The world of FX makeup can seem intimidating and exclusive due to expensive products that must be purchased and complicated skills that must be learned, but it doesn't have to be that way! This set of steps will teach you how to create realistic FX wounds for screen, stage, or costume with cheap products and a beginner skill level.
Step 1: Gather Materials
• Disposable Work Surface (Paper Plate)
• Disposable Applicators (Sponges, Swabs)
• Disposable Sculpting Tools (Plastic Knife, Swabs)
• Blow Dryer—For Shorter Dry Time
• Liquid Latex
• Full-Coverage Foundation
• FX Scab Blood
• FX Flesh Palette (Water activated paints, grease paints, or alcohol activated paints)
• Paper Towels
• Smoother FX Blood
Step 2: Prep
1. Determine desired location of wound. Select an area of skin that is fairly low-traffic (minimal bending or wrinkling).
2. Shave area of application.
3. Cleanse area of application with soap and water.
4. Apply a small test patch in case of potential latex allergy. Let latex dry fully and remove with soap and warm water. Warning! If irritation occurs, discontinue use of latex immediately and contact your doctor.
1. Lay out all tools to increase accessibility The drying speed of liquid latex is relatively slow, but having quick access to tools will help you take full advantage of time when the latex is workable (not fully dry).
2. Pour a small pool of liquid latex onto the disposable work surface (paper plate).
3. Optional Ready paper towels. Latex and makeup spills can be handled with just a paper towel if wiped up when still wet.
4. Unroll 1 cotton ball (pull it apart) from its center until you get one long strip of cotton. Tear the strip in half long-ways to make two thinner strips that are the same length as the original. Make sure the cotton is consistently thin along the entirety of the strip, and remove any thicker parts of the strip.
Step 3: Apply
1. Apply latex in a thin, even coat in the desired shape and size of wound in decided location using a disposable sponge. As the latex dries, it will change color from white or flesh tone to clear, and will change texture from liquid to tacky, then to shiny (move on to Application Step 2 while the latex is still tacky).
2. Place one strip of cotton along the edge of the applied latex. Tip: The latex dries quickly during this step, so work quickly and do not be afraid to reapply thin layers of latex to attach the cotton, as this is the base of the entire prosthetic.
3. Saturate cotton with more liquid latex by dabbing directly over the top of the applied cotton. Use the same disposable sponge or a plastic knife.
4. Repeat Application Steps 2 & 3 on the other edge of the latex patch, joining the ends of the two cotton strips at the top and bottom to create a football shape with pointed ends (see photo).
5. Allow latex to mostly dry. The latex directly on the skin will go clear, and the latex covering cotton will appear yellowed.
6. Shape edges of the cotton to be thinner and more stringy by pulling at the mostly dried edges with a plastic knife or your fingers. Complete this sculpt with the consistency of torn skin in mind. Breaking up the blunt edges of the cotton and latex creates a lack of uniformity, making the prosthetic appear more natural.
7. Let dry entirely—use blow dryer to expedite this step.
Warning!Blow dryers can reach extremely high temperatures, and direct contact with the skin can result in burns or irritation. Alternate between hot and cool temperatures to prevent injury.
Step 4: Add Paint & Blood
1. Blend the edges of the latex into the actual skin by covering the transition in a thin layer of foundation. Apply with a different disposable sponge.
2. Carry the foundation up the exterior of the raised cotton, covering the "exterior skin" evenly up to the edge of the sculpt. Use a cotton swab for more detailed application.
3. Create the illusion of irritation using browns and reds from the flesh palette over the foundation, focusing the color on imperfections and indentations. Use a cotton swab, and apply color lightly then build up the color in patches. Inconsistencies in the color will appear more realistic than a consistent wash of red.
4. Fill the center of the wound, specifically where the latex is laying directly on the skin, with deeper reds and browns. Use a cotton swab to lay down color in an even layer, but leave the colors less uniform to amplify the realistic look. Tuck the color up under the edges of the latex to eliminate gaps. The interior of the prosthetic should most resemble exposed gore.
5. Cover the interior of the wound with scab blood, laying the gel directly over the reds and browns added in the previous step. Use a cotton swab to add more scab blood sparsely around wound as desired, focusing it on the corners to resemble how blood would drip from a real wound.
6. Let the whole prosthetic dry and Viola! A realistic FX wound created with minimal cost and a beginner skill level!
6. Optional Drip liquid blood along wound edges.