamp the empty spaces so that the inner surface of the mask gets even and there are no gauze knots. Let all layers dry. You may dry them with the help of a hair dryer as much as needed.
“Powder” the mask thoroughly with talc. Catch the latex (on the place where it won’t be seen) and take it out of the form. While you’re taking it out, keep on thoroughly powdering latex so that it doesn’t stick together!
Before painting the mask, wash it so that to get rid of the bits of soap left. Then, powder latex again.
Latex articles are painted either with the help of castor greasepaint (it’s more advisable to use) or acrylic paint for cloth. You also may add colorants right into the latex while it’s liquid. These are dry pigments, colours used in building, gouache and acrylic paints. If you add acrylic paints, the latex will become a bit thicker and it will come off the skin faster in case you put on your face a mask made out of liquid latex that was coloured.