mask in progress – Mephistopheles


This is a mask that I’m working on currently. I usually don’t post works in progress, but I thought I would record this one for posterity, as I think there are some interesting and new things going on in it’s developement, and the way I work, they may be lost forever in the final product. So this stage has been recorded for posterity.

I was otiginally trying to do something quite different, another bearded gentlemen – Zeus – but as I worked the mouth and beard, a smile appeared (in the mask, that is). My Zeus was supposed to be grimacing menacingly, but this fellow was smiling, and I could do nothing to wipe that self-satisfied smirk from his face; so I went with it.

The rest of the mask took shape of it’s own volition and the mighty Zeus faded away as the impish Pan took his place. Or if you prefer – Mephistopheles.

9 thoughts on “mask in progress – Mephistopheles

  1. Humorous…I’ve been looking for red elephant’s hide because I wanted to do a mask of the prince of darkness. I’ve downloaded several reference images. Although I am getting ahead of myself since I havn’t made a satisfactory mask yet.

    Your mask has a rakish quality that makes me think of a debauched French Lord.


  2. Once that smile appeared in the paper, I had no doubts who it belonged to. I always thought of the dark one as a bit of a rake.
    Have you had any satisfactory results with dyeing elephant hide? I’ve used alcohol based inks, such as are used for stamp pads, and spread them with alcohol in a spray bottle. The alcohol doesn’t distort the paper as much as water would, and it dries faster. You might be able to get good results diluting food coloring with water before applying, or perhaps wetting the paper before administering the dye.


  3. I’ve had ok results dyeing elephant’s hide. It does fade and come off on the fingers. My main problem is space. I have no room that can be closed off from the cat. To get a decent color I used the food coloring at full concentration. It used a bottle for the one side of the paper. I probably will leave the paper mods till I have got a face I can deal with. The mask thing is frustrating. I got a nose I liked, but now the mouth and cheeks I am having trouble shaping.

    Have fun with your debauched Lord. He looks like he’d be fun to hang out with;)


  4. It took me a lot of time and experimentation to get features that I liked for the masks. Like you, I would get a nose that I liked, but nothing else. Then maybe I would get a good mouth, but it wouldn’t fit with the good nose. I just worked them out bit by bit.


  5. Hi! Great mask! I’m an opera singer that just got cast to do my first Meph in Gounods Faust and was looking for some character source material images. I realize this is an old post but did you ever finish the mask? If so do you have any pics of it? I’d love to see them!


  6. Congratulations – there’s a juicy role!
    Alas, this Mephistopheles is no more. It has been “recycled”. But looking back at this old picture, I see some interesting things that I might want to try again. There may be another Mephistopheles in the future.


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