Thursday, 9 October 2014


Just starting to get stuck into my third year at college now. This is where all the really serious stuff like writing a dissertation starts 😱 eeek!! 
After a long summer off and dedicating more time to things I want to do I feel ready to get really stuck into all the work this year. Armed with a head full of ideas it looks like it onwards and upwards from here!! 


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cosmetic surgery photo shoot.

This is a quick un edited image from todays photo shoot, my 5th and final portfolio image which is is cosmetic surgery inspired. The photographer working with us captured some brilliant shots so i am rather excited to see the final image

Painting Veins.

When practising the veins for my creature on my models face an issue pointed out by my tutor was that the veins slightly disappeared when look at from a distance. I decided i would try another way of doing them by painting the skin white first then painting the black veins on top of this.

I feel it had a much more effective finish than just painting the black straight onto the skin, the only concern is that i need to avoid making my model look too much like a zebra. 

Fashion Photo shoot work experience.

Below are a few behind the scenes images from some work experience i did with a photography student at Bradford College. The shoot was to showcase some outfits sold at a Bradford based boutique. Altogether there were 9 different outfit changes which also included jewellery. 
The make up was kept fairly simple with there being just one change made to the colour of the lipstick. Overall i had a lot of fun at this photo shoot and from what i seen the photographer managed to get some brilliant pictures! 

Jackson Pollock Inspired Photo shoot.

This is an un-edited image from my Jackson Pollock inspired photo shoot. This was definitely one of the messiest but most enjoyable make up looks i have ever done before. It also gets alot of mixed reactions but i absolutely love the way it has turned out.

Latex Hand.

Rather than creating individual finger pieces for my creatures hands i decided i would try this method of attaching cotton wool and latex to a glove to create a more textured surface which i could then style how i wanted.

Below the images show the build up of the latex and cotton wool onto the glove. I feel this method is definitely very effective and one i need to work on more before making a final decision to use it or not.

Floral Inspired Photo shoot.

For this portfolio image i wanted to create a very soft look which i feel is a much needed contrast in comparison to some of my other portfolio images. After looking into images of floral themed photo shoots i decided that the way i wanted to do this was to pick a flower and incorporate the colours from the flowers into my make up look.
Below is a quick image I took before having pictures taken by the photographer. The photographer we chose to work with on this particular day was Emily Bailey.
Due to me being on a very tight budget for all 5 of my portfolio images I was unable to use fresh flowers for this photo shoot like ininitally wanted to. The next alternative was to use silk flowers but I couldn't find any appropriate for what I wanted. Luckily we had these fairly lights lying around at home and I feel they are very effective.
I discussed the issue of the visible wires with the photographer and she said she will be able to edit these out of the final images which I cannot wait to see!


Curling hair experiment.

In preparation for my next portfolio image photo shoot i wanted to create some soft loose curls in my models hair, as i am not the most confident when it comes to hair styling i practiced beforehand to see which method of curling would produce the best results. I used heated rollers to curl half of the hair and on the other half i used straighteners to curl the hair then se them as pin curls.

I left the hair to sit for over an hour before letting the curls loose. The side with the heated rollers sadly had no effect on the hair whatsoever so that ruled out using those. Luckily the side with the pin curls set perfectly and created the effect i want for my portfolio image. 

Creature design practice

In preparation for my creature design assessment i wanted to experiment with a few possible styles i have designed for the face. Ideally my final look will be done on a male model but as this is just a practice i have used a female model instead. 
On the left side of the face i created an intense black eye as my base and used a mix of grease paints, fluid line applied with a cotton but which gave the look different textures and depth.

On the right side of the face i had the same intense black base but drew on a mix of red and black veins using grease paints coming away from the eye. An issue raised by my tutor was that from a distance the veins may not show up and get lost in the whole look. When i stood away from my model i found that this was a problem so it is definitely something i will need to go away and think about.

hand sculpt

To accompany my wolf like ears sculpted onto my ear cast i thought i would also experiment with a sculpt on my hand cast. I want my creature to have long claw like hands so i sculpted this onto my hand cast using plasteline. 
Once i had finished sculpting the finger on my hand i started to apply layers of latex using a brush building up the layers until i had around 5-6 and left it to set before removing it.

