Art Mask: Paint a Gorgeous & Wearable 3-D Watercolor Mask | Jessie Kanelos Weiner | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Art Mask: Paint a Gorgeous & Wearable 3-D Watercolor Mask

teacher avatar Jessie Kanelos Weiner, Watercolor illustrator & author

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Intro

    • 3. Tools & supplies

    • 4. Mask Technique 101

    • 5. Brainstorming & Research

    • 6. Mask 1

    • 7. Mask 2: Pop Culture

    • 8. Mask 3: Art Mask

    • 9. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Need some pandemic joy? Create a gorgeous, 3-D, couture custom watercolor mask!


In this course, students will learn how to create a stunning 3-D watercolor mask. This course is for anyone who would like to express themselves and create wearable art using watercolor. I’ll walk students through a few methods of translating their drawing from 2-D to 3-D in 3 different masks, from the simplest to the most conceptual. Some watercolor experience is ideal, but students are encouraged to use any medium of their choice.

 Suggested Materials

  • sketching materials (paper/sketchbook, pencil and eraser) 
  • 1 surgical mask
  • watercolors and heavy-duty watercolor paper (300g/m) to avoid warping)
  • scissors & an Xacto knife
  • cutting surface
  • needle and thread

I’m a professional illustrator and author of several books. Although I create watercolors for brands like Free People, Chevrolet and Nespresso, my greatest joy in life is my hobby of making one-off watercolor objects and giving them to the people I love.  Masks are the must-have accessory so I hope to help you turn your watercolors into something to more easily share with the world IRL. In a past life, I worked in costume design for stage and film. I’ve sewn theatrical costumes in costumes shops and theatre companies. It’s always fun to merge my two worlds. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Watercolor illustrator & author


Paris by way of Chicago & NYC. Illustration by way of costume design. I've published in The New Yorker. I've drawn an Oreo hotdog for Vogue. Welcome to my watercolor world!

I illustrate all things food, travel, lifestyle and architecture for clients like WSJ, NYT and Chevrolet. Lately I've enjoyed drawing the humor found in life as a new mom, being a long-term American in Paris and making sense of this crazy time.



