Xothique's Journal

September 21, 2009

Ebony Tower – White Rabbit Rocks!

Filed under: New Artwork — Xothique @ 11:02 am

I was recently comissioned by up-coming prog rock band Ebony Tower. They wanted me to make something based on the concept art for their latest album, to feature in the promo video for their new song, “White Rabbit.” They wanted something skeletal – ‘Not a nice bunny, a White Rabbit that is representitive of all that’s going wrong in the world today.’

Ebony Tower's White Rabbit

The mask was constructed in papier-mache, fabric and leather, and was one of my most ambitious projects to date.

It was a great honour to be approached, and I hope that I have done their music and vision justice.

Ebony Tower - White Rabbit Classic Rock White Rabbit.

All photos and visual media are copyright 2009 Ebony Tower – used with permission.

February 7, 2008

New mask work in progress, Deviant Art, and digital painting.

Filed under: Blogroll,New Artwork — Xothique @ 2:07 pm

A recent conversation with a dear friend sparked some dark and interesting mask ideas, so following on from the oriental masks I did last month, I’ve remained with papier-mache and am happily experimenting. I’ve done pretty and colourful masks for a while, so it’s high time I indulged my darker side.
I’m currently working on a mask which will have a fine tracery of cracks across its surface, like an antique porcelain doll. It looks creepy already, and I’m quite excited at the effect.

Creepy doll mask

I have also been spending quite a lot of time at Deviant Art. The community is excellent for networking amongst like-minded artists and bouncing ideas around, and I’ve made a few really good friends there. Check out Reincarnations for beautiful hand-painted furniture, and some of the most fascinating candle-holders I’ve seen for a long time.

And finally, I’m continuing to play around with Painter X. I had been using Painter 9.5 for a while, and there is not a great deal of difference between the two, though I’m still happily exploring the possibilities of the golden ratio tool and the real brushes that painter X has to offer. This year I would like to spend more time on my 2D artwork as well as making masks, and hope to have something worthwhile to show very soon. Watch this space…

January 22, 2008

Masks for Venice, and other New Year projects..

Filed under: New Artwork — Xothique @ 10:57 am

Well, the new year started with a wonderful commission – I was approached to make two masks to be worn at the carnival in Venice. The project – an oriental gentleman and a character from the Beijing opera, posed quite a challenge; one of the masks had to have a mandarin style beard! It took some working out, but I eventually devised a way of attaching the beard and weaving it securely into the papier-mache without getting it covered in glue. This photo (click for a larger view) is of the completed masks before ribbons were attached, and I hope to have costume pictures from Venice very soon.

Oriental Style Masks

I’m really pleased with the finished masks. What a great show of faith in my abilities, and what a great boost to my confidence – to have supplied masks for Venice!

This commission has fired my enthusiasm for papier-mache once again, and I’ve been exploring a few new ideas for decoration and experimenting with crackle-glazes and darker themes, inspired by antique dolls. I have also added quite a few new leather masks to my range – check out my sales page to see what’s available.
This year I also want to do more painting and drawing. I miss my watercolours. That said – I have recently bought Painter X and am happily experimenting with it. The real-bristle brushes are fantastic!
Watch out for updates over the next few weeks.

October 2, 2007

Leather Masks

Filed under: New Artwork — Xothique @ 1:27 am

I’ve been making masks out of papier-mache for a few years, now. I have no formal training, but having explored and researched many different techniques on my mask-making journey, I like to think I’ve served my apprenticeship. That is not to say that I am not open to learning new skills; far from it. I have recently discovered the joy of working in leather.

I have always wanted to create leather masks, but shied away from it for several years – I suffer from tendon problems in my arms, and working leather is quite intensive. The thought that I might do myself further injury always put me off. Earlier this year, however, the lovely people at The Identity Store in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, persuaded me to try a small sample of vegetable-tanned leather to see what I could do with it, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s such a gorgeous medium to work with. I love the way it moulds to a form, and the luxurious texture and feel of it. I’ve experimented with different grades of leather and different finishes, and I am confident that I will soon be able to showcase some unique new masks.

The good news is that so far I have been pacing the work quite carefully, and haven’t noticed any worsening of my symptoms. In case anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not giving up papier-maché. I like both media. There are effects that I can achieve in leather that I couldn’t with paper, and vice versa.

I am currently working towards the Hallowe’en and Christmas seasons, so expect to see some new and hopefully interesting designs over the coming months.