Although i do like the way this piece looks as the finger is hollow inside it would need to be padded inside which could cause it to loose its shape. Also as i sculpted the piece to go down the finger and onto the back of the hand, once it is applied to the models hand it would slightly restrict movement of the fingers, especially if the model had one on every finger. 

Girls just want to have fun.

Here is a quick snap of my model used for the first of my five portfolio images. 
For this look i started with the idea of children growing up too fast, through research and development i chose the theme of girls playing dress up and trying to look like a grown up.
I would be loved to have used my 6 year old niece for this photo shoot but as that wasn't possible I decided to use a grown up model.

The idea is that through playing dress up she feels like the grown up model.

I kept the make up very soft, fun and girly with soft fluffy curls in the hair and the whole outfit bringing the whole look together. With the help of the photographer Martin Beaumont we managed to get some great shots and i cannot wait for the finished images to come my way!!

Make up trial.

Whilst in college a lady came into our class asking for a make up artist to do her make up for a photo shoot she was organising. I offered to do her make up for her as a different mix of skin tones is something i need more of in my portfolio.

As i haven't had a great deal of experience working with many different skin tones i asked the model if it was okay for me to do a trial before the shoot just so i could be prepared for the actual shoot and to get a better idea of the kind of make up she wanted to have.

She told me that she very rarely wears make up and wasn't sure quite what she wanted so i decided to go for something very natural and quite soft using colours that complemented her eyes and skin tone. 

Unfortunately due to circumstances out of my control the photo shoot didn't happen so i unfortunately don't have any final images that i can use in my portfolio but i still feel that this was a beneficial task.

ear sculpt

Once I had the cast of my ear i wanted to practise some sculpting that i could potentailly use in my creature design as we have to use at least 2 prosthetic pieces.As part of my research into my creature design i have been looking at werewolves so i decided to try and create a dog shaped ear that could potentially just sit ontop of my models own ear and painted to blend in with the models hair.

I used Plasteline to sculpt the shape ontop of the ear using images of wolves/dogs ears as a guide for the size and shape.
I had to be careful not to make it too big or thick as if i did it would make it difficult for the ear to stand up on it own and it would be more difficult to fill it inside. I then used latex and built it up one layer at a time until i had around 7-8 layers and left to dry before removing from the ear cast. 
If i were to use this method o create a prosthetic piece for my final creature i would need to make a cast of both my models ears so they would fit them perfectly. 

Evening Make-up

My very beautiful Aunty Elaine recently came up to visit us and was planning to go out for a meal with my parents so I offered to do her make up for her. She told me she had never had snyone do her make up for her so she was absolutely delighted.
This also gave me the opportunity to work on a different skin tone and a slightly maturer skin.
As she already has lovely skin I only used a light layer of foundation to even out the skin tone, followed by warm bronze/gold toned eyeshadows. slight winged eyeliner and a lovely pair of natural false eyelashes.
She was insistant thats she chose her lipstick colour which was a mix of a lighter and darker shades of red.
She was overjoyed with the final result and it was lovely to see how happy I made her feel.

Hand Casting.

The next process was hand casting which we also did using alginate.A hand cast can me used in a similar way to an ear cast to create a prosthetic piece which will enhance or change the natural shape of the models hand.
 For this task we split into pairs and had one person mixing and pouring the alginate into the bottle to cast the models hand.
As the Alginate had to be mixed in larger quantities it was done in a plastic bucket with a drill that had a sort of whisk om the end of it. The mixing process had to be done quickly as it doesnt take lontg for the alginate to set.
Once mixed the alginate is poured into the bottle around the models hand while the model rubs their finger together to remove and unwanted air bubbles which will effect the quality of the final cast.
This was yet another strange experience waiting for this to set which just leaves your arm feeling slightly like a dead weight but its nothing too uncomfortable.