I've taught watercolor workshops all over the world and teach drawing/illustration at The Paris College of Art.  I was once a young artist who didn't know "what" to draw. Let me teach you everything I've learned along the way.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Trailer: It was dahlia season, I thought, wouldn't it be great to just cover a mask with dahlias? and share a little bit of joy with the world, especially in these dark and scary times. My name is Jesse Kanelos Weiner. I'm a professional illustrator. I work for clients like Vogue, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. But one of the things I love to do most is to extend my creative practice and make crafty objects for friends and family. A costume inspired by a map for my son, humungous food illustrations for Halloween costumes, banners and lampshades, and lots of things, I think it's just fun to be able to share your work in a different context and in a different way. In this course, I'll teach students how to create a stunning watercolor 3-dimensional mask. Think about using your surgical mask as a canvas. So you are confined to certainly surface area. And from there I'll walk you through some tips to really thinking, not just about it being beautiful, yes, of course, But also translating a certain concept onto this very structured amount of space. And this will go from the simplest to the most conceptual. This course is for anyone who'd like to express themselves and create wearable art using watercolor. You can use any media that you prefer, but I myself use watercolor. I go into it in my previous courses, "Stuck at Home Self-Portait" and "Watercolor Maps", Being at stuck at home can be a drag, but leaving the house can have impact. even if you are just going to the grocery store. You could also be something special to where on the wedding day and if you leave the house, you might as well make it impactful. In a previous life, I worked in costume design for stage and film So I know a little bit about constructing wearable things. So I'll share a little bit of tips along the way. So the end of this year, we'll be left with a beautiful 3D maps that you can wear at public, it can share a political message or can share an interest in yours, are just sparked a little bit of joy. So I hope you'll join me and let's have a little bit of fun and make a mask. Or three. 2. Intro: This course will be broken down into a couple of sections. The first section is tools and supplies, everything you need to create this beautiful artefact of these times. The second section is just about sketching and brainstorming and putting together all the ideas that you need to execute something that's evocative of something in pop culture or inspired by an image in particular, et cetera. And then I will execute three different masks on camera, ranging in complexity, from the simplest to the most conceptual. And I'll walk you through all the micro decisions that I make along the way to create something that is evocative and also a successful illustration in its own right. But the first one is just a repeated pattern, so I'll be making a heart mask. The second is inspired by pop culture, which is inspired by my favorite movie, "The Wizard of Oz", but it could be anything that you want. The next mask is inspired by "Still Here Still Life", which is a drawing challenge on Instagram. So you can see these are just propositions and kinda ways to run wild with your thoughts. And then from there you can update it based on your own interests and your own inspirations. And just a final disclaimer, these masks are purely decorative. And you should still follow the rules of the mask provider just to make sure that you are safe. Of course, it'll be sewing directly onto the masks. If you're going out in public, I recommend doubling the mask and just don't sue me. Okay? So at the end of this, you will be left with a beautiful 3D mask. That you can wear in public. It can share a political message or it can share an interest in yours, or just spark a little bit of joy. 3. Tools & supplies: Here are all the tools you will need to execute this gorgeous mask. So first of all, you'll need a surgical mask. You could potentially use a fabric one, but I'm just gonna keep it standard and use one of these. Be sure to respect the instructions on the mask. And if you're making this for someone else I recommend wearing gloves so that you don't contaminate it and don't try it out yourself if you're giving it to someone else. And I'll be using watercolors because that's what I use, but feel free to use whatever you like. Just make sure they aren't toxic. So for example, if you are coloring with a Sharpie, you're huffing Sharpie fumes, so just be cautious about what you're putting on your face and if it's toxic or not. So this is a watercolour paper that I'll be using. It's 300 grams per meter squared. As you can see here, it's pretty thick. And this will hold nicely when you are working with a mask because you don't want things to budge and to warp too much. So the thicker the paper, the better. And I also like using this because it doesn't warp when I painted and that can cause issues later on. So and the thicker the better. And this is also satin-finish which I really like because it's really smooth, but use whatever watercolor paper you like. Just make sure that it has a little bit of body to it. You'll need a cutting surface. I'm going to use the back of this paper because I can't find my cutting board. You'll need some scissors and also an Exact-O knife if you're doing really fine details. Also, you'll need some research materials like an iPhone or a computer. And finally, you'll need a needle and thread. So these are all things you probably have already. Also just a few watercolor additions, I'll be using a bit of paper towel just to dab my colors and also to pick up any potential mistakes. And then I also use a big jar of water colorwater. Okay, so now you have everything you need and let's get started. 