Work on the unfinished Troll Screamers shown above as well as several NEW Troll Screamers will resume soon. I have several body parts ready to go for the new creations.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


As part of a much larger project I needed some simple coral forms to enhance the project. I chose some tube coral as being a simple form to make. As shown in the picture below the real thing.


Taking some assorted tubes of different lengths cutting down as required in some cases. Then dipped one end of each tube in undiluted PVA glue then dipped the same ends into small wood chippings used for hamsters & other small pets cages as floor covering.

Once I had the size I required on the now bulbous end. Once they dried fully I then coated the tube ‘sides’ with undiluted PVA & then rolled the tubes in the same fine wood chippings.


Once this was fully dried I then coated the entire outside of the tubes in PVA glue but this time I rolled the tubes in a medium grade sand. Once dried fully all that remained was to paint & attach the project I was working on. (see my MECH FISH video listed below at the bottom of this blog page).


Making a simplistic grimoure could not be easier. To begin with the face I was going to use under the front cover of the skin of the grimoure was to be removed which gave me two choices as to what to do with it.

1] Keep it as it was made for the grimoures cover.

2] Use it to make a new project from.

Once I made 3 grimoures I chose the second option but more on that in a moment or two.


Creating the face to make the grimoure cover from. To do this I created a simple face using some tissue paper pulp. Once dried fully I laid this on a piece of thick cardboard the matched the size of the hard backed book I planned to use.


Next I covered the whole thing in foil. To give the effect of the face forcing it’s way up through the books skin I formed the foil into stretched creases. For the heavier creases I placed some cardboard triangles under the foil. This was then paper mached stripped over with around 6 layers of paper strips.

As shown below.

The ‘same’ face can be used over & over again. By simply changing the cardboard & foil creased shapes beneath the foil can alter the appearance of the finished project. A simple time saving effect that works every time.


Once the strips were dry I then coated this in tanned skin coloured dragon skin (see my HOW TO VIDEO: MAKING DRAGON SKIN LISTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE) to give the effect of ancient fried skin trapping the poor deranged sole within the grimoure.


The face I used for the grimoures I then went on the make into an entirely NEW project a simple wall mounted screaming face. To do this it was a simple case of adding using paper strips & paper tissue pulp the face features, eyes, eye lids, eye brows, lips. I formed the tongue from a cut & shaped piece of cardboard which I used tissue to cover for texture.


Painting was a simple case of using a strong coloured pre-mixed water colour paint of copper colour. Once fully dried I then gave this a ‘black wash’ of the same kind of paint but extremely watered down. Just before this black wash fully dried I simply wiped the heaviest of it back off with a damp to the touch cloth. This gave it the appearance of a very ancient bronze or copper face – screaming.


I wanted to make a Chinese dragon. To begin with I wanted to maintain what was to become my trade mark in keeping as much of my creations as hollow & as light as possible. The obvious step of course was balloons. With an abundance of balloon types (shapes) the first hurdle was over come. The next step was determining the best easiest fastest method of shaping the balloons whilst adding the paper strips. So using the thinnest balloons I had (clown balloons) I tied a couple up into writhing dragon body like shapes. (see 30 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BALLOONS BELOW). Once I had some good shapes I paper striped over them with around 6 layers each.

Having experimented thoroughly with balloons earlier I choose some thicker diameter balloons for the actual final project. This time i prepared some exactly as I did before with the thinner balloons. This time how ever I kept each balloon single rather than join them into elongated exaggerated shapes as with the thinner balloons. My intention here to play around with different body shapes once the balloon forms had dried.

The next step came the simple task of adding definition to the body the back spines of tissue covered card board triangles. Then stomach ridges made of cardboard.

Then colouring the body by painting it.

I never got this dragon finished due to the body was damaged beyond repair, or my willing to pursue the project. I will make more Chinese dragons in the future how ever. At the moment I am currently working on some Western dragon designs. Due to a massive work load work on these how ever is slow going.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Contrary to many sceptical & I feel unfounded remarks concerning the use of balloons in the art of paper mache. 90% of my creations start out life as either plain ‘egg’ shaped balloons or the more novelty variety of balloon I do cut into the stripped over balloons & reshape them as well as bulking out with foil & card boards forms too of course. Still saying that you can easily create some amazing forms using balloons as they are. Here is one project I am toying with. Here you can see the basic balloon form ‘enhanced’ slightly. What I will be doing with this final design is for another time. For now I just wanted to have my two pennies worth of opinions in against the rot against balloons & paper mache. Such ‘negative’ thinking & speaking has no place in art.


With my dragon skin you can do much more than just seal & strengthen your projects reducing the amount of paper strips or pulp used & also reducing the final weight. You can also paint in 3D with it. This how ever does involve & require several layers depending on the depth of the 3D effect your looking to achieve.You can leave the final result as it is or you can ‘crack’ the dragon skin for a more dramatic effect by simply dabbing the dragon skin ‘painting’ with a wet sponge or by gently brushing on. You can also enhance this effect by either air drying slowly or increasing the effect by radiator drying quickly. You can continue to enhance the depth of the cracking whilst drying by additional wetting of the dragon skin painting. Some practice IS required to achieve the best results but this is no difficult thing to learn. You can see how to make dragon skin in my HOW TO video listed below.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Here are two easy ways to make easy quick horns, both straight & ridged type The first horn is of a type when weight is not an issue in the project the horn is intended for. The second horn is a much lighter horn when weight is an issue in the project & must be kept to a minimum.


Take a block of foam slightly larger than the final horn size. Most any foam will do for this but the tightly formed foam works best in all projects.

Now with sharp scissors trim the foam to a smooth ‘straight’ horn shape.

Like this.

Now use string or twine tie the foam off in sections. Increase the distance slightly further apart as the go down the length.

Now using another length of string or twine bend & tie off the horn in a bent shape of your own choosing like this.

Now using any type of paint including basic house hold paints too (none gloss works best) paint the foam all over. You may have to do this more than once. Then allow to fully dry. This will make the foam a little stiffer not only to make adding paper strips but also to make the foam easier to add the paper strips to by not soaking up the paste or glue too quickly when drying.

Once the paint is fully dry you can start adding the paper strips. Add as many layers as you wish.

When the paper strips are fully dry paint as normal.



Take a selection of tubes. They can be long or short but short make it easier to make the bends in the horns when building.


Connect the tubes with a slight bend in the joints as shown. For the final tube cut a large ‘V’ out of the tube. Roll & tape it up to form the horn tip.


Now you have the armature for the horn. Simply cover in enough paper strips to allow sanding down to smooth it all out then paint it.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


These are some of my large dragon heads I have been working on (& off) for some time. I wanted to be a bit different with the eyes. I wanted them sunk back into the skull more than normal but the way to make the eye lids blend in to make the eyes still appear to be forwards in the skull at certain angles was defeating me every time I put my mind to it.

Today thanks to coolcholet on the new forum belonging to the marvellous dragon & screamer creator Dan Reeder I saw the way I needed to do my dragons eye lids. Thank you coolcholet. Now I have the answer to my problematic eye lids I can get back to these dragons very soon & finish them. More pictures when I get them finished I promise.