Home

by TeacherLem Iglesias

Remember our lesson on ‘How to Create a Superhero’? If you don’t, here’s a LINK to it 🙂

We reinforced and expanded that lesson on 2D drawing and colouring into a lesson on how to transform it into a 3D Papier Mache Sculpture.

And if you think those flat superhero designs were awesome,  wait till you see these freestanding action figures.

Superfriendly-Fantastic-X-Avenging-Marvelous-Men... Assemble!

Superfriendly-Fantastic-X-Avenging-Marvelous-Men… Assemble!

Project Title: PAPIER MACHE ACTION FIGURES

Samples Created by: Year 9

Age: 12-13 Years Old

Materials:

  • Old Newspaper

  • Masking Tape

  • Thin Aluminum Wire

  • Pliers / Wire Cutter

  • Tissue Paper

  • PVA Glue + Water

  • Acrylic Paint

PREPARATION:

Part 1 —

The class had a discussion recalling the previous lessons:

  • Finding an ‘Artist’ and visual ‘Resources’ as inspiration for the project

https://classyartclass.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/design-a-super-hero-artist-and-resource/

  • How to brainstorm for a superhero character and costume

https://classyartclass.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/design-a-super-hero-part-2-mind-map-and-thumb-nails/

  • How to finalise a superhero design

https://classyartclass.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/design-a-super-hero-project-period/

Part 2 —

We grouped the class in pairs and told the students to collaborate one final 3D version.

The partners now need to decide which superhero design to use for the Papier Mache version, since both of them have their own individual concept-drawings from the previous activity.

Once one design is chosen, we had a quick recall lesson on how to draw a *superhero pose/sketch using the worksheet below (here’s a LINK explaining each action pose), and told them to draw different poses using their final superhero design.

Strike a Pose -- and use it on your own Superhero design.

Strike a Pose — and use it on your own Superhero design.

The student-partners have to choose one action pose from their sketches and turn this drawing into a Papier Mache model.

Once they were ready, we proceeded to the Papier Mache phase.

PROCEDURE:

STEP 1: ’EGGS’ and ‘SAUSAGES’

We will refer to the shape of our Papier Mache-head and body as an ‘egg’.

  • Crumple a sheet of old newspaper into the shape of an egg.
  • Wrap it with some masking tape to fix the shape in place.
  • Create 2 eggs– one for the head, one for the body.
  • Create 1 Sphere for hips using the same process.

We will call the arms and legs of our Papier mache figure as ‘sausages’.

  • Crumple sheets of newspaper into the shape of a sausage.
  • Repeat the same procedure above.
  • Create 6 sausages– two arms, two thighs, two legs.

See photo below for reference:

'Eggs' and 'Sausages' Crumpled and Taped.

‘Eggs’ and ‘Sausages’ Crumpled and Taped.

STEP 2: ARMATURE ASSEMBLY

Create a wire armature following the *superhero pose/sketch that the pair created in part two of the procedure above.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to create a Wire Armature via THIS LINK

To make the wire armature stand, we used some heavy cardboard (or try a heavy block of brick or wood or whatever is available in your art room) and fixed the lower part of the armature with more wires and some masking tape– until it stands-up.

After the wire part has been fixed, we attached the ‘eggs’ and ‘sausages’ around the wire frame and wrapped it with more tape– until it’s ‘mummified’ 🙂

See the semi-‘mummified’ version below:

The wire armature serves as the skeleton of the figure and the crumpled newspaper as muscles.

The wire armature serves as the skeleton of the figure and the crumpled newspaper as muscles.

 

STEP 3: TISSUE PAPER LAYER

Now comes the messy-fun part.

  • Mix some PVA Glue and water– 2 parts water, 1 part glue. Check for consistency and follow what’s the best mixture for your class.
  • We asked the students to cut some 2-ply tissue paper into 1”x 1”squares, and use as many tissue paper sheets as needed.
  • Dip one tissue paper square into the glue and water mix and apply it on our ‘mummy’ armature. Repeat this until the whole figure is covered with glue and tissue paper or until the newspaper layer is not seen anymore.
  • Air dry from 24 to 48 hours. The surface of the papier mache figure should be hardened by the mixture of glue and water by then. Otherwise ‘paint’ some layers of pure white glue over the papier mache figure to make it solid.

See photo reference below:

You will know that you're done with this part when the newspaper layer is completely covered in white tissue paper.

You will know that you’re done with this part when the newspaper layer is completely covered in white tissue paper.

STEP 4: SKIN TONE LAYER

We used two ways in colouring the skin tone: Some students preferred the traditional way of painting with a brush. Others chose to use spray paint as seen from our sample photo below. And yes, we agreed that it could be in any colour — like gold?!

Painting with a brush or a can of spray paint is acceptable.

Painting with a brush or a can of spray paint is acceptable.

STEP 5: CREATING THE 3D COSTUME

To create the 3D version of the superhero costume, students should refer to all the drawings and paintings they have done in the previous activities and use them as references to get it right.

It’s the student’s’ option on how to proceed so I step back a while and see how it goes; some would prefer painting the whole costume on the figure, others made the costumes using actual cloth others used a mix of both approaches.

White paint for shirt, shorts and socks, painted over the flesh-coloured skin tone.

White paint for shirt, shorts and socks, painted over the flesh-coloured skin tone.

SAMPLES:

Once they’re all done, everything came out awesome.

Superhero 1: Sketch version

Superhero 1 sketch version.

The pants' colour was modified since purple didn't work for the design in the 3D version.

Superhero 1 in 3D: The pants’ colour was modified since purple didn’t work for the design in the final 3D version

Superhero 2: With an arrow prop.

Superhero 2, with an arrow prop, sketch version.

Superhero 2: The way my students figured out how to create this is fantastic.

Superhero 2: The way my students figured out how to create this is just fantastic.

Here’s more wonderful papier mache-action figures from my Year 9 art students:

Superhero_2_v2_final

Superhero_1_photoshop_v2

POST ACTIVITY: 

If you have some extra time left for your Art period, it’s always a good opportunity to involve the students in evaluating their own work. See our blog post about EXHIBITION, PRESENTATION AND EVALUATION (please create a specific criteria for this project) >>click THIS LINK.

THANK YOUS:

I thank my Year 9 students for a superb job on this project:

clas list_2

Before this fantastic project came to be, we did a similar one several years back with other students, but it was more ‘artsy’ since it was inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s ‘Walking Man II’: Here’s THE LINK for the original ‘Walking Man’.

Here’s THE LINK for our ‘Twerking Man’ and other strange poses.

Thanks for the VIDEO on how to create an armature from RES ART. Here’s their YouTube Page. 

I hope you and your kids will have as much fun as we did with this project. See you next Saturday    🙂

Teacher Lem_signature

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Papier Mache Action Figures by Year 9

  1. I seriously love this project! I think I am going to have to do this with my 7th grade classes, I have a lot of boys in my 7th grade and I think they would love this! Not only the superhero part but the sculpture part as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s