So here it is my first entry into the prop-making contest world. I was inspired by my daughter's current studies of Greek Mythology. The mighty gorgon slain by the hero Perseus. Medusa, whose glare could turn men to stone even after her death. I present to you the head of Medusa:
ITEM / COST
Acid swab brush x2 / 0.36 (0.18 ea)
Eye iris/pupil print / 0.05
White Glue x2 / 0.76 (0.38 ea)
Epoxy x2 / 2.28 (1.14 ea)
Guaze / 0.53
Masking tape 1" x2/ 4.24 (2.12 per roll)
Foam wig head / 3.42
Brown paper towel / 1.79
Oops latex paint / 1.00 (about 1/5 of a gallon @ $5 a Gal)
Acrylic paints / 3.00
Joint compound / 0.49 (just a dab from a $4.90 container)
White spray paint / 0.09 (just a spritz from a Walmart can of $0.94 paint)
Paint markers / 1.00
Newspaper / FREE
Shredded paper / FREE
Ball from can of Guinness Draught / FREE
Milk carton / FREE
Plastic bag / FREE
Wire hangers / FREE
TOTAL COST: $19.01
How I got 'er done: Using an old foam wig head for a basic mold I covered the head with a plastic bag and coated the form with paper mache made from newspaper strips, white glue, and water. After a couple of layers dried, I switched to brown paper towel mache with the same glue/water mixture and several layers. I then tried to cut but actually tore the back of the mache head open to remove it from the mold. Satisfied with the basic shape, I cut out the eye sockets and mouth. I continued by making a paper pulp/clay mush concoction from finely shredded paper to build up the facial features again using water and white glue. It was still a little too coarse for my liking so I attempted to make it smoother by adding some latex oops paint because I sort of wanted her to look less like a mummy and more like a mommy (it didn't help much though).
While her face and head dried, I cut the ball I removed from the can of Guinness in half and spritzed it with some cheap white spray paint. I then placed a print out of an eye on each half and smothered them with some 2 part epoxy for a glossy look. After that, I cut a row of teeth from a white milk carton (easier said than done, I just about used the entire half gallon carton for just a few teeth). I used a second bit of epoxy and some tape to hold the teeth and eyes in place.
Next came the fun part, her lovely locks. To make the snakes I rolled up some brown paper towel in various lengths and loosely wrapped them in masking tape. I then used wire hangers also cut in various lengths to pose the snakes this time wrapping them a little tighter with tape to hold the wire in place. I made the snakes' heads from folding and tearing bits of masking tape until I had a shape I liked. Then each snake was covered in a light layer of paper towel mache and covered with latex paint. I left a bit of the wire hanger out of the back end of the snakes to poke into her head and taped them in place as necessary, but most held their spot without much tape. The next step was to throw a dab of joint compound in the paint and mix it up. I tore up some gauze pads into strips and then painted the 'monster mud lite' onto the gauze strips as I placed them on each snake to create a scaly texture.
Once everything dried, I began painting with some old acrylic model paints that were very limited in color range. I tried a few different mixtures and did what I could with what I had. I painted the upper portions of the snakes dark green and then used a watered down light green wash to try and bring out some texture.
Once I realized that the paint job was never going to look the way I wanted it to look, I moved on. I cut the bristles off of the acid brushes that were tainted with the monster mud lite and some paint. I paste the bristles in place to form the eyebrows and lashes.
The snakes' tongues are made from putting just a bit of latex paint and even less white glue in a dish and allowing to dry. Then I cut the shape out and color each with a black paint marker then again with a red one. She, herself, had a forked tongue sticking out until my so dislodged it and somehow misplaced the darn thing somewhere in the house. Anyway, the finishing touches were basically drawing the snakes' eyes with the red and black paint markers and also coloring the fangs with a white one. I hope you like it.