Don’t buy this Paper Mache book if….

…. you already have my Dragon-maker’s Handbook and/or you already know more than you ever cared to know about my paper mache techniques.    I just finished revising my Dragon-maker’s Handbook and some of you will probably get a notice from Amazon.  I want those of you who follow my blog to know what this is all about so that you don’t think you are missing something.   I have to say that I was always a little embarrassed by the lack of sophistication of my Handbook.   I made it shortly after I posted my first, dragon-making video on YouTube.  I was inundated with requests for more information.  So I quickly put that Handbook together to augment the video.  I’ve wanted to revise and update it for years.   I finally did.   I’m much happier with this one.   It is more complete.  The photos are much better.    I added a chapter on trophies since those are so much fun to make.   Everything about it is better than the Handbook.    Still, it is a revision of the Handbook.    Of course you don’t need any of my books to understand what I do.  Just look at my videos and blog posts.

Then again….you may have an “artistic” niece or nephew.   Christmas is coming….

If you want a great gift….  then follow this link to my website.

Paper Mache DragonsPaper Mache Dragons-back cover

 

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Paper Mache Drogon-Young Adult Version-attach jaws

Thank you for your patience.   As usual, I’ve been very busy.   I don’t know how I ever held a regular job.     I left off with Drogon’s jaws.   Drogon has lots of little, white teeth.    In this case I used “special effect” Fimo.    When you turn off the lights you can see the “effect”.   I don’t really care that they glow in the dark.   It’s just that the color is perfect for teeth.  It’s a little bit creamy, not stark white.

Paper Mache Drogon-jaws  Paper Mache Drogon-at night

This is a great time to add the tongue and create a jaws assembly.   You can always add the jaws onto the neck separately.  But most of the time it is easier to put the jaws together in advance.   I cut a hole just under the paper mache shell (in between the paper mache and the cloth mache inside the mouth).  I bent the tongue into a “U” shape at the base.  Then I pushed it into the hole.

Paper Mache Drogon-insert tongue  Paper Mache Drogon-insert tongue2

I added tape where I inserted the jaws and then taped the jaws together in the back.     Meanwhile I needed to attach the neck to the plaque.   First I cut open the base of the neck.  It’s a bit tricky to cut this at just the right angle.  I pulled out the wads of paper that I originally used to construct the neck.   This left a big paper mache shell.

Paper Mache Drogon-finished jaw  Paper Mache Drogon-neck

I taped this shell to the plaque and hung it just to make sure that everything was positioned the way I wanted.  This looked good.   I cut off the other end of the paper mache shell so that I could add the jaws.  But first, I wanted to add some cloth mache to give additional strength to the neck.   To protect the beautiful wood of my plaque I covered it with masking tape.  Note that I added more tape between the neck and the plaque as well.

Paper Mache Drogon-check neck  Paper Mache Drogon-add tape

I drilled holes around the neck through the wood.  Then I inserted straightened clothes hangers through them.   I bent the hangers on the back side of the plaque so they wouldn’t pull through.  Then I taped the hangers to the neck.  I probably used too many hangers here.   But this neck is long so I didn’t want to take any chances.   I added a few layers of the cloth mache over all of this.   It took over a week for this to dry completely.  So what did I do while it was drying?  I started a couple more projects!   ADHD art.

Paper Mache Drogon-add clothes hangers  Paper Mache Drogon-add cloth

Paper Mache Drogon-add jawsI inserted my jaw assembly into the hole at the end of the neck and added a lot of masking tape to hold it in.

 

I’ll stop here.   I promise I’ll get back soon with the next installment.  I will.   Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zombie Paper Mache Dragon

Hi everyone.  Well, this has been another case of ADHD art.  I started on Drogon, but ended up making a zombie dragon.   I was planning to do that for Halloween.  But I just got swept up in it.   So let me show you a little of this one, then I’ll get back to work on Drogon.

Just because you are my blog followers I’ll be honest and tell you that I would do this differently if I were to do it again (even though I kind of want to because I’m compulsive, I won’t be doing this again).   I envisioned one side of him that was a little less rotten so that you could see what the dragon would have looked like pre-zombie.  That became this side.

