Friday, August 27, 2010

Period Make-up & Sculpture Detail

We are now learning to apply our make up skills to Period makeup for film. The last few weeks we have learnt the correct techniques for applying the different types of foundation and our skills have been tested this week with the need to produce an authentic Egyptian look as well as a design typical of the 1800’s.

The students were again reminded about the importance of careful blending as we applied a very dark base to our models for the Egyptian look. Achieving the correct eyebrow line, using the gold and blues of the time and perfecting the eyeliner design proved to be quite a challenge. However we rose to the occasion and produced some lovely “Cleopatra’s”.

We had all done a great deal of research for both the era’s and had great fun discussing our results particularly as to the reason for beauty spots and decorative designs on the white based faces of the 1800’s. Mariel tried her hand at recreating a horse and carriage design on her model, which was a great success! We dressed and wigged up our models, applying the hair preparation skills we had learnt in previous weeks, and took some excellent photographs of the results.

This week saw us take a great leap ahead with our sculptures. It was very exciting to finish the first stage of sculpting and move on to adding finer details to the faces such as skin pores and fine wrinkles. The boys showed us various techniques (and a few nifty tricks) on how to achieve the detail and we were thrilled to see how much these things changed the look of our characters and really started to bring them to life. Soon we will be able to add the flashing to our sculpts, that will bring us closer to making the actual mould. We can’t wait for that day!

Candy Burgess - Student

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cats, Cirque, Wig Knotting & Sculptures

Utilizing the tools and techniques we have learnt regarding high-lighting and shading, product knowledge, colour theory and the basic differences required between theatre and film make-ups, we delved into completing a basic theatre make-up on each other. We then moved onto our Cirque Du Soleil make-ups, which we all found fun and challenging, made all the better by having friends and family sit as models for us. Behind the beautiful colours and bold lines of a Cirque make-up, we discovered lies lots of technique in regards to working with a white make-up. The process of powdering your make-up as you go to ‘set’ the base, really was emphasised with this kind of work, as white doesn’t hide any mistakes at all! Hair designs were completed and costumes were chosen for the final photo shoot so we could really see our creations come alive.

Wednesday saw us in the workshop refining our sculptures as we get ready to make our moulds. As far as we thought we have come, there is still a long journey ahead of us in refining our designs and detailing our faces. Skin texture, expression lines, wrinkles and over all composition, as well as making sure any technical faults with our pieces need to be addressed. The whole process of choosing a character and sitting here for weeks on end creating it has completely changed my appreciation for the craft. I’ve always picked apart the technical side of films but now knowing and experiencing all the painstaking work that goes into the tiny details of the special effects, it seems that simply enjoying a film is beyond me now. All I will ever wonder is “what materials did they use to make that?”

Thursday and Friday were both mammoth days that saw us finally bringing to life our ‘Cats’ character and commence our wig-knotting component. Talk about baptism by fire!! Thursday was fun but intense, as we used our knowledge of white base make-ups and applied it to our ‘Cats’ make-up. Wigs and costumes on - why go to Broadway when you can create it in your own classroom? When our wig making teacher Penny came by on Friday we already felt like there was no more room in our brains to learn, especially after she showed us the rather painstaking demo of what it takes to make a wig. We couldn’t believe that you have to knot hair ONE STRAND AT A TIME into the lace to make a hair piece... was she being serious!!!?? As we all moaned that we would never be able to do it, one by one we all got the technique down pat, I myself even found it oddly enjoyable!!

Mariel McClorey - Student

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Character & Glamour Make-ups

It’s been another fun filled week in the MEG Makeup Studio! Having the fresh face of Alice, our year 10 work experience student, we were able to create new and exciting looks for each other. Monday’s look was ‘Glamour’. Each of us explored and produced our own ideas of glamour makeup, from the classic style of Audrey Hepburn, to the polished look of today’s Burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese.

