Having had some success a few years back with my Impressionist Joker Costume, for 2013 I decided to take a crack at another Batman villain, Two-Face. One of my reasons for taking this route is that I've grown weary of putting huge effort into costumes that accurately represent my inspiration, but which the audience fails to appreciate. Why create a 1966 Doctor Who Cyberman if everybody is just going to say "Hey, look at the robot!"? So I've been leaning toward costumes that don't rely on a knowledgeable public. My Lovecraft-inspired costume from last year was chosen because I didn't expect anyone to know what it was, so I wasn't sad when they didn't.
The Impressionist Two-Face costume is the same deal. It is not meant to look like Harvey Dent. Folks will probably recognize some of the elements and figure out what I'm doing, but my satisfaction will not be based on their ability to puzzle out my intentions. It was more important to create something striking, weird, and a little gross. They might not know who I am, but they'll notice me!
Here's what I used:
Fimo (white, translucent and pearl)
Two jackets, one black and one white
Two pants, one black and one white
various fabric remnants
One suit vest
A pair of shoes
a jug of blood!
Step 1: Two Face Mask
Since the technique had worked for the Joker mask, I decided to go ahead and start this mask by simply sticking papier-mache to my face. Smart people apply Vaseline or something similar beforehand, but frugal and/or lazy people (or those too impatient to run to the drugstore before beginning) just stand in front of a bathroom mirror, slop it on, and then shoot themselves in the face with a hairdryer.
Some people have more elaborate recipes, but I use straight-up flour and water. I like to work with a thick paste, but it's really a matter of personal preference. I've used a lot of different consistencies over the years and eventually settled on what works best for me, but I'm not going to tell you how thick to make your paste. It's all up to you. Mine is something like cake batter, easily pourable, but not too runny (the consistency of pancake batter, for example, would be too runny).
After I had a couple of coats on my face and let it dry, I popped off the base mask and allowed it to cure for a couple of days (I had time. If you don't, just keep blasting it with a hairdryer and you'll be able to work with it again in just a few minutes.
Once it was fully dried, I trimmed the edges so the mask covered my forehead, cheekbones, and terminated around my upper lip. Now comes the fun part: inventing a face.
My idea was that the "Two-Face" concept should be interpreted literally: I wanted to look as though I had sliced off two human faces, stitched them together, and then wore them over my own face. My left eye would be the right eye of one face, and vice versa. Confused? It'll all make sense in the end.
Since I had to fit two faces on, I knew that this mask would end up wrapping around to my ear area, so the first thing I did was build extensions to the mask and papier-mache over them to create a new work surface. Then I employed my usual technique of taking little wads of newspaper and bits of masking tape to sculpt the shapes I wanted. First I had to decide where the middle seam would go, and build up the edges around that. Part of the reason that I chose a crooked seam, rather than a straight seam straight down the middle, is that the crooked seam made it easier to hide my own cumbersome human nose.
From there I built up brow ridges, cheek bones and other shapes that would disguise the obvious contours of my own face beneath the mask, and some raggedy edges to imply that I cut these faces off with a dull blade! Basically, just experiment until you find a design you like... sculpting with paper and tape is easy, and if you don't like the results, you can simply pull it off.
Once you're satisfied, put another couple of layers of papier-mache over the whole thing!
Now, I regret missing this step photographically, but it happened. Like the Joker mask, I intended to use ribbons to tie this mask around my head. With the Joker, I drilled holes in the finished mask, dragged the ribbons through and tied them off, using a washer to secure them. This time, I punched the holes right after I had put a coat of papier-mache over the tape-sculpted features. From the front, the holes went into the corners of the false eye sockets. The ribbons were drawn through and tied off, then I papered over them, so the ties are completely invisible from the front. I really like this design feature, the only drawback being that if you decide that you want different ribbons instead, you're kind of screwed. The mask is the first element of the costume I built, and I had no concept of what I would wear with it at the time. I chose two shades of red ribbons because they look like blood and the mask was kind of gory, and I don't regret that choice. However, if I'd waited, I would have made a different selection. Given the way the whole costume turned out, it would have been more sensible to use black ribbons on the right and white ribbons on the left. But I didn't, and that's that, so stop yelling at me!