4. Mask Technique 101: Before we begin, I'm just going to talk to you a little bit through draping. Draping is how fabric is manipulated to take the form of the human body so it fits it well. If you were to cut the top off of a pillowcase and put it on your head. It wouldn't look like much of anything. It wouldn't look like a corset. A corset is constructed of lots of thin pieces of fabric and boning and structure to recreate the human form and to accentuate it. So with that said, to begin, let's try on a mask without manipulating it. So as you can see here, it's a sitting on my face and there's no structure involved. However, if I were to take it off and put it back on again in the style of the instructions of the mask. Going to pinch the nose and pull down the bottom. You can see already that it formed the structure of my face. You can see that I have a chin. When I take it off, It maintains some structure. And this is the structure that you'll be working from. This also means that you will have more surface area to cover and how you're determining how many illustrations to add to your mask. You wanna make sure that it's about double the size of the mask itself. So that means this times two. And since this is something that you will where you want to make sure that it looks more couture than crafty. And the second thing to consider is creating little illustrations that are not bigger than one or two inches because you want to have nice overlap and if they're too chunky, you'll lose some of the structure of the mask itself. This is when it becomes little arts and crafts-y. So keep the objects themselves small and overlap them as much as possible. So now you have a couple of things to keep in mind moving forward. And in the next lesson I'm going to walk you through the heart mask. 5. Brainstorming & Research: In this lesson, I'm going to walk through brainstorming and sketching and putting together aa concise idea. Before I begin, I'm going to open up Pinterest. Of course this isn't a revolutionary thing to do because it's a reference point for a lot of creative people. But since I wanted to do a repeated heart pattern for my first mask, I just looked up watercolor heart pattern. And all these options are perfectly lovely, but they all look the same and there's not really anything new there to inspire me. So with that said in the past, I have put together a lot of different mood boards just based on different interests and different palettes. So this is a favorite of mine, it's still lives and beauty products. And I really like this moodboard because it's graphic. It tells a color story in a different way. And it also gives a good perspective on texture, which is always an important element of my work. Even just looking this already, I'm super inspired much more than just looking at water olor hearts alone. And another big influence with my past in costume design IS fabric. So this is another mood board that I like. It is all swatches and just other colors, stories that can ignite some kind of spark of creativity or inspiration. So you see some velvet ribbon, you see some makeup samples as well. But for me, color is what inspires me more than the subject matter itself. So sometimes you just what inspires you. And other big influence on my work is nature. So here's another mood board of plants. Already, this would be perfect for these masks because there's a lot of overlap and a lot of potential for creating a botanical story. This would be perfect for a masl, oranges in context. So looking at this it's perfect, lot of overlap, a lot of green tones, a lot of really beautiful images here. So I'm just going to continue looking, looking, looking. So if you are stumped about what you wanna do, do your research and research is all about, the fire to fuel the project. Oh, I see an image that I really like. Look at how beautiful this is. I think these are ginko leaves that I'm gonna save this one for later. I love the color so beautiful, so much nuance, even just in one shape and lovely texture to. And another inspiration that I fall back on is mapmaking as I make maps myself. But since these master made up a collage of lots of different elements, I thought that they resemble maps in their own way. So here are some Paris maps and when parents, so it's always a big inspiration and love black and white with a pop of color as well. So these are all things I'll consider moving forward. And creating mask with some text is a good way to share a message or create a little bit of intrigue. Now hopefully your creative juices are flowing and you're ready to start sketching out your own mask. So in your first assignment, I encourage you to take out some scratch paper and just start putting together some ideas from the simplest to the most complex. So think about composition. Yes, this is a decorative obvious that you're wearing, but I could also tell a story in a specific way or share something about you or one of your interests. So just have fun with it and show you all about how to construct this famous mask in the next lesson. 