Saturday, 14 December 2013

Face Casting Part One.

Its the start of our second year, the first practical lesson being Special effects where we got stuck straight into creating a face cast! This semester we are lucky enough to be getting taught by the incredibly talented Martin Hanson who is head of the moulding and casting department at Madame Tussaudes!!

Below are images showing the step by step process used to create a mould of my face then following that making a positive of that mould.

In a plastic bowl  i mixed 2-3 spatulas of part A and part B of the silicone rubber, roughly equal measures of both, after mixing this together well it will take about 4 minutes to set. 

Start by applying the silicone to the forehead with a brush, gently roll onto the face and let it naturally come down. Don't apply too much to the face or the weight of it may cause the mask to sag. 
Gently roll the brush over the eyes and try to avoid air bubbles. 
Do not completely cover the nostrils as the model will not be able to breathe.Get as close as possible but do not block them. 

Once the silicone has been applied allover the face, use the plaster bandage to create a case around it.

Always use warm water when using plaster bandage. 
Take a strip of plaster bandage, half it then half it again, dip it in the water ,take off the excess then apply to the face and smooth down into the natural contours of the face. Wherever there is rubber cover it with the plaster bandage. 
One the whole area is covered take one last piece of plaster bandage and double it lengthways, apply this from the chin to the forehead then smooth down and leave to fully set. 
This will take about 10-15 mins to set. 

Use a small wooden tool to break the seal between the skin and the silicone. Get the model to gently blow into the mould and gently move their face around by furrowing their eyebrows,this  will help the mould come away from the face. 

The next step is to take a lump of clay and flatten it down to the front of the plaster bandage section of the mould this will stop the plaster leaking out the nose of the mask. 
Take two more strips of clay and place on a wooden board on either side of the cast, this will help keep it still while you apply the plaster.

Apply vaseline around the edges of the plaster bandages. 
To mix the plaster fill a plastic bowl with cold water, slowly sprinkle the plaster evenly across the water one handful at a time without mixing, do this until it starts to sit on top of the water in little islands, once it's all absorbed, gently mix the plaster till it is all nice and smooth. 

There are two steps to applying the plaster.The first layer of plaster will pick up all the detail in the cast. 
Initially the plaster will resist the surface due to the oils on the silicone. 
Start by loading up a brush and paint the plaster into the mask, gently pushing it around until it builds up a nice creamy even layer until all the green underneath is covered up.
Once that is complete clean your brush and allow the first layer to set. 
After it has set, lightly spray the inside of the plaster the plaster with water, this is  so both layers of plaster stick together and don't crumble.

Using a brush apply another layer of plaster to the positive before adding the first piece of Scrim, this will help to add more strength to the positive. 
Overlap the scrim over the edges of the cast then Using the paintbrush add plaster on top of the scrim pressing into the contours of the face cast ensuring it is covering it completely and not creating and air bubbles. 
Using a brush apply another layer of plaster to the positive before adding the first piece of Scrim, this will help to add more strength to the positive. 
Overlap the scrim over the edges of the cast then Using the paintbrush add plaster on top of the scrim pressing into the contours of the face cast ensuring it is covering it completely and not creating and air bubbles. 
Using between 3-4 pieces of scrim cover the inside of the cast overlapping and covering generously in plaster. 
Leave it all to set for around 30 minutes before removing the positive from the cast. 

I really enjoyed this whole process and getting stuck straight into a new project straight away. I feel we really covered a lot in such a short lesson and i have picked up valuable skills that i can use right through my career. As we had Martin there for every step of the process there wasn't anything i really struggled with, he was incredibly helpful and patient with all our questions which made it so much more enjoyable.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Ancient Greece Head Piece.

