Special Effects & Make-up Artistry

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Further Media Make-up and Postiche Semester One.

It’s all about the hair this Semester!

In Media Make-up, we are now branching out and learning about other fields within the industry such as Postiche.

Postiche is the manufacture and application of false hair from Beards to head dresses.

For our first task, we need to construct and apply a realistic moustache. How fun!

To start things off, we began to learn about knotting and how to do it, at first this seems utterly impossible but if you keep at it, it becomes a breeze! And rather therapeutic.

Hair knotting for facial hair begins with a wooden block, a black piece of card, a small hammer, nails and a small piece of net.

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This was just so we could practise our knotting technique, you will need a pattern of your models top lip shape and moustache style underneath the netting if you were to create a practical piece of Postiche. (Explained Later)

The first thing to do is to sellotape the black card onto the board. After this, lay the netting on top of the card and begin hammering the nails into the edges of the net so it becomes nice and tight all the way round. This bit gets noisy!

Now for the hard bit, I promise you it gets easier!

You will need a knotting hook, be careful as it is quite sharp and jagged at the end.

http://www.dauphines.co.uk/p-german-knotting-hook-ventilating-needle.htm

http://www.dauphines.co.uk/p-knotting-hook-holder-plastic.htm

We received a leaflet explaining the knotting process so I will use that to describe it as it is quite hard to explain!

Hold hook in dominant hand like a pencil.

Fold around 10 hairs over at the root end, fold over around 4cm and hold tightly.

Slide hook under 1 bar of netting.

Hook the hair over the hook to catch a couple of hairs.

After catching, pull the hook back under the bar bringing the hair with it keeping a good tension.

Slide the loop of hair to the corner or curve of the hook and slide the hook forward.

Pull the hook with the hair back towards your hand, wrap the hair in your hand over the top of the needle.

Turn the hook away from you.

Pull the hair that you just wrapped through the loop you first made.

pull hair part way, tighten the knot with your left hand and pull the rest of the hair through with your right.

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No, I didn’t get it either.

But you will with plenty of practise. After a few hours battling I finally got the hang of it!

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There is the practise, now on to the real thing!

If you have any questions about this post, please feel free to ask anything about the relevant subject and I will get back to you as soon as possible! :)

Intermediate Prosthetics assessment concept.

I forgot to mention the assignment brief in the last Prosthetics post! Oops!

Our brief this year requires us to design, manufacture, apply, colour and remove a silicone prosthetic amongst other things such as; a sketch book and essay but we won’t go in to that part.. ;)

At the end of our first lesson with Martin, he advised us to start working on a concept for our prosthetics. (No messing about here!) So I went home and did alot of research! I decided that I want to incorporate rope bondage into my design, I love body contortion and rope can force the body into some beautiful shapes that make for a great image. Now for the prosthetic, I was struggling to find an idea I liked so I just started sketching and finally came up with the one!

Here is a picture of my sketch.

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I wanted my model to show signs of struggle in her body and face and came up with a ‘futuristic’ mechanical device that wraps around the victims face, if it is tampered with in anyway the device begins to clasp tighter into the victims face slowly burrowing the sharp ends into their skin making for an extremely painful escape attempt.

My imagination went wild after this, seeing my model hung by her wrists from meat hooks in an abandoned slaughter house freezer, raw meat and half pig carcasses. What’s not to get excited about!? :P

I also thought about using Cataract contact lenses and running mascara for that extra sign of struggle and torture.

Too much? Naah, I don’t think so!

I’m really excited to build on this concept! And let’s hope I can turn it into a reality! (As a prosthetic design of course..) :P

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to comment on the relevant post and I will get back to you as soon as possible! :)

Work Based Learning Semester One.

So Work Based Learning is completely self directed this year which is a nice change, I believe this way we will be prepared for when we have to organise events, jobs and shoots as individuals in our freelance work. I feel good not to rely on the tutors so much! I’m sure the rest of my class agrees too.

The brief basically revolves around working together to find an appropriate photographer for our final assessments and finding ways of raising the money that is needed to cover the photographers time, prints etc..

We have been attending fort nightly meetings to discuss finding a photographer that covers all individual tastes and the majority agree is suitable for our assessments.

Having seen photographic work recommended by each person in our class, as a group we decided on Emily Nicolle Bailey.

http://www.enbphotography.co.uk/

She is a very talented photographer and has many different tastes and styles which is essential because we will be working individually on our make-up designs. She has also been so kind as to give us a group discount which is an extra bonus!

