I am blessed with good friends, like my pottery friend Mariana, who gave me feedback on my dragon mask, that "Except for the defined eyebrows he looks like an ancient dragon. Old and grizzled." As soon as I read her comment, I knew she was right. I knew there was something that wasn't quite right yet. So I went back and grizzled the eyebrows, and then I was happy with it :
Tonight I got daring, and carved away a lot of the extra clay. Sadly, I couldn't do this without breaking off the very fine tips of some of the embellishments, but I think it still looks good. First I firmed up the front of the mask with a hair dryer, and then I flipped it onto a soft foam, to carve the back. Then I sat the mask upright, and carved some more by reaching "inside" from the top of the head. I was impressed by how much I managed to carve away. Since it will hang indoors, I don't want it to be too heavy for our wall.
This photo shows the trimmings. I think over time I can learn to be even more aggressive, and make even lighter masks, but I was content with this for now. It's much more than I've trimmed from my previous masks.
Here's one last look at this handsome creature, from the side :
My 15-year-old was troubled by the twisted mouth. I can see his point, but I really like that part. It is so different for me to experiment like this. I can't wait to try a 4th dragon mask!