As part of my Ancient Greece theatre assessment i wanted some form of head piece that were commonly worn by women in ancient Greece. Traditionally it would've been something gold but i had no luck finding anything suitable for use in a theatre or anything i actually liked.
In some of my research images for Ancient Greek women i found an image of young girls wearing floral inspired headpieces, it was a more modern take on a traditional look but still very beautiful. I searched high and low for something reasonably priced and suitable for my make up look but didnt seem to come across anything suitable, This is when i decided that if i cant find what i want that the next best option is to make one.

I went along to a haberdashery after college one day and picked up some small yellow, pink and white flowers with very handy wire stems which are shown above.

I managed to find a lovely headband from claire's accessories to use as a base for my flowers which i then weaved between the two pieces of metal on the headband which can be shown above, i alternated between the three different colours of flowers and tried as best as i could to keep it looking that little bit more handmade and original rather than something i had just purchased like that.

Above is the finished headband which i absolutely love and i feel it served its purpose of finishing off the wig, i added it on after the wig had been applied to my models head as i didnt want to ruin the style i had set the wig in or risk damaging the headband in the process of fitting the wig onto my model.
 One of my tutors did agree with this being a much more practical and suitable head piece for use in theatre as it does have an impact and is visible from a distance where as something most probably wouldnt be seen and would be a bit of a waste.

Period Make Up For Theatre - Ancient Greece.

The time came for me to do one of my first assessments for my second semester and i started with my Theatre make up and the period i chose to do was Ancient Greece. I honestly didn't feel overly prepared for this assessment but due to the time available to me i decided it would be best to jus knuckle down and try to do my very best and the images below are of my final make up look. 

At this point i didnt feel confident enough to do a bacis set on my models hair so i decided i would use a wig, i spent a long time looking around for one online then finally found one on amazon for around £6.99 which is a great price but as it is only made from cheap synthetic hair i did have some issues with it shedding a lot of hair when it came to dressing the wig a few days before my assessment.
The main issue i had to overcome was the costume, it was a little last minute and as i wasn't able to spend a lot of money on a costume i decided to create one using a bed sheet, i cut arm holes into it and wrapped it around my model securing it in place with a few safety pins and the big gold belt i borrowed from another student.

I personally was very happy with my final look but when i went to get feedback from my tutor  she explained that as i had used a lot of shimmer on the face it took away from the definition created by the shading, another issue was that the placement of the shading under her cheekbones was just a little too low so didnt have the desired effect. She also suggested i shouldve added the extra white line under the eyes do define them and make them stand out more from a distance. I think the feedback i got was a little  bit of a confidence knock but it definitely gave me a better insight into adapting theatre make up for a certain look. 

First Year Reflection.

The end of the first year is only a few weeks away and i find myself asking where on earth has the time gone! It feels like it has just flown by faster than ever and now i am sitting down to write a post like this do i really stop to think about how much we have actually done, im not quite sure how i have managed to fit it all in but i learnt and i am still learning an incredible amount and hope to continue doing so in my second year. Rather than doing one big evaluation or reflection i will break it down subject at a time as there is a lot to talk about.

Media Make Up...
Make up is something that has been my passion for many years so this was the one area i can easily say was most looking forward too and although i felt i had a lot of knowledge in the subject area i started with an open mind ready to learn, adapt and build on the knowledge i had and i found that kind of attitude helped me a lot. Starting right from the basics of skin care and foundation which is something that can be adapted to any kind of make up in the industry, we then moved onto make up which would be suitable for the television and the theatre, there are great differences between the two and would say i struggled more with the theatre than television make up as the one thing i love to do when applying make up is to flawlessly blend everything and i had to learn a whole different style of application for this but feel this is something i could take away and adapt any which way necessary when working in the industry. The colour theory fashion assessment was definitely the most fun and the most creative i have ever been when designing any make up look, it gave me a better understanding of colour theory and how it can so easily be incorporated into make up. The second semester so far has been another great learning experience. We are covering period make up and since doing the research necessary to back up the work i have gained a greater knowledge into different periods and what type of hair/make up/clothing were used and available and can now look at an image and know which periods have influenced it the most. I am really looking forward to the fashion assessment as once again we can have a lot more fun and get very creative with it.