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- less rotten side

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- less rotten side

But then I wanted a side that was more rotten.  That’s turned into this side.  See, you can see the skull and lots of sinew and rotten stuff.

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- more rotten side

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- more rotten side

But now I wish I’d made him much more radically rotten on both sides with more sinew and bone and maybe some veins showing all over.   Still, over all I’m happy with how this project turned out.   Rather than being creepy it turned out quite pretty.   I always say this, but I’m going to say it again anyway, this dragon is much nicer looking in person.  There are many subtleties in the color the camera just didn’t pick up.  For example it’s hard to tell that the holes on the neck are really deep and that the sinew has many colors in it.  Here’s a close up to show you what I mean.

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- sinew

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- sinew

See what I mean?   And it’s really hard to see the nice movement in the neck.   Look at it from underneath (I’d just finished the breast plates).

paper mache zombie dragon-breast plates

paper mache zombie dragon-breast plates

And I added some lights behind the eyes.  It seems a little goofy.   The eyes are really nice without lights.  I had Robert from  Masterpiece eyes (www.MasterpieceEyes.com.) make them for me.  They are soft and I noticed that they diffused light really well.  So I added the l.e.d.s behind them.    They really do turn the eyes a very nice glowing red.  So I take my previous comment back.  They aren’t too goofy.  They are kind of cool especially with the lights low.

 

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- close up

Zombie Paper Mache Dragon- close

Finally, I did make a video of this project if you are interested.  You can find it here:  http://youtu.be/7dhYR3R6tQ4

Okay, so now I’ll get back to Drogon.   Thank you for your patience!

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Paper Mache Drogon – Tongue, Paper Mache, Horns

Hello everyone.   Well, the dust has finally settled on my blog disaster.   I’ve finally populated this new blog with all of the posts I thought worth while to save from my last blog.  I’ve put them together by project and under the button, “Older Paper Mache Projects”.

Now, back to the young-adult version of Drogon.  As I mentioned in my first post I can’t make a full sized version of this dragon like I did when he was a juvenile  (http://youtu.be/wSXAgx82EsE).    This will be a trophy.   I bought a nice walnut plaque.   I love walnut.

So much of doing art isn’t very exciting.   In fact most of it is “grunt” work.    That becomes very evident as I consider what to put in these posts.   Most of this post is about several little parts of this project.    Nevertheless, I decided to write about them.

I’d had just added the cloth mache on the jaws in my last post.  Drogon will be screaming so I need a nice tongue.  I have a great way of making tongues.   I twist paper (phone book paper in this case) around a piece of wire clothes hanger.    I wrap it with masking tape.

Paper Mache Drogon- twist paper for tongue

Paper Mache Drogon- twist paper for tongue

I make two of these and lay them next to each other.   Then I add a piece of masking tape along the back.

Paper Mache Drogon- parts for tongue

Two halves of a tongue

 

I bend the tongue into the shape I want.   Then I wrap the tongue with cloth dipped in glue.11 Paper Mache Drogon- wrap cloth around tongueI use a knife to make a crease.

Paper Mache Drogon- crease in tongue

Adding the crease.

I always paint the jaws and the tongue before assembly.  Much easier than doing it after the project is put together.  12 Paper Mache Drogon- paint jawsI also blackwash the tongue and the jaws.   13 Paper Mache Drogon- blackwash tongue 14 Paper Mache Drogon- blackwash jawsI want to add a significant section of the neck to this trophy so I needed to make one.   I started by stacking several wads of newspaper and taping them together.

Paper Mache Drogon- wads of paper for neck

Wads of paper for neck.

I wrestle with this stack of wadded paper until I get the curve I want.16 Paper Mache Drogon- beginning of neck

Then I added the paper mache.17 Paper Mache Drogon- paper mache neckI drilled a hole in the back of the plaque.  I’ll use this to hang the trophy over a long screw driven into the wall.18 Paper Mache Drogon- cut hole in plaqueJust checking the neck (after it dried) against the plaque.  19 Paper Mache Drogon- NeckDrogon has many long horns coming out of his cheeks and other parts of his face.   I decided to use Fimo for these.   I used quite a few packages because some of these horns are pretty large.   You’ll notice that they got burned while in the oven.   I really like the effect.   They are dragon horns after all.20 Paper Mache Drogon- hornsThat’s it for now.   Thanks for coming along for the ride.