6. Mask 1: In this lesson, I'll show you how to execute a hard mask. So this is the most simplest, just a reoccurring motif. But there are some little things that you can think about to make it really special. What I love the most about sketching is it really is the blueprint for the drawing. So it's a moment torque at any composition issues to really understand the form and how the final peaceful function. So as you can see here, I obviously know how to draw heart to him. If you don't, then you find a good place and skill share. But this is just to really understand the size of things I'm going to make and also how all the pieces fit together. At this point you can see our lovely Mask and I'm just going to start building up the scholars and the composition. As you can see, I could have just done a straight across rainbow, but I like doing more of a diagonal Andre effect. So I'm just going to see if they have enough cards. I'm gonna continue cutting it out if need be. And I'll be ready to start sewing. If you're new to silly, then I'll just show you a few basics to start attaching these hearts. So i'm going to thread my needle like so I'm just gonna pull it through and we're gonna do a double thread. Which means that I'm going to tie a knot to connect the two ends like this. Hopefully you can see this on this camera. And I'm sure that there are many great specific selling courses on skill share. I mean, I'll be using the technical terms because I'm a little obsolete when it comes to sewing and costume design, but nonetheless is how I do it. So I'm gonna make it two knots, as you can see here, now that our needle is threaded and we're gonna get started. Okay? So I put some sticky tack on these just to hold them in place if you're curious why they're not moving. So I'm going to take the needle and go under. Since we have a good night, it's completely secure now. And I'm just gonna do about to tax, I'm going to let your fingers. I'm just gonna create a little stitch about a couple million. Here's LA, and I'm just going to double it up just so that the mask is fully in place and the vent. And since no one was seeing the other side is, you could secure art by heart. But for the sake of time, I'm just going to continue stitching onto the next one ticket. See how it overlapped the first part and the second heart. And was gonna do the exactly the same thing. I think a couple of millimeters stitch up the thread underneath and then try to find that first hole to continue adding your hearts until you run out of thread and then to secure it on the back end for you get a new thread. You're just going to use a needle and make a loop in the thread. And then I'm going to make a knot by putting the needle through the loop and securing it. And then I'll do the same once more on the same loop. Okay? Then I'll cut this thread another needle and continue adding every time. So in case you're curious what it'll look like at the end of the day. Of course, this is the quick and dirty method, but this is what the back of it looks like when to all of the pieces are attached. Ok. So I had a teacher in school who is always curious about taking the back and the inside of the clothes on project or when it runway just because it shows you all of the work that has gone into it, this structure. So this is kind of a fun thing to see. If you want to take your maps go one step further and I think that you can do is fold the paper and cut it a little bit. So for example, if I fold these hearts and half like this and I attach them, then you get a really great texture and they almost look like the wings of butterflies. So that's something to play around with. It can be nice to mix folded versions with the flat versions. Another little tip is if you're using flowers or something else that has a little bit of texture. If you cut each petal like this, then you can use a round object to curl the petals. So you have almost a pedal like effect. Let me show you. Just going to use a paint brush, just curl the petals a little bit. You can see already that that really brings it to life and add a whole other dimension to our mask and just gonna continue sewing. And by the end of this, we'll have a beautiful mask that I should have a beautiful heart mask or another mass, a repeated pattern of your choice. And in the next lesson. 7. Mask 2: Pop Culture: In this lesson, I'm going to create a mask is inspired by "The Wizard of Oz". Here we have my trusty moodboard that I fall back on whenever I needed. But at first glance, I see a lot of green, emeralds and poppies. So since these are complimentary colors AKA on the opposite end of the color wheel, I'm going to include these in my second mask. And it also replicates that iconic moment of the film where the fab 4 is to the Emerald City through a field of puppies. Here is my condensed mood board and I think I'm ready to start sketching. This is the great thing about sketching is oftentimes great ideas come from it. So I'm going to create a diagonal on the mask. The top half is poppies and the bottom is emeralds. So with that said, thinking of theshape of the face, no matter what direction you're head is turned, you can see both the red and the green. And this will be very impactful. Here we have our "Wizard of Oz" illustrations all ready to go. So as you can see, there's a clear contrast between the red and the green, which are complimentary colors, meaning they are at opposite ends of the color wheel. And then I was also tempted just to add a yellow brick road. So I'm gonna see if I can play around with this and maybe incorporate it in a clever way so it can really create a nice transition between the colors as well. With that said, I'm going to start cutting these out and playing around on a mask. In my mind, I think of the Emerald City as being more in the background. So you can see it kinda put everything on this diagonal like this. But I think that maybe if I switch the angle to this way, then it'll be more resemblant of that iconic image of Dorothy and the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion walking to the distance to the horizon line and we see this beautiful Emerald City. So I'm just going to rearrange it and see if it looks better. And just keep this in mind when you're putting things together that you can always update things no matter what state you're at. Looking at this, I think I'm going to go this route just because it's a little bit more harmonious. And I think an editorial illustration, if we're thinking about The Wizard of Oz, yes, you could include Dorothy and the Tin Man and the Scarecrow and Toto too, and the flying monkeys. But sometimes it's really about just taking one or two elements from that film. And it's one of the reasons I pick this film too, is because it's