My basic approach for oversized masks is to build the main structure out of cardboard and tape. Many people would use chicken wire, which is fine if you have that sort of thing. But I work on the cheap and I usually have a lot of boxes laying around, so that’s what I use.

I planned to build Shannon with a broad, flared neck forming a stable base, a dramatically large face area to maintain proportion with the neck, and most importantly, a towering beehive hairdo because she is a gorgeous, glamorous monster.

I started by building a wide flange at the base, to sit on my shoulders and dip low on the chest. I knew that once the face was made, there would be a concentration of weight at the front of the mask, and a low-hanging flange would brace against the chest to keep it stable.

From there I built the structure upward, using duct tape (and the tensile strength of the cardboard) to force the flange to maintain its curved bottom shape.

During this first pass, I clearly defined where the jawline would go, but left the face as a large open area until I had built the whole scaffolding. When it came time to figure out the face blocking, I put the mask on and marked out where my eyeline needed to be, and taped a large strip of cardboard above that eyeline, and another one below. These would form the anchors for building Shannon’s actual face.

In my time as a cartoonist, I’ve had occasion to draw sasquatches once in a while, and I have a certain preferred look. My sasquatches have big round muzzles, receding eyes, and extremely heavy brows, and I wanted to realize that in three dimensions. From the cardboard strip above the eyeline, I started building her brow, and from the strip below the eyeline, I used more cardboard to sculpt a bold, jutting muzzle. Then I used cardboard and masking tape to seal off the entire structure and applied a layer of paper mache over the whole thing. Now I had a full base to work on!

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