 

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Thank you everyone.

I’m just blown away by all of you!     Thank you for coming to my new blog site and for continuing to follow me.   It inspires me to do a better job keeping up with my posts.   I got the first one up for my new Drogon trophy.    I’m not exactly sure how to deal with all of the posts I had archived before my old blog disappeared.   I was able to export them, all 1500 pages of them, before the site stopped.   But what to do with 1500 pages!   I’ll have to purge and find a way for you to access the most informational of those.  

Again, thank you all.   You are the best.

Dan

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Paper Mache Drogon – Young Adult Version

Okay, so I’m back to making art.   I have to say that my cats are thoroughly enjoying their new outdoor habitat.   It was well worth taking the time from my art to make their “catio”.  Thank you for being patient, those of you that were patient.   After making my paper mache dog I realized that I needed to make some more non-dragon projects.   So what did I do?  I launched into four, yes four, dragon projects, and one non-dragon project.   I just can’t help it.   The more I tried to think outside the dragon box, the more ideas I got for new dragons.   I’m keeping one of those projects very close to the vest because I think it will be my best dragon ever.  Ever.  But it could fail utterly as well.   I will surprise you at some point with a post about that project (or you’ll never hear about it because it will be buried in my back yard).   I think I’m obsessed with dragons even more than usual because, as I’ve mentioned before,  I’m revising my dragon-making book.   So it’s on my mind.   (BTW, I intend to have that finished by the end of summer.)(I think my dragons have gotten better since the first book.   Time to share what I’ve learned.)  I’ve wrestled with what project to profile here.    I decided on my latest iteration of Drogon from Game of Thrones.   As you’ll find on this blog, I made him as a newly hatched baby (along with his egg), and again as a juvenile.    The juvenile was a full sized version of him.   After this last season it’s time to revisit him as a young adult, as he was portrayed this last season on the TV series.   For obvious reasons I decided not to make the full body version.  Just too big.   A trophy will have to do. 

This is kind of funny.    I was grabbing a stack of newspaper to start these projects, and this one was in the stack.   This is a very old copy of the Life section of a USA Today newspaper.   It’s from November 1984.  You can barely see it in the left column but there is the article about my first book, The Simple Screamer.   That was a very fortunate event.   It helped launch my book nationally.   Just had to share.   I decided not to use this section.   I’ll file it somewhere for posterity (look how well that worked for me last time!)

USA today article about my paper mache book.

No one who watches my blog needs to see me crumple the paper or add the paper mache.  So I’ll skip that.   In this case I’ll use some of the paper mache balls and pieces I have laying around my studio.   I’ll make the jaws by cutting open two different size balls and taping them together.

paper mache ball cut in two pieces  second paper mache ball for jaw

As you can see, one of them is more pointed, the other more spherical.   Putting them together gives me the triangular shape of Drogon’s jaws.   In the TV series Drogon has many small teeth, as opposed to many dragons with large teeth.   So I used a pile of small polymer clay that teeth I had.   I hot glued these onto the paper mache jaws. 

putting the paper mache shells together  hot glue teeth onto paper mache shell

I think it’s kind of a cool look.   As you know I like to cloth mache and paint the jaws before assembling the head.   This took a bit of patience.  Sooo many teeth!  As usual I applied small strips of cloth in a criss-cross fashion around each tooth.   Folding the cloth first makes a gum line around each tooth. 

teeth in paper mache jaws  cloth mache teeth in jaws

After wrapping each tooth I always add a large piece of cloth in the middle.  I’m always amazed by how well that works for the inside of a mouth.   You get very natural looking wrinkles that way, and it adds a great deal of strength to the jaws as well.  This is especially important if you are making a trophy.

cloth mache inside the dragon jaws  finished paper mache Drogon jaw
That’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon.  
See you.  Make art!

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