so iconic. But you can see just the contrast between the red and the green is really beautiful. And even just repeating the same motif over and over again really gives us some beautiful impact. As you can see, this is coming along and it's taking the form of my face. I see a little bit of blue space here. So it might add a little gemstone or something just in there. And just so that it's a little bit more couture, not crafty. If you're hesitant about your mask and if it's just try it on. Ok, so this looks like I've got a good diagonal line here. And I think I'm ready to put in the red flowers, so there's about half and half. So I'm going to start building up the poppies. This is how are looking now I see a little bit of white space or blue space I should say. I'm just going to make a couple of more elements and add these. And I think we're good to go. Here we have our final mask inspired by "The Wizard of Oz". And as you can see there's no empty space on the mask. And I think it looks quite good. Perhaps the green part can be placed a little further up just to get a good color blocking effect. But otherwise, I'm pretty happy with this one. It looks quite nice, give it a try see how you do. And this would be a beautiful thing to wear to a "Wizard of Oz " costume party but alas. May someday. Now you should have a beautiful "Wizard of Oz" or pop cultur- inspired mask. And the next step, I'll teach you how to take it one step further. 8. Mask 3: Art Mask: This is this week's prompt, which I really like. It's super graphic. Very colorful. So I'm just going to sketch a little idea here just based on this. So I like drawing with Sharpie. I've always had a heavy hand and I just think that Sharpie is especially suited to what I'm doing, but it's just a confident line. So first I'm going to draw this leaf here, which is great. And then I think this is a dragon fruit. These might be a little bit too big, but I might find a way to cut these so that they lay a little bit differently. Or I can add some texture so these lines might be cut. This is all pattern making stuff that I'm flashing back to from my costume design days So I think the whimsy in this is trying to incorporate elements that aren't just the fruit themselves. So I'm going to try to add the cloche. Maybe that's too much. Some plums and the cut dragon fruit. So even if it's a mask and completely out of context from the photo itself, still try to incorporate as much of the ambiances you can't because that's what makes it really kinda quirky and original. So this is kinda like a Carmen Miranda style head piece that you can wear on your face. How fun is that? This is a really great start and it's going to be really fun. Mask to wear eventually, here we have the watercolors that I just started. So if you're curious about my own watercolor technique, I encourage you to look back on my previous courses, "Stuck at Home Self-Portrait and "Watercolor Maps". I'm not gonna go deeply into it here, but as you can see, watercolor works especially well with this because it's super vibrant and really is evocative of the photo that is inspiring this mask. Think of it as a bouquet of flowers with several different types of flowers in it. It's harmonious, there's contrast. The green is always a good contrast to the deeply saturated warm colors. So just think of it as a harmonious bouquet that you want to put together. So with that said, I'm going to continue drawing and we're gonna start cutting these out and assembling them. So as you can see here, I've played around a little bit with the size of certain elements, I exaggerated them a little bit. So the thing is with still life in general is you want it to be a good mix of different textures and proportions and volumes and transparencies, et cetera. So I went to the mask to represent that as well. So as you can see, I added also a curtain here just to add a little bit of a decorative element and to give it a little bit of context, even though it's completely absurd. So that's where it's at now and am gonna continue adding until it's completely full. And I'm really looking forward to wearing this.... to the grocery store. Okay, so this is what I've got here. It looks quite a bit more like the still life actually because they added these little background rectangles and add a little bit of context. And then these kinda like tortilla chips at the moment, but I'm going to add them below here just to kind of recreate the, the horizontal line to create a contrast with the beautiful still life. So another thing to think about, because it's all just kind of looks like a total jumble is I'm going to add some shadow just to differentiate each object. Let's see here. So you can see that as of now they're all clumped together. It looks nice, but I just wanted to make this look as good as a normal still-life or look even if I'm just wearing it. Gonna add some black here. And sometimes the way on the watercolor here, for example, I just wanted to differentiate the two objects. So have fun with this. This is totally out of left field, but it's fun just to think differently about your work and putting it into a different context. And to share a little bit of joy. Now you should have a beautiful mask inspired by a still life or a piece of photography. Now it's time for you to get brainstorming and putting some creative works together. 9. Conclusion: Congratulations, you have one or three beautiful, breathtaking masks. Just don't wear them out in the rain and remember that they are very fragile. So with that said, please upload your work down below, I'll be sure to give you feedback and tag me if you are sharing your beautiful mask with the world and follow me on Instagram. I'm Jesse Kanelos Weiner. Thank you so much for your time and energy. And I look forward to seeing what you put into this assignment. I'll be back with my next course very shortly. Take care, much love for Paris and don't drink the watercolor water.