Special Effects...
Before starting this course i had never done any special effects work before so i was very excited to start it and try my hand at something completely different, once we got stuck into it i found myself really enjoying. The trickiest part for me was having to really think about the wound placement and how realistic it was which is something i really researched into for my practical assessment in the first semester where we had to create an accident that could take place in the work shop, i chose to do an iron burn but after feedback from my first practice i was told to consider different pressure points which really made me realise the technicalities of it all but its these details that really add to a more realistic piece of work. ive found that the second semester hasn't gone as well as the first did due to personal reasons and me having some time off causing me to miss a few lessons but i have been trying my best to catch up on what i have missed and am working towards my character design for my practical assessment in a couple of weeks.

I wouldn't consider myself to be an incredibly academic person so its no secret i wasn't looking forward to doing PDP but i knew it had to be done as part of the course. Being a known weakness i felt it very important to try my best to take away as much information as possible with me which in the end i found very useful particularly when planning and writing my essays, filling in things in my inspiration book and my pdp folder. As earlier mentioned due to personal reasons i had some time off so felt like i was behind in pdp but with regular tutorials i am making sure i am keeping track of everything and that i am fully up to date with it all. Although it isnt the most exciting part of the course i definitely appreciate doing it as i feel its been a great benefit in helping me to target and identify my weaker and stronger points leading me to working on what is the most important and making improvements where necessary . 

Work Based Learning...
Before starting the course i wasnt aware that we would be required to set up our own blog but i was very happy when i found out we were, if theres one thing i feel confident doing its blogging after having my own make up related blog for a few years. I was disappointed that i couldn't continue using my own blog but as its something i enjoy i thought id just get on with it and try my best but i just could not get a long with wordpress at all, it seemed so much easier for everyone else to use but as i was so used to using something different it just wasnt working out and resulted in me being put off doing blog posts so my lovely tutor lisa said that it would be okay for me to create a blog on blogger as long as it was a brand new one and not continuing from my own. Since then i have found it so much more easier and enjoyable to do and im now back doing what i love. Sometimes i dont prioritise my blog the way i should and it can sometimes get left but i do try my best to keep up with it as best as i possibly can 

The last for months for me have been a great personal struggle and after christmas i couldn't see myself making it this far but as tough as this first year has been for me personally i feel i have learnt a lot from it, not just from the individual subject areas but also about myself, it has really helped me to figure out the very basics of where i would like my career to go and hopefully once i progress onto the second year of this course it will continue to help me to develop as an individual and a  make up artist and get me really looking at the bigger picture of where i would like to be in the future.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Ageing Make Up For Theatre.

As part of the build up to our special effects practical assessment we had to do ageing make up that would be suitable for use in theatre. We were given diagrams with a rough step by step guide on what to do and pretty much left to our own devises. Below are the images of the finished make up.
I started by applying a foundation a few shades lighter than my models skin tone to drain the colour from her face causing her to look much paler. Taking my grease paints and paint brushes i used a darker brown colour to mark out the shadowed areas and lines on the face, ensuring these ares are well defined.
I found the best way to get this definition and depth to the lines was to follow along with the natural lines of the face and by getting her to pull different faces to create lines and just roughly draw them in.

The next step was to highlight in between all these shaded ares using a lighter colour then once i had done that i moved onto my blending, the one feel i struggle with the most when doing theatre make up is trying not to over blend it all which is what i did at first  so i had to go back over the dark lines to bring back the definition.

I found when doing this make up it helped me more to keep standing at a distance to see how it looks as up close it looks very heavy and over the top where as from a distance you get the full effect as you would in a theatre, its important that it is heavier so it can be seen from a distance, it doesn't have to be completely flawless as nobody is close enough to see the small details. It was a lot of fun doing this make up and styling each other to look like old women but it was strange seeing myself look so old. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Illamasqua I'mperfection Look.

