But foam latex does have its advantages. It is durable, absorbs perspiration rather than collecting it in pockets and it doesn't dissolve or melt. Best of all, you can repair, re-glue and re-colour knowing that it's opacity will hide a multitude of sins- that is if it's well painted! This article will cover a simple procedure for colouring a foam appliance on the face.
Incidentally, if you like this kind of thing why not check out the free mini ecourse on my site-sign up quick and easy at LearnProstheticMakeup.com!
Step 1: Get Your Materials Together
" Pros Aide & remover
" Acrylic paints (I like liquitex, but most brands will work fine)
" Rubber Mask Grease Paint (RMGP)
" Alcohol activated makeup (Skin Illustrator/Stacolor/Kryolan)
" Plastic cups
" IsoPropyl Alcohol
" Cheap bristle brush/chipbrush (12mm/1/2)
" Cotton tipped buds such as Q-Tips
Step 2: Mix Your Base
You mix up the base colour of the subjects skin using the acrylic paints, getting as close as you can. You can tweak with washes and makeup later. It takes a while to confidently mix flesh tones, so have a play and try several attempts. A little goes a long way so you do not need to mix gallons of paint! Half an egg cup will be plenty.
For this makeup I started with Unbleached titanium (off white), adding reds, raw umber, yellow ochre and a little Olive. Once you are happy with the colour, add 40-50% Pros Aide and mix well. It will look lighter than before because of the whiteness of the Pros Aide but because Pros Aide dries clear the colour will return to normal. For darker skin tones, I like to start with a little warm colour like Apricot and add appropriate shades like Umber and Sienna to avoid going too cold.
Step 3: Brushes
The ruined looking brushes are sable and synthetic mix brushes repeatedly stamped onto a surface and back-combed with a wire brush to spread the bristles. This makes applying natural looking stipples of colour much quicker.
Also, use a sharp blade and scrape the brush to create the curled tips.
Dry carefully with a hairdryer, powdering as soon as it is dry. Pros Aide glue remains shiny and tacky when dry, so ensure you powder before any facial expressions are pulled as everything that touches will stick. If this happens, a little IPA on a brush or cotton bud will un-tack it.
Try applying in a stippling motion. This will give you a more natural looking distribution of colour. It needs a few more coats, some lighter and some darker to break it up drying each coat before applying the next. It definitely needs some red.
Address these by applying colour wheel logic. 'Too red' needs a touch of green in the next wash. Take a little of your base PA-X onto a palette and add a drop of Olive. The Pros Aide in the PA-X will keep it flexible, so don't add more.
The great thing with these alcohol colours is the washes can be thinned right down with IPA so you can apply tiny amounts of actual pigment, and the solvent evaporates quickly. Very handy for tweaking colour.
I also apply some washes using the cut down half-inch decorators brush. I dip the brush into the Illustrator wash, and flick the end bristles which distributes an 'airbrush spatter' evenly over the appliance and skin.
You could use an airbrush if wanted to, but for ease I like the paintbrush for quick colour changes and cleanup afterwards.
Step 9: Step 6
Remove appliance with Super Solv, Pro Clean or similar.
Step 10: Reference. Always Reference...
Once a foam appliance is on, it obliterates the skin colour underneath and it is easy to forget what was there. I like to take clear photos of the subject prior to makeup, and also collect good images from magazines.
I also found some good books, like the National Geographic books and portrait collections. These are also great tools to refer back to when designing your makeup. Also, photo sharing sites such as flickr (http://www.flickr.com/) are great. Just type in what you are looking for (old face, sunburn or freckles etc) and trawl away. Reference often leads you into new directions you had not planned on going!
If you like this kind of thing why not check out the free mini ecourse on my site-sign up quick and easy at LearnProstheticMakeup.com!
There's more like this, looking at other aspects of makeup effects and prosthetics on the Free Downloads page.