In the meeting, I recommended Clinton Lofthouse Photography, his style of work is very unique and is amazing to look at but the group agreed that he would be perfect for our Intermediate Prosthetics assessment. So I am currently in the process of organising the Prosthetics shoot with him.

http://www.clintonlofthousephotography.com/

Please check their work out! They are both amazing!

I look forward to working with both of them! :)

Intermediate Prosthetics Semester One. Creating the mould and Life Casting.

Our first lesson began on the 24th of September, straight back into it! Just how I like it! Our tutor for this Semester is Martin Hanson, Head of Life casting at Madame Tussauds London. How lucky are we!

http://www.madametussauds.com/London/

The lesson he had planned for us was to create a life cast of our faces. He began with a demonstration of using Alginate and plaster bandage to create a negative of our faces.

Alginate is a form of moulding material that is spread onto a specific area and solidifies within around 10 minutes, it is then gently pulled away from the skin and replicates an exact negative of that area. WARNING. If applying Alginate to the face, ALWAYS leave the nostrils clear so your model can breath.

http://www.mouldlife.net/alginate-1171-p.asp

We started in groups of three, first we applied Vaseline to any facial hair and piercings on our model, this is important because without it, hair and piercings will stick to the Alginate, making removal uncomfortable for the model.

With an Eyeliner pencil, we drew a dotted line around the edges of the face, this is to guide us when applying the Alginate.

The Alginate we used was Mouldlife Life Form Part A and Part B. To cover a face you need three big dollops of each into a bowl and mix vigorously. Once the two parts have been mixed, you only have a limited time to apply so you need to act fast!

This is an old picture but the application looks a little something like this!

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Once the Alginate has just nearly set it’s time to start with the plaster bandage.

We use plaster bandage to give extra support for the Alginate. We cut around 4 strips of bandage and folded both ways before dipping it in hot water.

Slide off the excess water and apply to the face, again, keep the nostrils clear and leave to set.

Think of it as having an extreme face mask! That’s what I do and I enjoy it! I’m definitely the first one to have their hand up to be a model!

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When the plaster bandage has set, approx 10 minutes, it’s time to remove.

Tip your models head forward and hold some of the weight of the mould. This stuff gets heavy! Ask them to furrow their brow and move their jaw up and down to break the suction. Slowly but surely, the mould should release its self and you will be left with a negative of your models face.

NOW  ON TO THE CAST.

Secure the mould on to a wooden board, or table! Doesn’t really make a difference, aslong as it isn’t a £2000 vintage, designer, bespoke piece of furniture.. :P

Apply a little bit of Vaseline to the edges of the plaster bandage as plaster bonds to it’s self so you need some kind of release agent around the edges!

Begin filling the Alginate with plaster, sorry guys, you’ve got to be patient with this because for a while, it may seem that it’s not latching to the Alginate but it will!

Once half way to the top of your mould, apply two layers of Scrim, now this is a ropey, fabricy material that gives the plaster extra strength.

Apply another layer of plaster, making sure that all the Scrim is covered and then leave to set. Approx 30 minutes.

Once it has set, pry the two parts apart using a blunt tool. May take some elbow grease!

This was my end result, My life cast of my models face.

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Creepy right?

The big block on the nose is normal as it remains open through out the process but it is easily chipped away!

So this is all we could fit in one day! I couldn’t wait to start planning my assessment piece!

Please, if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask! Comment on the relevant post and I will get back to you as soon as possible. :)

The start of Year Two.

So this is it! The beginning of the second academic year! And I have to say that I have never been more ready for it!

Over the Summer, I did alot of soul searching, experimenting and discovering to find my individual niche within this huge industry. Dragging inspiration from my past, who I am as an individual and those little things that send shivers down my spine, I have stumbled upon a very comfortable place for myself within the field of Special Effects. I have decided that I want to take a more artistic route, taking in all the aspects of this fast paced world we live in today as inspiration and my love of all things forbidden to create something people do not expect to see.

I will leave it there for now, don’t want to give too much away do I? ;)

New start, new look, new experiences..

I look forward to writing about my new adventures!

For now, enjoy these beautiful images by Greek Rigger, Rope Shadow.

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Tattoo Cover with Temptu Alcohol Activated Airbrush kit.