The I'mperfection collection has been around for a short while now and the make up looks that accompany this collection are as beautiful as ever. Just when i didnt think i could love Illamasqua any more than i already do!!

One very simple but eye catching look from this collection is the speckled eyeliner which i decided to recreate myself one afternoon whilst reading through the booklet about the collection.
To create this look i used my L'Oreal Super Liner in Black Vinyl and for the white i used my Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe ...definitely a brilliant little twist on a classic winged eyeliner.

Heated Rollers.

Another part of our assessments in semester two is that we have to do two basic sets, one with heated rollers and one with hot sticks (the thin bendy things for those who dont know what im talking about).
For me hair is one of those things im not overly confident with and only in the last couple of years i have started to experiment with very basic styles on my own hair so i was a good mix between excited and nervous when i heard this is what we would be doing as part of our work.

I was off college for a short while when the hair demonstrations were done in class so for me this was a but of watch and learn as i go along and get as much advice as possible from my brilliant classmates. As we get assessed on the setting and the styling for the hair i initially wanted to make sure i could get to grips with the setting part so i grabbed myself a head and some rollers and i was away.

I split the hair into 6 sections this makes it easier to work with when sectioning it for the rollers rather than having hair allover the place. Starting at the front and working towards the back with the smaller rollers being around the front sections and the bigger ones at the back. I secured each roller in place with a clip as shown in the images, you can also use U pins to hold them in place but those are all that were available to me at the time.

I left the rollers in until they had cooled down then took them out gently so i didn't mess up the hair too much. Like i mentioned earlier this for me was more about the setting than the hair style so i went for a Marilyn Monroe style loose curl as i was running short on time.
It is fast becoming more and more common for make up artists to need basic hair styling skills for whatever job it is they may be doing so learning how to do a basic set is a good starting point for many different hair styles and that kind of knowledge could make that bit of difference between wether you get a particular job or not.

Bradford College Open Day Work Experience.

The head of our department at my college asked a few of us to go along to Bradford College open day to do a few demonstrations and speak to potential applicants about the course. It was on from 4 till 8 and there was three of and my niece that went a long to it.
They brought us up some tables and chairs as we didn't actually have an allocated space and we got set up ready for people to arrive
The image above shows Lily practicing some make up on Eve and the image below is some face painting i did on my niece.
I took along some of my lovely bright illamasqua eyeshadows so once Lily had finished with Eve i used her as my model and below is what i came up with, i didnt have an exact idea of what i wanted to do it was just a go with the flow of it look.

 Unfortunately as we were sat upstairs not many people came our way and n the 3 hours we were there we had two people come and ask us about the course but it was good being able to give other people an insight into the course and to let them know first hand just what its like.

Bald Cap Basics.

In our special effects practical assessment we have to design a character for which we have to create and apply a bald cap so in preparation in this special effects lesson we covered the basics of how to create a bald cap which is made to fit an individuals head. 
Bald caps are something that can be used all over the industry in film, theatre or television anywhere a particular character may need to be bald for whatever reason.

we got into pairs where we had to then smooth down the models hair and tie it in a very low pony tail or in my case where i had a model with very short hair so i just had to get it as flat to her head as i possibly could using a water based gel and a comb.
Taking some cling film and starting at the front of the head i got the model to hold the cling film in place while i wrapped it around her head, ensuring it completely covered her hair line all the way around and her ears whilst getting it as tight and as flat to the head as possible. I had some trouble covering the hair at the back of the neck as the cling film kept riding up so i had to add an extra piece.

The next step was to apply Sellotape all the way around the edges of the cling film to keep it in place then i started to cover all the cling film in strips of Sellotape slightly overlapping each piece and keeping the cling film as flat as possible to avoid it lifting too much.

Once the whole thing is covered with sellotape i took a black marker pen and marked out the hairline onto it before removing it from my models head. From here it can be placed onto a red head and trimmed down before applying cap plastic but as this was just a basic guide we didn't get that far with it.
This practice was a little trickier than i thought it would be, i struggled to get all the hair covered by the cling film so i had to add a few extra pieces at the back. Also when drawing the lines to mark our the hair line my tutor explained that i need to keep it as straight as possible as my lines were a bit sloppy and rough which can be seen in the images shown above.

