As with many things in life you will find there IS more than one way to do the same task. Obviously quite often the newest way tends to be the best, however which ever way suites YOU is the best in my opinion. I find this rule especially follows in reproductive art such as i am about to show you.
If all you require is a simple basic copy of something, in this case a human skull i have found the fastest & cheapest method is to do so is in foil & masking tape. Remember my paper mache art is based around recycling as many paper & cardstock materials as possible & for artists who may be working on a tight budget. Of course having a large family means we produce a LOT of paper & cardstock waste so for ME this is the main driving force behind how & why i do things the way i do too.
Latex & plaster mold copying IS the best undeniably when it comes to copying subjects in high detail. For MY skulls how ever i simply need to copy a 'rough' skull form which i can then add the defining details to later in minutes. Also because of HOW i intend to finish off each the project using these skulls i don't require ALL the finer details such as cranium cracks & finer tooth shapes etc so the method i am about to show you will make sense later when you see what i make with them.
Start with a simple stripped down skull minus the small thin bone running along side the cheek & the small section at each side of the template.
When it comes to life like art ie: my skulls i normally try to work to one third true scale but these skulls are around half true scale. As you can see to make copying easier i have only created a 'basic' stripped down skull form. HOW YOU do the following steps is entirely up to YOU.
Begin with a small piece of foil that is slightly 'wider' than the skull. Then tack it in place.
Place a strip of masking tape across an eye socket then 'push' it into the socket & hold it there.
Whilst holding the first piece of tape 'in' the eye socket tape around the socket with smaller pieces of tape. Include up the side of the nose cavity too if you have one there. In doing this you will force the foil to retain that shape.
Whilst holding a finger 'in' the 'first' eye socket repeat the proceedure for the second eye.
At this point you can add a small piece of foil to the forehead too if you like.
Now cover the lower face with foil & tape over. At ALL times pull the tape 'tight' & rub it down 'hard' to keep as much of the skull shape as you go. Any small holes or tears you create can easily be repaired with a small piece of tape.
You do not need to cover the entire skull with tape as i have here, but i did so to show you can if you want to, some people like to be thorough like this. In reality you ONLY need add tape to seal the edges of the foil pieces & to hold the shape of the face of the skull. Now cover in paper strips & leave to dry FULLY.
IF you plan to cover your skull(s) with Dragon Skin or some other hard coating you need ONLY cover the skull in 2 layers of news print & 1 layer of standard A4 white printer paper. As in 1 layer of news print then 1 layer of white printer paper, then finally a layer of news print again to finish. IF you simply plan to paint the finished copy then you WILL need to go a little thicker with the paper copy. Do not forget how ever you have to cut this copy free. If you make the copy too thick with paper then cutting it WILL be MORE difficult.