Hey guys! So today I really wanted to try out my new tattoo colours that I bought at IMATS London!

These colours are called Temptu Pro Dura Liquid Starter set and they are alcohol activated so perfect for tattoo cover!

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I bought the Skin Light pack which has 5 skin colours and 5 tattoo blockers and also the Total Skin pack which has 12 skin colours. The total price of these sets and a bottle of 99% Alcohol came up to £60! Which is extremely cheap considering I was prepared to pay £17 per individual bottle at Bluebird!

So, let’s see if they live up to the reputation of Bluebird and Skin illustrator…

Here is me before I started! (By the way, these tattoos are meant to be bad! Haha! Festival tattoos, never a good idea…)

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For the application, I used my Airbase Airbrush.

So at first, I started experimenting with the blockers and found that for my skin tone, Coral is a perfect tattoo blocker, so going on this, the darker the skin you have the darker the blocker you will need :)

Here is a picture of what the blocker looks like before you start adding skin colours as you can see, this was half way through the process so you can see what the blocker looks like covered with a skin colour too. :)

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Now, once the blocker is down it’s all about mixing and matching with the skin colours as all of you will know, Skin is not one solid colour, there are Blues, Reds, Greens etc.. Just experiment and have fun with it! :)

So here are a couple of pictures of the finished product;

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After you have applied your skin colour, don’t forget to add Veins, freckles, moles anything that was covered up apart from the tattoo as this will make the cover up even more realistic!

So, to the performance on Temptu Dura liquid starter set…

The cover is ok, I have used Silicone foundations before that covered better but this is a lot more durable and wearable as it is alcohol activated.

Takes along time! Never do this in a rush, give yourself plenty of time! I personally enjoy the process but I definitely know that I wouldn’t if I was given an hour or less to complete it!

For some reason the end result is quite sticky, I’ve never had that problem with Skin illustrator but it could just be down to how much of the product you put onto the skin.

So it looks like you get what you pay for! I mean, this product is really good for £60 but it comes no where near the standard of Skin Illustrator or Bluebird. It is still wearable and durable and that is what you need in a tattoo cover-up! So all is hunky-dory!

Tattoo covering on a budget? I would recommend them but don’t expect the result you would get if you were to use the top brands!

And to end this post..

To remove the make-up just use 99% Alcohol and a cloth and it should come straight off!

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Please don’t be afraid to ask any questions regarding this make-up! Just comment on the post and I will get back to you as soon as poss! :)

Let’s talk about IMATS! :)

So, I’m sure that most of you are well aware of what IMATS is! But for those of you who are not familiar with the event, it is an annual make-up tradeshow called International Make-up Artists Tradeshow (IMATS) and it is the biggest event of the year for any make-up artist in the UK!

Me and a couple of Make-up Artist friends packed our bags and set off down to London for the week!

The event was on Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd of June and was held at the Olympia National Hall which is a different venue to where they usually hold the event so everything was a surprise for us this year!

As soon as we walked in the place was buzzing with people, creatures and models! There was so much to take in from stalls, classes, demos, competitions and so much more!

Although it was hard to choose which demos and classes we wanted to see we settled for;

Extreme aging prosthetics with Neill Gorton and Rob Mayor.

Moulding in Smooth-on Epoxy Resins

Alternative sculpting techniques for Prosthetics with Stuart Bray

Keynote Speaker Mark Coulier (World War Z)

Keynote Speaker Neill Gorton

These were all very informative and inspirational and I left feeling very motivated!

We also managed to catch some of the Student Competition which was amazing! Such talented Artists!

So the stalls… My bank balance took a good beating! I was surrounded by every kind of Make-up you could imagine. It was definitely ‘Kid in a Candy shop’ type of scenario!

I bought;

An Iwata Airbrush,

Neill Gorton’s complete Character Prosthetic DVD’s,

Mouldlife Silicone pigments,

Mouldlife Nylon flocking,

Monster clay,

Blood and foam capsules,

A make-up brush set,

Kryolan Anti-shine,

Kryolan fixier spray,

Rigid Collodion,

Airbrush stencils,

Temptu Alcohol Activated Airbrush paints,

(Wow, ok I’m having trouble thinking now!)

I think that might be it, not too sure though! Haha!

I had an amazing weekend and left feeling extremely inspired and motivated to get on with my work and broadening my skills as a Make-up artist!

