Friday, 31 January 2014

Task 2 - Second Hair Practice.

I wanted to get in one last practice of the hair for task 2 before my actual assessment. This time i was actually prepared with extra hair and accessories at the ready!! I decided to keep the bouffant at the top of the head bringing the hair down to the side into a fishtail plait, something i personally love and find to be very simple  yet effective when done correctly.

To help give the bouffant that extra bit of lift that i couldn't get through just backcombing i purchased some cheap black jumbo braid from a hair shop and used this underneath my models own hair which really gave it the boost i wanted.
Once i had that secured in place i added a big silver/diamante hair pin at the back of the head to help secure it and to add some extra detail to the whole look.

The trickiest part for me was figuring out exactly how to secure the ponytail piece in with my models own hair but with a bit of help from my tutor she explained how i needed to create a small anchor point and then pin it in place. With that safely secure i created my fish tail plait. If i were to do this again i would maybe opt for a shorter piece of hair as this really did take some time to fully plait but the results were well worth it!!

To add that little bit of extra detail to the hair i seen on another hair tutorial a lady who added beads to hair pins and put those into the hair....whilst out shopping for some appropriate beads i came across some lovely little silver bells so i decided to go for those instead!! Attached to to U-pins and inserted into the full length of both sides of the plait and on the back of the hair i really feel they add that little something extra to the whole look.

Now i have had this extra practice before my assessment i feel incredibly confident about doing the real thing ... i definitely need to make time to get in as many practice sessions as i can before future assessments to avoid unnecessary nerves and stress!!

Face Casting Part Three.

The next step after making the plaster base is to sculpt my design onto the face using plasticine. I didn't want to create an over complicated sculpt that would take me all day to stick on so i kept it simple and designed my character to be an old witch/old hag. 
As shown in the image above i created an enlarged nose, with warts, and a furrowed eyebrow. I have also placed a clay wall around the base which is an inch or two taller which will hold the plaster mould on top, to secure this i added some mod roc around the edges to stop any plaster leaking out through the clay.  I also added vaseline to the plasticine to stop the plaster sticking to it once it is applied on top of it. 

The next step was to mix up a bowl of plaster, my favourite part as i love the feel of getting my hand in and mixing the plaster, i poured a small amount into the base and used a brush to ensure it covered all the sculpted areas, slowly building up the plaster a bit at a time. 

Once the first layer was on it was time to add some skrim for extra strength following the same methods as before, pressing the skrim into the plaster and using the brush to ensure it is all covered.


As my sculpt has an enlarged nose i had to ensure that this was strong and study enough to not break if dropped so i applied 2-3 extra layers of skrim just to the nose piece before adding one extra layer of plaster over the top and leaving it to set for 30-45 minutes.


Once it had all set i cut away the clay and mod roc wall and prized the two halves apart. Note the bumps in the top mould... this is so when the two halves are placed back together they will always go back together in the same place. To finish up I removed all the plasticine from both the cast and the mould ready for the next step.

Another thoroughly enjoyable lesson with so much learnt in one day, i feel confident mixing and using the plaster to create moulds and the techniques learnt in this lesson can be applied to any similar kind of sculpt, as the base remains the same it can be used time and time agains to create more prosthetic pieces.

Task 2 - Make-up Practice.

After going away and doing some much needed research into asian bridal hair and make up, and having found an appropriate outfit for this look i had a strong idea of how exactly i wanted to do the make up. 
Glitter is something i used to use a lot of when i first got into using make-up and i loved it, but as I've got older Ive just found it messy so i stopped using it altogether. Even though its something I'm not a big fan of i really wanted a big dramatic stand out eye for this make up, Asian brides are always more made up, glamorous and dramatic in comparison to english brides and i really wanted to portray this.


I looked around online for various ways to apply glitter to the eyelid and one method i found which was using products i had in my kit was with eyelash glue, i though rather than leave this to chance on assessment day i would practice before hand and the images above show the results of this.
Im not sure exactly what i did wrong here but it caused the glitter to look incredibly caked onto the eyelid and it was impossible to blend the edges of it once it was set.

The only plus side to this technique is that once it has set and if its lifted correctly then the glitter and glue will pull off all in one piece leaving very little mess to clear up afterwards.

Task 2 - First Practice.

For task 2 I have to use postiche to enhance the natural hair, with a realistic finish. This could be anything from special occasion through to editorial, as long as the postiche used matches the models own hair colour. 

For this task the look i have decided to create is an asian bridal look which will include the hair, make up and costume suitable to the style. When it comes to hair styling its not something i can say i feel overly confident doing so i wanted to practice this section of task two the most so i could get it just right for my assessment. 