Basics Of Wigs - Wrapping and Dressing.

As part of our four assessments we have to dress and apply a wig so In preparation for that in this lesson we covered the basics of wigs, we were shown how to wrap the hair and apply a wig cap ready for a wig, then we were shown how to appropriately dress a wig ready to be applied.
Such skills are useful in many different areas of the make up industry such as film, theatre and television and i found this incredibly informative as its something i knew very little about.

Our tutor started off showing us examples of different kinds of wigs and hairpieces and how they vary in cost and the way they are made depending on wether they are made from real or synthetic hair. She then moved on to a demonstration on how to wrap hair using a student with quite long hair for a model as she explained longer hair can be more difficult to wrap so it would be the best example to show us.

After the demonstration we had to split up into pairs and practice hair wrapping and then apply a wig. my tutor explained that there is no exactly correct way to wrap hair, the aim is to get all the hair as flat and smooth to the head as possible without creating too many lumps and bumps. 

My model has medium length hair just going past her shoulders making it long enough for me to properly get to grips with...I started by brushing out her hair then starting from the front of the hair taking small sections at a time, smoothing the section with a comb and hairspray then securing the section in place with a bobby pin and secured the ends in place with a pin curl or by bringing it back round on itself.

I repeated this section by section working around the head, laying one section over another, i found it best to just work with the hairs natural direction and not to force it to go in any particular direction as this helped me get the hair as smooth as possible. Ideally i should've used bobby pins that matched the colour of the models hair but i just had to use what was available to me at the time whilst practising.

Above is the hair all secured in place, to finish off i smoothed down any loose pieces of hair using my comb and some hair spray but avoid using too much product or wetting the hair.

The next step is to apply the wig cap which will flatten all the hair, for this i used a pair of tights, i chopped the legs off and tied the loose ends together. I applied it by getting my model to hold the front section while i pulled the rest of it over the back of the head, once it is in place i used the tail of my comb to tuck in any loose bits of hair sticking out from under it while slowly pulling the cap back and up over the ears and off the forehead as much as possible so it does not cover too much of the models face. I then secured the wig cap in place using U pins all around the edges.

We had a selection of wigs available at the college for us to try out on each other. Wigs are applied in a similar way to the wig cap, the model has to hold the wig at the front while rest of the wig gets pulled down over the rest of the head, it is then adjusted accordingly until it is positioned properly on the models head. it is important not to pull on it too hard when adjusting it as this may cause the wig to come off. Once i had the wig in place and it was covering all of the wig cap i took more U pins and secured it in place.
We all had a lot of fun in this lesson trying out the different wigs and seeing how we would look with different hair colours and styles and i personally feel its opened up a whole new box of possibilities when it comes to creating make up looks allowing me to completely re design the way a person can look. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Needle marks And Track marks.

Not the most attractive title for a blog post I must admit but don't let it put you off....

On our first special effects lesson after the Christmas break our type gave us a demonstration own how to create needle marks and track marks using a product called rigid collodion. This is something we do not have in our kits so haven't had the opportunity to use before do it was good to get stuck into something different straight away.
Above is the finished look which was done by my tutor, it's something she made look incredibly easy, which I've learnt not to be so fooled by when it comes to special effects.
 The first step in this process is shown in the image above. From watching the demo i initially thought it would be easier doing veins than it was, it took me a while to get the mix of colours right as i applied it too heavily at first so then had to try take some of that colour away, i then took my time making sure the lines were blended properly until they looked like realistic veins.