I have got a whole bunch of pictures for you to look at so I will attach them all to this post!

But please, If I have missed anything out or you would like to ask me anything about this post, please feel free to comment on here and I will get back to you as soon as poss!! :)

Enjoy! :)

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If you would like to know the artist of any of these, please feel free to comment and I will get back to you! :)

http://www.imats.net/london/london_index.php

 

Media Make-up assessment: Upper class Edwardian

Hey guys! It’s been a while! Had lots going on so only just got the time to catch up on here! So looking through my blog, it looks like I completely forgot to post about my Upper class Edwardian assessment! I think it was due to the fact of all the excitement of our main final projects of the year! Anyway, here is a picture of the final look!

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So as you can see, I added a filter to just give my final image that ‘authentic’ look :P

So for the make-up, I used;

Airbase Airbrush foundation

Translucent powder, (under the eyes and around the nose)

Brown Eye shadow for the eyebrows and just underneath the waterline on each eye

A lick of Mascara!

A smudge of Rose blush

And a natural Lipstick.

And because I am absolutely disastrous when it comes to hair, I watched this beauty of a tutorial; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUPijJ1g6l8 Check it out guys! :)

If you have any questions regarding this make-up please don’t be afraid to ask! Just comment on the post and I will get back to you as soon as poss!

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Swamp creature inspired make-up assessment.

So this was the cherry on the top of a great year in Uni for me, I was extremely excited for this assessment! The only problem was, I still hadn’t figured out how the hell I was going to get my premade head fin to stand up straight on top of my models head!

I decided to go into Uni early so I could discuss with my tutors how I was going to do this.

We finally decided that the best method would be to use tissue paper and latex to build a structure that I could apply to my models head and blend out. Unfortunately, Latex is not the easiest material to blend but it did the trick so I was happy!

One thing after another was going wrong during this assessment, to the point that my model was trying to calm me down and give me words of advice! I wasn’t happy with the final look but after looking at the pictures I have taken, I realised that I am being waaaaaaaaaaay too critical of myself and it actually didn’t turn out as bad as I had first thought!!

Here is a picture of the final look,

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To create this look I used;

A Glatzan Baldcap (blended with Acetone)

A premade Head Fin attached with Prosaide

Dark Green Rubber Mask Greasepaint

Superstar water colour face paints; Green, Mustard, Brown and Yellow for the toxic waste splats on the face!

Yellow contact lenses

Looking at the final result now, I am pretty pleased with the outcome and I am really proud of how well the bald cap blended. If I was to do this again, I would definitely learn from the mistakes made in this application and change a few things!

Hope that you all enjoy this!

Please, if you have any questions, please comment on the post and I will do my best to give you the answer that you are looking for :)

Ancient Greece inspired Fashion assessment.

Well hello guys!! I have been neglecting my blog because I was overloaded with ALOT of work because last week, I finished Uni for the Summer!! Now I am stress free, relaxed and ready to tell you all about my assessments!

So to catch up on this subject, please read my Fashion Fabrication and Fashion ideas posts! :)

The day of my assessment was 30th of April and I had two hours to complete an Ancient Greece inspired Fashion look including a wig and costume.

I was really excited for this assessment as I am really interested in Fashion mainly because you can be as creative as you want in this field!

Everything went just right! And I was super pleased with how the whole look turned out!

Here are some of the pictures I had taken of my model, I also had pictures taken by a professional Photographer but they will not be ready until next week so I will post them aswell once I get hold of them!

030031032033Here is what I used to create this look;

Airbase Airbrush foundation

Virgin Vie Copper Eye shadow for the contouring (needed a bronzer that would stand out)

Airbase Contour Stencil (for sharp edges when contouring)

Collection 2000 Gold powder for Highlighting

Virgin Vie Cream shimmer and Copper on the eyes

Rimmel Black Lipstick

For the costume, I used;

Imitation Leather 2 metres

A plain Black skirt, ripped and extra material added for volume (anything can be used for the extra material E.G. Duvet cover)

Latex Nipple covers

A Brown wig with Blonde hair extensions added to and cut down to size and styled

Skeleton leaves

 

Overall, I was really please with the outcome of this make-up and really look forward to applying this again! I was actually thinking about wearing this make-up on my next outing haha!

Professional pictures to come soon :)

Please, if you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I will try my best to give you the answer you are looking for :)

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