Luckily i had my actual model there to practice on but as i wasn't too sure on what exact style i was doing i wanted to practice simply securing a ponytail piece into the hair and creating a basic style to work with. 
I back combed the top of her hair into a bouffant before trying to add some pin curls to the hair to hide the ponytail piece. This didn't turn out quite as nice as i had expected so i decided to scrap that idea. 

With some much needed help from my model, i kept the bouffant in the top of the hair also adding part of her fringe into it.  Next instead of the pin curls i used some of my models own hair clips to secure the hair in place and swept the rest of it to one side ready to be styled. 

Before choosing what style i would be going with i decided it would be best for me to do some more research into what exactly i wanted to do then find a suitable ponytail piece and accessories, but this practice session has boosted my confidence a little when it comes to hair styling and what i want to do for this task.

Face Casting Part Two.

The next step of the face casting process was to make a plaster base for my plaster face cast to sit into ready for me to sculpt onto.  
I started by placing my face cast onto a wooden board and drawing a wider circle around it to mark out where i would be placing the clay walls. The next step was to place the clay wall onto the board and smooth down the edges and where the two sections meet to avoid andy leaks when the plaster is applied. To ensure the clay is properly secure i added a couple of layers of mod roc around the outside to hold it all in place and left it to set. 

Before i could add the plaster face cast to the plaster base i had to sit the face cast into a bowl of water, this is so the face cast does not crack when i sit it into the plaster base.
To avoid the plaster sticking to a wooden board i applied a layer of vaseline to it first. 

After mixing up the plaster i applied the first layer to the base. To add some extra strength to the plaster base i added a layer of skrim, pushing it into the base later followed by another layer of plaster. I repeated this step with another layer of skrim until the base was around half way full. 
I then gently sat the plaster face cast into the plaster base and allowed the plaster to set for a few minutes. 

To finish off the base i added another layer of plaster to it then filled in the gaps at the top and bottom of the plaster face with whatever plaster was left over then left it all to set for around half an hour to 45 minutes. 

Once the plaster base had completely set i removed the clay & mod roc walls from the edges and using chisels and files i smoothed down any rough edges on the plaster face. Four key holes were also drilled in around the edges of the base to act as a guide for the top mould. 

To set the plaster and to avoid the plaster absorbing any moisture from any products applied onto of it i applied several layers of  shellac plaster sealer using a paint brush.  I slowly built it up layer by layer until it started to dry with a shine. The plaster base was then ready for me to sculpt onto. 

As the weeks go on i am enjoying the special effects lessons more and more, i feel like we are covering a whole lot more than we have ever done in such a short space of time and i am learning valuable skills which can prove valuable if i were to continue down the route of a special effects artist.

Task One -Facial Hair.

As part of task one we had to research fashions in facial hair throughout the 20th Century. By doing this i felt it gave me a greater insight and knowledge of different styles of facial hair, what was popular in different eras and how the fashions have changed throughout out time. When It came time to create the pattern for making my own moustache i opted for a fairly simple Broom style moustache. This didn't have to be related to a specific time era but a character breakdown was needed  for the assessment.

The image above shows my finished moustache ready to be styled and trimmed.
Once i had made my pattern i cut this out of white card and stuck it to the board before placing the netting over the top, i did this as i was using brown hair for the moustache and it would make it easier for me to see where i had knotted already.
As i had made the pattern fairly deep and didn't want to make the moustache too thick, I kept it to  one single hair per knot and just knotted every other loop. It took me two and a half days of very dedicated knotting to complete, at times i found it very difficult focussing on the netting as it was so small but managed to continue on getting it finished in good time for my assessment.

The character i created was a stereotypical office computer geek, more interested in his job and computer than having a social life...Think Dwight Schrute with a moustache.


Before applying the moustache to my model i lightly applied some foundation to his face as he had been on the sun beds the previous day he had a lot of redness. After powdering i applied spirit gum to his face where i was applying the moustache and allowed it to go tacky. Unfortunately i made the mistake of applying too much glue which caused it to seep through the netting and stick the hair together, and after all that it still wouldn't completely stick to his face. 

To complete the look i chose a shirt and badly matching tie, a side parted rather unattractive hairstyle and my dads glasses. All fairly simple but i feel all put together it looked rather effective.
When receiving feedback from my tutor the first thing she noticed was the amount of glue on the moustache, i explained to her step by step what i had done then she explain to me where i had gone wrong and what i should've done instead. Thankfully she was more positive about the over look i had created and my knotting skills which gave me a real boost.

