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Player of Paste
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1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are always certain elements of a prop that sell the finished look such as the eyes, the hands, the teeth or in most cases a combination of various elements. The last few weeks I have created a number of zombie heads and the one element that helps to sell the look of these new props is the skin, or more precisely the texture of the undead flesh. This summer I'm offering a number of workshops where participants will build a severed zombie head from scratch. The workshop in intensive, 12 hours of classes spread over four nights each three hours long. During the third session we spend the time applying zombie skin using a variety of commonly found materials. Each material used for the rotting skin may not seem very convincing in its natural state but after being incorporated into the papier mache sculpture it produces a unique texture which after being painted and dry brushed will sell the concept of rotting zombie flesh. Some of the materials used to design zombie skin are:

-Paper Towels
-Shop Towels (heavy blue paper towels)
-Toilet tissue or Facial tissue
-Coffee filters
- Crept paper
-Plastic grocery bags
-Paper clay manipulated to look like raw flesh


(Shop towels soaked in paste and manipulated with a brush)


(Plastic grocery bag after being heated using a heat gun)


(Paper towels soaked in paste and manipulated with a small paint brush)


(Paper towel soaked in paste and manipulated to look like stringy muscle/tendons)


(Combination of paper towel and toilet tissue manipulated with a small paint brush)

Each material yields a slightly different look and when combined work well to create a zombie head with convincing rotting flesh detail.
 

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Super Moderator
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64,110 Posts
If I lived near you, I would so take this class! You're just going to have to become rich and famous enough to open a branch workshop in Maryland.
 

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Slowly Losing My Mind
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2,820 Posts
:(:(:(:(
I want to take the class but dang, I live here.

Awesome technique Scott!
 

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Clean "cut"
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27,011 Posts
I would sign up in a heartbeat if you were close! Your work is inspirational!
 

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Registered
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2,139 Posts
From your description, I gather that your techniques are aimed at /meant for stationary props rather than live actors, is that a correct assumption?
Even for props, this is a class I'd take if you were closer.
 

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H.B.I.C.
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9,101 Posts
Thanks for showing the differences between them together for comparison on the different look they produce. Yep, I'll say it too, wish I lived closer. :(
 

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Registered
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So are the zombie heads a clue as to your theme for this year? Might we be seeing a hoarde of flesh eaters in your display? That would be cool!
 

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Headless & Haunting
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4,767 Posts
If I lived near you, I would so take this class! You're just going to have to become rich and famous enough to open a branch workshop in Maryland.
I'm hoping for rich and famous enough to open a branch in Australia! LOL
 

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Muddled Moderator
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28,214 Posts
Thank for showing the different techniques. I've never tried the shop towels or even though of using plastic bags and a heat gun.
 

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Something Wicked
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2,119 Posts
Nice exploration of texture and materials, Scott. Your students are walking away with a wonderful new skill-set! Happy to see the workshop is doing its thing!
 

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Stays Zesty in milk
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4,472 Posts
I, too, would love to attend your workshop... as with many others, location & travel is a limiting factor... Perhaps there is a technological solution, an online live video workshop or class? What you could teach in 12 hours could have saved me 12 months of trial, error, and happy accidents (or more)... not to mention all the other techniques and knowledge you have in the Paper mache arts. Ether way, good luck!
 
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