The image below shows the completed piece after i have applied the rigid collodion which is used to create the actual needle marks, i added the red colouring around these points which creates the effect of blood under the skin, i found it difficult to get the colouring right for this as initially it looked too red and not realistic enough but after a lot of blending i was happy with the the way it looked.
 Looking at the images now i think they look slightly more like cigarette burns than needle marks and if i was to do this again i would make sure i add a darker colour on top of the collodion which will give it more depth to the needle mark and create more of a scab effect.
These types of marks would most commonly be found on an individual with a drug habit, this can be used in both the theatre and television, with theatre the colouring would have to be a lot brighter more dramatic and be well defined so it can be visible to those sat furthest way from the stage where as for television it would need to look a lot more realistic and natural.

Period Make up - Theatre Assessment practice.

One of our four assessments for semester two is to create a make up from a period in history which would be suitable for use in theatre. 
The historical period I have chosen to do for my first assessment is ancient Greece.
This was my first lesson back after having some time off so knew nothing about these assessments but thankfully had some of the research i had done over the christmas holidays with me so as i had a little bit of something to refer to i decided to just get stuck into my first practice of this make up while i had a model to work on.

Using what i had learnt from the theatre make up we did in the first assessment i applied the foundation, shading and highlighting to my model which gave me the base i needed for the rest of the make up. The  make up worn by the women of Ancient Greece was very natural and minimal so i tried to incorporate this into my make up while still keeping it suitable for theatre but i still didn't manage to get the eyeshadow quite dark enough for theatre as from a distance it wasn't very visible. Something i will definitely have to remember for my actual assessment. 

I felt i did struggle with this practice as i wasn't as well prepared as i could've been for it, i wasn't sure how historically correct it had to be when being for theatre make up as it has to have a heavier application. Once i had done as much as i felt i could on my model just to grasp the basics of what i was doing i asked my tutor to give me me some feedback, she suggested i used more bronze/gold tones on the face to help warm it up and use similar colours as a blush on the cheeks rather than the pink tint i had used. Also when doing my final assessment i need to add eyeliner and false lashes to help with the definition of the eyes.

I wasn't quite sure how i wanted to do the hair for this assessment at this point, the women of ancient Greece had very natural loose flowing curls so i decided to try a set with some hot sticks just to get a feel of how to use them and to see what kind of result i would get and although i didn't actually properly style my models hair it improved my confidence in that area and left me with more ideas to work with 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Illamasqua Demonstration.

On Wednesday 23rd we were lucky enough to have the lovely and very talented Mika from Illamasqua come to my college for a talk about the industry, Illamasqua as a company and to give us a make up demonstration. 
He was incredibly lovely and really down to earth and answered any questions that any of us had about Illamasqua products or about the industry working as a make up artist. He also talked about how we should experiment with the products in our kits to utilise them as best as we can, for example you shouldn't just see an eyeshadow as an eyeshadow and more as a pot of colour which can have multiple uses. 
He then went onto explain how understanding the different uses for the products in your kit can then lead onto you being able to minimise what you carry around with you or take along to any work but still be prepared for whatever may get thrown your way.
 Ive experimented with different products this way on a small scale in the past but this talk helped me get a better understanding of what i can really do with my kit, it has also inspired me to really play around with different products and get a better understanding of it all, even though i feel fairly confident using the products i have at the moment theres always room to learn more and grow as an artist.
He brought a selection of Illamasqua make up a long with him which he used in the demonstration, showing us how versatile products really can be and encouraging us not to be afraid of using colour. Personally the use of colour isnt something i feel i have an issue with when it comes to my work but this demo really gave me new ways to think about the ways in which i apply it and where i apply it on the face as the possibilities really are endless.

 Luckily i arrived at the demo in good time meaning i had a great spot at the front of the room and managed to get some great pictures of his brilliant make up look, he did mention it wasn't a look he had pre planned but did have a slight idea of what he wanted to do and it was great to see it all come together in front of us. He also used some of the products we have in our Illamasqua college kits and other items which are available in the sale which i thought was brilliant. Im very glad i went a long to this demonstration as its always good to get some fresh inspiration and advice from other individuals working in the industry.