Overall i have really enjoyed this task and learning something completely new, as overwhelmed as i initially felt by the thought of having to knot an actual moustache i found myself really getting into it, when i found a good rhythm with my knotting i got stuck into it and was finished in good time. Hair knotting is definitely something i could see myself doing more of in the future when going to work in the industry. It is a time consuming and something i personally find quite rewarding when it all comes together.



Burlesque Inspired Photo shoot.

As mentioned in my previous work experience post, the ballet inspire photoshoot, the model I did make up on was also a photography student asked me if I would do some make up for her work a week later. 

Proof how important it is to make a good impression when doing any kind of work. 

The photographer told me that there would be three models for the photo shoot so I arranged to come abit earlier to have the models ready on time. She also said she had some images of what she wanted the models to look like which she would show me on the day but just to ensure i was taking exactly what i needed in my kit i did some of my own research before hand looking at various images and some tutorials on creating burlesque style make up.  I always feels its best to be well prepared for any work i am doing eliminating chances for anything to go wrong.

Upon my arrival the photographer showed me the research she had done, she had collected images which were very similar to the images i had looked at which were all sultry smokey eyes in the typical burlesque style.  On the first model i did winged eyeliner with a dark red lip and the other two models both had heavy black smokey eyes with a brighter red lip. The photographer suggested that the models decided what they wanted their make up to look like based on her research as she wanted them to feel comfortable in it. I was happy to go along with this adding my input where i felt necessary.

Once again i feel this work experience really helped to boost my confidence when working with new people, working with photographers and working to time deadlines.  Being in the studio environment on this course i find i am often practising make up on friends who are also on the same course as me, its an environment i am dry comfortable with and if theres ever something i am unsure of they are always there to offer advice or giving me instant feedback. As much as i find this helpful its something i can also class as a flaw as i need to have more confidence in my own abilities to successfully complete a make up look to the best of my abilities without having to check if it is alright as once i am out working in the industry this will not be the case and i will only have myself to rely on. 

It is important for me to really push myself and to step outside of my comfort zones when it comes to doing future work like this.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hair knotting.

As part of teh first task we have to knot a moustache of our choice which will then be applied to a models face. Knotting is a technique i knew nothing what so ever about, i knew it was possible to get hand made wigs but that was as far my knowledge went so when we had a lecture on what it all entailed i was left feeling a little overwhelmed by it all as it all looked so incredibly technical.

We started off by learning how to make a basic pattern to fit an individual face using cling film and Sellotape which is shown in the image above.


we were each given a board, netting, a knotting hook and some hair to practice knotting before moving on to do the actual moustache for our assessment. 

From the images you can see just how small scale it all is. I have no shame in admitting i found the whole process incredibly tedious and frustrating when first trying to get the hang of it, id pull the knot too tight and snap the hair or just not create the knot at all and have to start allover again. As with any new skill i found the more i practiced the easier it became until i felt confident enough to move onto my actual moustache that i would be creating for my assessment.

This is a skill i can definitely say i appreciate a lot more now i know the amount of time, effort and hard work that goes into it. I feel it has given me a better understanding of costings and why people who do this charge what they do when working in the industry. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ballet Themed Photoshoot.

This first semester we have to complete a minimum of two work experiences. I Was starting to feel a tad frustrated at my inability to initially find any to do when i noticed a couple of advertisements for a make up artist from photography students pinned to the noticed board.

I decided to give the first one a call... the shoot would be taking place on a thursday afternoon and the make up was for a ballet themed photo shoot which would require fairly simple make up and basic hair styling on a model with blonde hair.
 Feeling fairly confident about this I purchased a few extra items for my kit such as blonde hair pins and a bun ring and arrived in good time to set up my work space to get the model ready. 

Upon arrival the photographer explained that she was no longer using the model she had originally planned to use and was using a different girl instead.
I started by doing The models hair first, the photographer asked me to put it up in a bun, hence why i purchase a blonde bun ring, but the new model had shorter pink hair which did made the task of putting the hair into a bun slightly more challenging but i just had to put more thought into the placement of the bun ring and i had to ensure it was all securely pinned in place so none of the shorter strands of hair came loose.

When doing the make up i went for a more natural lighter hand approach when applying it. I used a full coverage foundation to create a flawless base. I sculpted the face with contour powder and highlight then lightly applied a natural owner blusher to the cheek bones. I used neutral eyeshadows to really enhance the models eyes and finished off with some winged eyeliner in a design requested by the photographer. 

Overall i felt incredibly pleased once i had completed this make up, it gave me a confidence boost i really needed with networking as its definitely something i need to work on. I also managed to get myself some more work experience with the model i worked on who is also a photography student!!