Then I start layering on glue soaked paper. I had this heavy brown paper left over from a job. Later on I began cutting up old paper bags.
Use plenty of glue to hold the cardboard structure together, its actually very strong. I think by using so much cardboard I didn't need to cover the whole thing in paper. Also when putting on the glue soaked paper I had a small space heater fan blowing on it to dry it out, and a sponge to wipe away the excess. This stuff takes a long time to dry, but with the heater fan it drys fairly quickly. You may want to use more paper and glue and cover the entire thing if you want more strength. I experimented on the other side by not covering the styrofoam ear with paper at all. I just covered it in joint compound, and later with a coat of white glue. I managed to make it look exactly like the other side, and it's held up very well even through the parade.
Here I've applied some drywall joint compound for texture. Probably could have used a little more.
Here I've already applied one coat of gesso, some ceiling texture mixed with brown paint, and another layer of brown paint. Also, I've applied a thin wash of the darker paint mixed with acrylic clear coat and spattered some black on it. Next I sponged on some lighter colour paint with a sea sponge.
I brushed on a thin wash of black and clear coat over everything and wiped it off in some areas.
The clear coat may have been a mistake since its glossy, but at least its protective. It makes it look wet.
Later, when it was dry I taped some screen on the mouth from the inside to hide the wearer.
The finished mask in the parade