Halloween Countdown Event Begins!


Halloween draws ever closer. I've been working on a large mache project for this year that's a bit more ambitious than things I've attempted in the past. With our recent launch on Youtube, it seemed like the perfect time to branch out into other kinds of media. That said, let me introduce the latest entry in my line of wearable masks.

This is the "Faceless Summoner", Ardelrius. As I did with Trinitus, I have prepared some lore to go with this post.

Legends say the creature was once a man. Unfortunate enough to be born in a realm of brutality and monsters, this man must have sought power. Desperation drives many to extremes and it pushed this man to seek out the ancient relic. He found it deep within a secluded temple long forgotten, the ancient binding runes worn away with time. At the temple's center was an alter with a single object piercing its platform. The object resembled a thin, skeletal tree adorned with glowing "eyes". Hanging from the tree was the mask itself. Not much else is known but after that, a man ceased to exist. Instead, a creature began to roam the land. It was human shaped, cloaked in a black robe and carrying the tree-like staff. Appearing throughout the legends, the creature simply called itself "Ardelrius" and was rumored to be in search of those wielding great strength. What power did the "Tree of Souls" it carried possess?

Front View

Side View
Ardelrius is the second attempt I've made to create a wearable mache mask using Dan Reeder's techniques. Unlike Trinitus, this one is meant to be a much more simplistic design. It's almost featureless, lacking a nose, ears or any other distinguishing characteristics. My intent was to use the design and its erratic color scheme to create an unsettling image. The face is expressionless  and that's sometimes more fearsome that something that's outright monstrous.

As shown in the spotlight video, Ardelrius was created using a simple foil head impression as a shell. I added a first layer of cloth and glue skin in order to give it a rigid structure to build upon. I then added the minimal features using paper, tape and glue before adding a final skin layer to seal it all together. The paint was done quickly and intentionally messy which is why the black markings aren't symmetrical. The blackwashing brought the colors out and ended up giving the mask a sort of burnt flesh look. I used a simple robe and black nitrile gloves for the outfit.

The Tree of Souls was a late developing idea. I had sketched out Ardelrius' design a long time ago but the staff became necessary as you'll see later. Creating it was very simple and started with a metal broom stick. I built out the trunk using newspaper, thick gauge wire hangers, and copper wire to bind everything together. The "Eyes" are glass stones and the final layer of skin was sheets with glue again. I'm happy with the texturing of the staff. It looks and feels like dried bark which is what I wanted.

Ardelrius' spotlight video also includes a piece of concept art drawn by TyvridKizuna. He has graciously agreed to create a concept sketch for each piece in the "Summoner" series and you can see the individual drawings on his page. I've also given him permission to paste the accompanying lore segments into his posts for the concept art.

So that's pretty much it for this design. The Halloween event will continue until the end of the month. Each day there will be a new video in the series and an accompanying post here, on Youtube, and on Deviant Art. At some point in the future, I will be uploading short Speed Drawing videos of each emblem I designed for this series as well.

Stay tuned!