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The Fur Workshop

Last week the theatrical makeup students did a fur workshop taught by Calista Wild, an artist from Falmouth. We all made some form of animal mask, most of us doing donkeys because we went to see “A Midsummer Night's Dream” at the RSC and one of the characters (Bottom) gets turned into a donkey. 


To start out we used cardboard to make a template for the animal's head, this is where you would make any adjustments to the nose and cheeks if you wanted to make them bigger/smaller depending on what animal you wanted to make.

Then we did a layer of papier mâché (newspaper and glue) all over to strengthen the cardboard base and cover over any gaps. Once that was done, we could start painting around the eyes and nose, any part that would not later be covered in fur.  

Next, the exciting part, the fur! Using a multitude of fur that was available, we each picked our colours and began hot gluing the fur to the mask. This part was very intricate because if we wanted the mask to look realistic, we had to mimic the natural flow of fur. To achieve this, we placed the fur in very small sections. 

Once we had the main sections of fur on, we began adding small wispy bits around the eyes and nose to blend in the big chunks of fur and make it look realistic. We did this by cutting off very small pieces of fur and gently placing them on and gluing

them down with PVA glue on a brush.  

Lastly, we used pastels to colour in any of the fur we wanted shading/highlighting. For my mask, I used black pastels to darken the cheeks and forehead, then a white pastel to highlight the nose bridge and eyebrows.  

All of us had a lot of fun doing this workshop and we are all very happy with the result of our animal masks! (Kiera)

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