Once the Alginate had fully set the next step was removing my had from the mould. It is a little tricky as it is important not to tear the alginate but if done gently and with enough care your hand shuold just slide out. As I am luckty enough to have quite large hands the alginate inside my mould did tear slightlty when i removed my hand but it thankfully wasnt bad enough to ruin it completely.
My tutor suggested that if i were to do it again it would probably work better if i used a wider container than a bottle so I would have more room for my hand inside it.  

Once my hand was removed the next step was to mix up some plaster to pour inside the bottle, this will create the cast of the hand. We had to start by adding a small amount at a time and swishing it round inside ensuring the plaster got inside every finger. we then had to fill up the whole mould up with the plaster, filling it about an ich beyond the alginate. This will create a base for the hand to stand on making it alot easier to work with.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Ear Casting.

At the begging of the second semester before we all chose wether we wanted to do make up creature design or special effects creature design, our special effects tutor wanted everyone to have a go at ear and hand casting. For this we split up into groups of three, one to be the model, one main person casting and the third person acting as a general assistant.
Ear casting is a fairly easy and quick process which can be used to create a prosthetic piece to change or enhance the natural shape of the models ear.
We started the process by laying the model flat on one side and propping up her head so she was comfortable and so it was one level.
To protect the models hair we applied a layer of vaseline around the models ear, smoothing it onto the hairline. A small sheet of plastic was then placed around the ear.
A small piece of cotton wool was placed inside the ear to protect it.
This image above shows the alginate after it has been pored inside the cup which is being used as a wall atround the ear. One person in the group mixed and poured the alginate while the other held the cup in place to stop it moving or leaking it out all over the models face.
One it was filled and covering the ear any air bubbles were removed by running a finger around the models ear inside the cast. That part was most definitely a very strange experience. 

Fortunately the alginate is quick to set so the model didnt have to lie there too long before it could be removed from the ear pulling the cotton wool out of it.
To finish off the casting process using the top half of another cup the two halves were attatched together using clay and mod roc and left to set before adding plaster ontop of the alginate cast.
I have enjoyed past lessosn where we have done casting so I really enjoyed learning a new method of doing it. I found this very easy and simple to do whilst still having very effective results.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Saturday Club Work Experience

Its the start of the second semester and I'm already getting stuck into some very interesting work experience!! I put my name down for this at some point in the beginning of december and it completely slipped my mind until i got an email reminding me about it a few weeks ago!! 

"The National Art&Design Saturday Club gives young people aged 14–16 the unique opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning at their local art and design college or university for free."

This is something that takes places at many colleges up and down the country and at my college it is running for 15 weeks and gives young people such a brilliant opportunity to get involved in something new and exciting. I really wish something like this had been available when i was younger but its still great to be part of it as a student ambassador. 

To read more about the saturday club you can view the website by clicking HERE

We are now 3 weeks into classes and i am really enjoying it, the young people attending are so very talented and its great to see them just having fun with it all and seeing them produce some great pieces of work. 

I have contributed different ideas for things that we can do every week along with other students from my class, it is great to have a creative input into what is actually going on and its something i really look forward to all week long!! 

Task 3 Final Assessment.

Here are the images of my final look for task three which was based on Gluttony. I am so happy with how great it looks thanks to the brilliant photography skills of Martin Beaumont and my lovely model  Claire. 

whenever i have a big assessment like this that i have put so much effort into i always find myself getting nervous before hand as i want everything to be just perfect, doing this task it was important for me to know when to just stop and but down my brushes before i over-do the whole thing and ruin it....i need to have more confidence in my abilities as a make up artist because i can do it. This goes for anything in life though as long as you prepare yourself for whatever may happen. 
The best part about this for me was finally seeing it all come together, the finished look and being able to say i did that!!

Special Effects Prosthetics Assessment.

Here are the images of my final look created for my special effects assessment using my prosthetic piece. I have had such fun working with the talented Martin Hanson from Madame Tussaud's and i feel like i have learnt so many valuable skills that will help me in my future career as a make up artist. It has helped me too explore a new area of the industry i never would've done if i hadn't started this course and i am incredibly pleased with the final images. 
To complete the look i used s cheap grey witch wig i picked up around halloween and wore my own really big grey hooded cardigan.

