Day One: showing work
What kind of work? I'm a makeup artist, so that means photos with people in them, right? Challenge: This blog will show my makeup work, but it needs to be more than that. It will be a showcase of inspiration and ideas. A blog that shares my passion for makeup, but also all the other art that falls out of that category.
Sometimes the world of makeup and props merges and you get to create something really interesting and unique. This past year, I embarked on a journey with several other artists to create a mannequin on a budget for VeraMeat, a jewelry store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We used the generic body of a previously made mannequin as a base, but created custom arms, hands and head.
Smooth-On's body double for the lifecast. I am assisted by fellow Makeup artist, Shaun Thomas Gibson, and artist, Plaid Klaus.
Stark Naked Industries, measures for the attachment parts he will design and make on the 3-D printer.
Tech Optics in California. They came out so well, they even custom blended extra pink around the pupil for us.
We took the lifecast of the model's head and did a clay pour with Monster Clay. If you haven't used it, I highly recommend it. It has a low melting temperature and cools quickly with the perfect level of hardness. If you do a clay pour yourself, I recommend getting a good splash coat all over the detail area first so there are no freeze lines. This is the same technique I use to make a fake head. You can see the clay head above without any adjustments. In order to make a mold with eyes open, I cut the head in half and created holes for the eyes to rest while sculpting.
I decided there was not enough depth above the eyes once they were opened, and dug in at the brow bone to open the eyes up. Not shown are the images of the clay head put back together before casting.
Fiberglass resin used in making the body parts. All of the fiberglass material comes from a company called Fibre Glast.
Above is the three piece mold about to be pulled apart. We ran out of orange resin, so the front is black. The front mold was done in two pieces split down the middle to allow for undercuts.
This is what the mold looks like with the front removed. I made a silicone jacket out of body double to ensure that all the detail from the clay head was preserved.
We made the back of the head mold first, let it dry, then covered the front with the silicone. Once that dried, a white clay layer 1" thick was applied. This was sculpted to be the underlying shape of the front of the mold. You can see in the above picture where the clay still rests in the mold. A note, I would recommend not using white clay, but perhaps WED because something in the white clay inhibited the black resin from setting up in some places. For more on this technique, I recommend Neill Gorton's Creating Charater Prosthetics in Silicone.
Here is the demolded resin head. The mold ended up being poured in two parts: the back and the front. This was decided on to allow for extra resin to be poured into the details of the face. The two pieces were joined together with fine fiberglass mesh and sanded. Eyes were drilled out to allow for mannequin eyes.
Above is the fiberglass head with a white gel coat. If you have never worked with fiberglass before, prepare yourself for A LOT of sanding. Fortunately Stark Naked Industries has a pneumatic sander which makes the sanding a breeze. Fiberglass work can be very smelly, so use proper ventilation and a mask! The fiberglass resin was poured into the head up to the cheekbones and allowed to dry before being backed by fiberglass chopped strand mat. Once the head was removed from the mold, it was sanded for any imperfections and a white gel coat was applied.
This same technique was applied the the arms and hands. Fairing compound and gorilla glue were used to secure the mannequin attachments which were made on a 3-D printer by Joe. Pay no attention to the giant banana...
The other body parts were sanded and repainted to go with the albino coloring scheme. A pneumatic spray painter was used for large work.
I used a razor to strategically cut a few pieces of hair off the wig layers and super glue the hairs one by one with tweezers on the brow bone. This is best done at the tale of the brow and build toward the nose. I mixed in a few lighter and darker hairs for dimension.