Tortured Soul

Every graveyard needs a few ‘ground breakers’

I like the idea of the undead being confused and upset over their change in (un)living arrangements

The goal is to build a ground breaker looking heavenward.  With his hands loosely clasped he seems to be crying “Why?”

So here’s the poor, unfortunate tortured soul.

This project is all  paper mache.Materials
- Newspaper
- Coat Hangers
- Flour
- White Glue
- Shop Towels/Paper Towels
- Paper Clay (or substitute)
- Scrap wood, screws, anything else that looks useful
- Paint

Part 1 - Basic Shape


The head was created using crumpled scrap paper, adding a layer of paper at a time until a ball of proper size was created.  Masking tape was used to retain hold the newspaper together  Smaller wads of newspaper formed the nose, mouth  and eye socket.

The Mache mix was a flour/water mix.  This was applied on the base shape to give a hard surface to work with when dry.

The head was attached to scrap wood nailed together in a 't' shape.
This formed the neck/spine and shoulders.

A glue/water mix was then used with blue shop towels to refine the face

Part 2 - Hands and arms


The hands were formed in the same fashion as 'Frank'

The arms are discarded cardboard giftwrap cores (the tubes in the center of the giftwrap package)

Paper mache is applied to the tubes.  The hand construction has an extended coat hanger wire attached at the wrist.  The wire runs through the arm tubs and provides an attachment point to the shoulder.

Part 3 - Body Work


The body needed some details, so tightly rolled newspaper was attached to the 't' frame in an oval shape. This provided a ribcage structure.

In hind sight, more ribs would have been better.

On top of the ribs and body more shop towel (in a glue/water mix) was lightly laid.  The idea was for the towel to look like hanging skin and also show the rib details.

A preliminary coat of black paint was added to the eye sockets, nose and mouth.

A top set of teeth were added using paper clay. A paint mix of grey, green and tan was applied liberally over the entire surface.

Black and brown paint was used to emphasise the ribs and other shadows.  This layer of paint is applied with a dry brush.

Refinements to the eye socket ridges, and nose cavity were achieved with paper clay.

A bottom set of teeth were added using paper clay after the top set dried.

He looks good and I think it would be fine to stop here.  But he doesn't look 'soulful' yet.


Part 4- Eyes


The eyes were created with Crayola Model Magic.  I'm sure any type of clay would work.

The blank eyes are kind of creepy, and this may be another point to finish the process.

I wanted him to be 'looking heavenward'.


The pupils are colour printouts glued to the eye base.Several layers of clear varnish were applied over the eyes to get a wet look.

A clear sealant is needed to protect the surface from the elements.

That's it.  He's ready to be  propped in front of a grave stone.
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