The major down side to this was that i really struggles to get the prosthetic nose to stick to my own nose, even when using pros aid it would not stay stuck down and f i did not have the eyebrow section on my prosthetic piece it wouldn't of stuck at all making it very unpractical for anything other than photography. If i were to re do this piece i would make the nose a lot smaller to avoid this happening again.
I received very positive feedback and martin was pleased with how well i had managed to conceal the edges of my piece with the greasepaints as this was a big concern for me but thankfully it all turned out okay in the end :D 

Task 3 Preparation.

For task 3 I have to design and use creative postiche or creative hair techniques suitable for performance(theatre) to enhance/show a particular character. The character or theme i chose to base my work on was... Gluttony. 
Just not Gluttony in the typical way it is most commonly portrayed, such as excessive eating. 

After doing a lot of research into it i wanted to focus on personal image and how in todays society, many women in particular are excessive with their personal image, never happy with the way they look and are always striving for perfection through the use of cosmetic surgery and other various beauty treatments. 

Once i had done all my research i knew exactly what i wanted my creative hair piece to look like...the trick was creating it. 

The general idea was the bigger the better!!
I started off with just a blonde wig stitched onto a buckram base for extra support. Then using 3 packs of jumbo braid hair, all in different shades of blonde, i cut the strips in half then randomly pinned the secretions allover the wig until it was all used up. I then added a lot of dry shampoo and hairspray and left it to set for a while before i started to back comb the hair using my hands, section by section till it was the size i wanted it to be. To finish off i added some rollers at the front of the hair to give the effect that she is never ready.  

Silicone Colouring And Hair Punching.

In this lesson we had the lovely Sue Day from Madame Tussaud's teaching us about colouring and hair punching! Its always fun to have somebody new in teaching us, especially someone with as much industry experience as Sue, it was a very enjoyable lesson and we got through quite a lot in a short space of time . 

We started by practicing assign colour to a smaller silicone piece using oil paints mixed with silicone, This was just so we could get the hang of doing it before moving onto the real thing. 

Once i felt i knew what i was doing i moved onto painting one of my silicone pieces, as i had made two of these i used the thicker more pink piece to practice my colouring on, i went for a dirty grubby effect with the skin. Originally i was going to just paint on some eyebrows but i knew this wouldn't look as good as actually punching the hair into the silicone so to get the effect i wanted i cut up some cheap old paint brushes and used the bristles for eyebrow hairs instead... this caused them to look really crazy and wiry. An effect i would not have got using real human hair as it is much softer. 

I really enjoyed having Sue Day in teaching us and it was a shame it was only for one lesson, she went on to show us a portfolio of her work and answered any questions we asked and it really gave us an extra insight into the special effects industry as there was work she had done that would never have crossed my mind before. It really has given me a lot more to think about when it comes to my future career. 

Face Casting Part 4.

Now i have both the base cast and the top mould, the next step of the process is to mix up the silicone and apply this to top mould before clamping the base cast onto to make my prosthetic piece for my final  assessment. 

 To ensure the top mould is on a level surface i balanced it on an upturned stool then mixed up the silicone and added silicone pigment to give the silicone a flesh like tone. 

 When it came time to pour the silicone into the mould it didn't stay balanced on the stool for long so i had to place the mould inside a plastic bowl then poured in the silicone ensuring i had all the sculpted areas covered before applying the base... to hold both halves together while the silicone set i used two clamps and left it to one side, some excess silicone was also applied onto of the mould as a guide to when it would be set. 

Once the silicone had set i removed the clamps and gently prized both halves apart to reveal my finished silicone prosthetic piece. As this piece turned out quite pinky toned and thicker than what i wanted it to be a few of us mixed up another batch of silicone, making it a little less pink and adding some beige flocking into the mix which made the silicone even more skin toned. 
Now i have my prosthetic piece the next step is to add colour, punch some hair and to trim it ready for application.