Module 3 - Mask Making & 3D Effects

Module 3: Learn how to use contemporary fine art techniques to create your own original mask.

Also learn how to use 3D effects in creating 2D artwork by studying the work of Modern Masters and the latest mediums used by contemporary artists.

Making masks is a fun way to create something 3 dimensional and unique while learning how to approach the creation of a 3-dimensional artifact. It is a very different process from creating a drawing or a painting and most people find it extremely enjoyable due to its tactile nature.

In recent years, companies like Golden and Liquitex have also started to manufacture incredible mediums and “art potions” what we can use in our art to enhance textures, create sculptural effects and unique raised surfaces, a technique that was used in a variety of traditional forms by relief, wood carving and fresco artists of long ago, even during the Renaissance by artists like Michelangelo. Back in those days though, you could not walk into a store and simply purchase such mediums. You had to create these effects in cumbersome ways and using highly specialized techniques and tools.

Today we have so much variety in options within our reach, tools and mediums we can buy at our local art supply stores like Way Up Art & Frame in Livermore, Flax Art, California Art Supply Co. in San Mateo and Michaels or Joannes in the San Francisco, Belmont, San Carlos or Redwood City and various other stores across the San Francisco Bay Area. But many people don’t know about all these mediums and what they can do with them. It requires skill and experimentation to see what is possible. These mediums are also expensive and many are put off by the high price tag, never to discover the wonders they can create with these supplies. These mediums create effects like coarse texture, medium or fine texture, sandy texture, painterly texture, brush stroke effects, pliable textures for use in canvas and even relief effects.

Mask making has always been an integral part of human history and art history alike. In contemporary art making, we also make masks, though usually for a whole other purpose than ancient cultures would have had for doing so. In ancient or even pre-historic times, masks had great spiritual and mythological significance to tribes and people groups as a whole. They would often represent ancestral spirits or fetishes of some kind. In later times, in places like China and Italy, masks took on a theatrical nature and were often used in theatre productions or as a fun element to enhance festivities or parties.

In today’s contemporary cultural context, masks are often created with an individual meaning behind it, to represent something that the individual wants to communicate through such an artwork or simply as part of a Halloween costume, themed party or a production for the theatre. We use masks to dress up or playfully create our own characters. Even cosplay fans use masks and wigs as part of their costuming.

Superhero masks are a fairly new concept, though it has roots in the masked warrior traditions of cultures like in Asia, where the samurai and ninjas often used to be masked and even European tradition where knights were often masked. We see in ancient African cultures how masks were used to assume other identities and role-play during religious or other rituals. Examples of masks are endless throughout human history.

Learning a variety of techniques for making art should absolutely include studying what can be achieved with textured mediums, fool-the-eye effects, and original mask-making. This interesting approach to art making gives students a wide variety of skills and knowledge about what is possible with enhancing any 2D and 3D art in their own unique ways. These artworks can even be created with acrylic pouring, interference, flow or extender mediums that are mat, satin, semi-gloss or gloss, translucent or opaque, metallic, iridescent or even fluorescent for even greater or more dramatic results.

Fees and Registration

Module Fee: $ 140
Supply Fee: $ 30 (all supplies provided)
Total : $ 170

Fee payable upon registration.


Registration currently closed


Class Availability

Please note that  Modules are not offered concurrently, but offered on a sequential basis.
Consequently, registration will not be available unless there is an upcoming class. Refer to our Timetable for details of class and modules dates.

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