1. Get all my carving done, then lay down a layer of black or brown Eco-Flo water-based dye, whichever complements the mask. This helps to have an undercoat that isn't flesh toned and with creating an antiquing effect with later layers of acrylics.
2. Paint the colorful details and such in acrylics, either Folkart craft grade or Liquitex heavy body acrylics. I've used soft body as well, which are less creamy and dense than heavy body. It takes more layers to cover with the soft body and definitely more layers with the craft grade too. But I try to keep my acrylic layers thin and consistent when adding more layers by using glazing techniques so that they do not get too thick and encourage cracking.
3. Seal with Liquitex Satin varnish, which I've found to be more flexible and less prone to cracking than less expensive varnishes. I also like to use Satin because it still coats everything but allows the difference between matte and metallic paints to shine through more, which is an important effect when rendering things like butterfly wings in leather, which are more realistic looking if you can tell the difference between those textures. Using Matte varnish will suck the shine right out of your metal effects, so beware!
Eirewolf on Twitter asks: How did you get into leather maskmaking, and what advice would you have for someone who is learning the craft?
First thing's first, I always harbored an obsession with masks. Something about them was intriguing, mysterious, both revealing and concealing of our true personalities all at once! If I created a character for my stories, to be sure I would find an excuse to put them in a mask! All philosophy aside, they just look cool.
I had made masks out of clay before (you don't want to see those. They're lumpy hot messes), but lightening struck when...
(Read on at the full post)
So how did you guys get into leather mask-making? Share your stories in comments!