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How-To: Hockey Masks


Hockey Masks

by David Gunnarsson

I love to paint hockey masks. Every day it’s a different paint job, everything from old-school graphics to true-fire flames, whether it’s a cartoon-y style or realistic art. I have fun every day. The job is not only to paint the masks, it´s also design work – the whole concept or theme must look good and be well connected. And also the masks need to be as visible as possible at a long distance, so I work with strong contrasts, often with an outline.

Step 1:


Step 1

This step-by-step report is from a mask I painted for an American goalie that wanted to honor his grandfather, who fought in the World War II. The goalie also works with airplanes. This netminder is a big fan of the hockey masks I create for NHL goalie Johan Hedberg, who always wears fun, cartoon-y mooses on his masks, doing cool stuff. Last season, Hedberg sported a mask of the Moose as a Pirate from the Moosibbean.

The goalie and I discussed the plan, then I came up with an idea for his mask and he liked it.

On one side I painted a moose as a pilot in an old-style airplane, with bombs and stuff. The moose I paint in a cartoon style as he wanted, a mix between film and freehand paint with lots of 3D effects. This is how it started.

Step 2:


Step 2

On the chin of the mask, I painted his favorite football players number with his team logo, as a cool tribute.

Step 3:


Step 3

Here is the Moose in his airplane, attacking with bombs…

Step 4:


Step 4

Here I’ve painted the background blue with some clouds, I also incorporated a cool composite pattern look in the blue. Gives some nice 3D effects. Over the airplane, you see some metal ripped up, so it looks like the moose is flying through an old metal wall.

Step 5:

Step 5

On the other side of the mask, I’ve painted it as an old metal wall, close up, to be rusty just as you look close on an old-school airplane. The metal is ripped here and there. The goalie also wanted an old-school pinup girl on the mask, just like the ones pilots had painted on the planes during the World War II. I’ve masked the area where I will paint the pinup girl. I used two different base colors on each side of the mask, one side grey and the other blue. It gives a cool effect when the mask is turned around from side to side.

Step 6:


Step 6

The chin area is more or less finished. The two white lines were also special wishes from the goalie, inspired from sports cars.

Step 7:


Step 7

The last step is to finish the pinup girl. I freehand painted her with an old-style looking. I painted her look like a sticker, you see her foot and arm peels off from the metal surface from behind, another cool detail. This picture is a bit out of focus – it’s easier to see on the photos when the mask is finished.

Check out more of David Gunnarsson’s art at Daveart.com.


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