On Tuesday we focused on character makeup for film. Louise had us replicate the looks of Anne Hathaway from the “Princess Diaries”, Glenn Close as Cruella Deville from Disney’s “101 Dalmations”, and Julia Roberts’ character in “Charlie Wilson’s War”. It was very exciting to do the Hair and Makeup, choose costumes for our models to wear for the photo shoot and to see the transformation of each character come to life.

Tanya, returned this week for a jam-packed day of theory and practical work on styling with hot rollers. It was a definite “Victory” for some of us re-creating the look of the 1940’s “Victory Roll” in each others hair. Tanya also talked us through styling and pre-setting wigs for our “Cats” characters next week. We were able to bring together some amazing designs for the characters.

Back to our sculptures – Nick & Paul happily showed us new techniques for refining the form and adding intricate details, such as pores in the skin, and natural or “organic” lines and creases. It seems we have all developed a Love/Hate relationship with the faces that silently stare back at us as we sculpt... Some days we get along with them, other days they become very uncooperative!!

We have learnt so much these past 5 weeks and not only do our amazing teachers have high expectations of us from here on in, we are beginning to feel much more confident and have high expectations of ourselves!

Crystal Davies - Student

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Basic Make-up Principles put into Practice!

“Good morning girls and welcome to week four!” This was Louise’s greeting to us on Monday and it brought home with a thud just how fast this course is progressing. We had a full week ahead putting into practice all the basic principles we had learned so far. We had spent the weekend researching our looks for our television character. We then put up our research photos and set about turning each other into a Nurse Ratched type, a down and out prostitute, a stressed mother caught out shoplifting and a school teacher who was in jail for inappropriate behaviour! After completing each character makeup, we dressed our models accordingly and photographed them. We were all very pleased with the results.

Tuesday was about creating, a “no make up look” like what you might see in “Pride and Prejudice” etc. We soon learned this is the most difficult type of makeup to get right, especially for High Definition film! Perfect blending technique is required and it took much longer to achieve than other make ups.

We were very excited to see the wonderful Jane again on Wednesday who taught us all about colour wheels and the types of colour and its uses. She did a fabulous demonstration showing how this relates to makeup using warm and cool colours correctly. In the afternoon we were able to start on our paper mache masks after a quick demonstration and explanation of the techniques and tools required. I don’t think the class has ever been that quiet as we all sat, heads bent over our moulds, gluing madly! It was all very therapeutic!

On Thursday we were back out in the workshop with our clay friends. With encouragement and words of wisdom from Nick and Paul we were soon underway again and making great headway towards the finished sculpt, refining forms, making wrinkles look realistic and adding details we never noticed before. Once again the end of the day came all too quickly and some of us opted to stay longer and keep working on this fascinating component of our course.

Another component of the Master Class is “work experience” and I was lucky enough to be asked to work on a film shoot during the weekend. It was a fascinating adventure to work with professional Actors on make up and hair and to see how a film set operates on location. I worked with another makeup artist who was a graduate of Makeup Effects Group Master Classes and who guided me through the process and showed me how “standby” was put in to practice. We even did a little special effects work!

Candy Burgess - Student

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Down to Make-up Basics

Where do all the days go?

The knowledge, information and experience we've gained in just a few short weeks makes my head spin! Couldn't have been possible without the wonderful teachers guiding us with their expert tuition... Having fun while learning is a unique part of this experience!

This week has been a mixture of components! Monday was all about the lips, learning the techniques of correcting and enhancing them to achieve the ideal lip shape. Tuesday was our first hair lesson with Tanya, a qualified hairdresser with years of experience, who taught us the basics about hair. We learned about different hair types, how to shampoo hair, working with different hair products, as well as going through the components of our well equipped hair kit. We each had a go at shampooing and prepping one another's hair.

Wednesday was focused on bases and foundations, choosing the right one for a specific occasion and look. We experimented on each other with our aqua colours and grease foundations to get a feel of the materials and to become familiar with their consistencies. To get a better idea of what it felt like to be made up, we got into pairs and painted each other's faces with an experimental design of our choosing. Finally we were each given a picture of a newsreader as reference to replicate, so once again we got into pairs and made up one another, and for the first time styled the hair as well.

Amy Merhi – Make-up Student