Zombie Make-Up – How-to do a simple Zombie Facepainting

( this is an update of a post from 2013)  #zombieattack

Our Transformations technique is to create bold face designs that look exciting, creating a unique design for each person we paint. It’s the over-all effect of the collective faces at an event which creates the transformation. Each face should look good both up close and from across a room, it should draw your attention and excite the person wearing it. To maximize the effect at an event we paint as many people as we can, using a simplified technique and concise imagery to paint effective designs as quickly as possible — a face like this zombie would take 3 minutes.  

For this how-to I took these step-by-step fotos on a guest as I painted him at one of our events.  This is the fast version of a basic stage make-up approach to shaping a face with shading, with some zombie details on top. A basic make-up concept like this then leads into all sorts of variations and explorations at each event, see #ZombieAttack — Halloween Gallery

zombiehowto_1base_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 1: BASE — With a sponge, put a solid base color over the whole face (except the eyelids). Use any medium shade: grey is classic zombie, but can be green, blue or others. (See below for info on the makeup, brushes and sponges we use — and also for a pdf of a green zombie and other variations)

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zombiehowto_2shading_131016c_agostinoartsSTEP 2: SHADING — Add shading to exaggerate the sunken parts of the face: the eye sockets, the sides of the nose, the lines from the edge of the nose going around the mouth, the hollows on the cheeks and chin. Generally with horror make-up, you want to make the face more dramatic looking by putting shadows into the sunken, fleshy parts of the face and highlights on the bony parts (step 3). I do my shading by painting thin lines with black liquid make-up, then “pulling” those lines with a large soft brush to blend them into the grey base. You can also do your shading with the edge of a sponge — a triangular sponge works well for that.

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zombiehowto_3highlights_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 3: HIGHLIGHTS — In this step I use a sponge to lightly put white makeup onto the bridge of the nose, the cheek bones, chin and forehead, to increase the sculpting of the face.

I also put a bright color (yellow in this case) onto the eyelids to begin to make his zombie eyes.

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zombiehowto_4eyesmouth_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 4: EYES & MOUTH — I add a red spot for the eyes and black to create the open mouth shape. It’s part of the style that I work in that the mouth is kind of loose and jagged — I like my monster faces to look “ill-formed”, not too precise.

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zombiehowto_5details_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 5: FINAL DETAILS and EXPRESSIVE LINES — In this case I gave him small pointy teeth with some red dots for blood. I used what I term “expressive lines” to give his eyes an angrier look — they same kind of line techniques a cartoonist would use to change the expressions of an illustration can create the modern, fast type angry zombie or, with different eye lines, the old-fashioned shambling type zombie (in this case, I modeled off of those furrowed brows they always give the Hulk when he’s angry in comic books).

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zombieeyes_131016c_agostinoartsZOMBIE VARIATIONS —  Starting from this basic formula of using shading and highlights to make the face dramatic, using bizarre colors, and adding playful details like a gory mouth and zombie eyes, you can make a whole range of zombies, monsters, and other horror make-ups. The blue shaded zombie here was also painted at the same event.

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Click here for this printable pdf of the step-by-step for a green zombie, and some examples of variations:   Halloween_ZombieHowTo_agostinoarts

Halloween_ZombieHowTo_agostinoarts

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Kit-060507eMAKE-UP AND TOOLS — There are a  lot of good face painting make-ups available today, so please be sure to get a safe, comfortable make-up product for any facepainting. Never use paint on someone’s skin, even paints that say they are non-toxic — always use make-up.

The brand I prefer is Kryolan’s Aquacolor because of the vivid colors, ease of application and removal, and how comfortable they are to wear. Learn more on our web page http://agostinoarts.com/AboutTheMakeup including where you can get quality make-ups in the NYC area and online. And check out my book: Transformations! The Story Behind the Painted Faces

I apply the Aquacolors with sponges and brushes. I prefer the round craft-type sponges and synthetic sable watercolor brushes.

Learn about all that we do at: agostinoarts.com

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The Eye of the Demon — a StoryFaces Performance

EyeOfTheDemon_Logo_slide

a story cycle of Japanese adventure tales

for adults and brave family audiences

samurai vs. demons, ’nuff said

Medieval Japanese legends mixed up with Kabuki theatre and Kuniyoshi prints, Emaki scrolls and Onmiyoji, on top of a childhood of Kurasawa films and Marvel comics.

 ——————  The Stories  ————–

It begins with The Legend of the Haunted Bridge… A soldier brags how he’s never seen anything that frightened him, so the Governor orders him to cross the bridge and find out what the demon that haunts it looks like, “because a man must live up to his words, no matter how foolish they are.” It was the perfect ghost story for a face painting storyteller — perfect because it described the face I’d need to paint to tell it, the face of the demon. It’s a tale I’ve told for many years, and it’s led me on into the thrilling world of samurai.

Raiko vs. the Goblin Earth Spider is a Samurai-Superhero Adventure™, featuring a young Watanabe No Tsuna, the samurai that took care of that demon at the bridge, fighting armies of demons, an evil Spider Woman and a giant spider named Tsuchi-gumo, all at the side of Minamoto no Yorimitsu (aka “Raiko”), the first of the legendary samurai.

Part 3: The Princess Ibaraki and the Tale of the Drunken Demon — The Drunken Demon is a classic tale I saw on an emaki storytelling scroll. It includes the same Raiko and Tsuna defeating the demon, and one of the Drunken Demon’s henchmen escapes to to haunt a bridge. To bring the tales back around together I borrowed a character from the movie Onmyoji, a princess who turns into a demon.

           The Eye of the Demon is a full length StoryFaces performance for adults, with a family friendly version as well. It features retellings of tales from a thousand years ago about Japanese demons (which are more like monsters or ghosts than like devils) and the samurai who fight them, along with personal stories of my discovery of these tales and the art they’ve inspired, and the way this connects to the superhero comics I grew up on.

Kuniyoshi_Raiko_tormented_by_the_earth_spider

By Kuniyoshi. My favorite Japanese printmaker depicted Raiko vs. the Spider several times

——————  The Sources  —————-

My original source for the haunted bridge tale was a story called “The Bridge” in the book Japanese Tales (Royal L. Tyler; Pantheon; 1987), and have since found related and extended versions of this type of tale online. I first came across Raiko vs. the Spider in Short and Shivery: 30 Chilling Tales (Rober San Souci, Doubleday, 1987). When I saw this tale show up again in a print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) in an exhibit at the Japan Society I began to understand the role medieval samurai legends have had in Japanese art and entertainment. For me, these tales are to be enjoyed as much through the illustrations, prints and other visual art they engender as through any text. The images drive the stories.

From a scroll by Kaiho Yuchiku (1654-1728) – The Drunken Demon surrounded by a bevy of ladies

onmyoji_jpgI first met  The Drunken Demon on an emaki at the exhibit Storytelling In Japanese Art at the Met, and again it was visual art driving me deeper into a story to tell. In addition to Raiko and Tsuna, the tale also included a wizard, Abe no Seimei, who I knew from a favorite movie of mine, Onmiyoji. In that movie, he has to solve the mysterious appearance of a namanari,  a living woman who turns into a demon — and I made a place for her in my tale as well.

Ibaraki Demon fleeing with her arm

Ibaraki Demon fleeing with her arm

TheArmoftheDemon_121028c_agostinoarts

The Arm of the Demon

Another illustration in the exhibit was of the Ibaraki Demon stealing her arm back, and finding out just what that was all about led me into the classic tale of Watanabe no Tsuna and his battle with a demon on a bridge — adding a potential new piece to the puzzle. The iconic image of Tsuna cutting the demon’s arm off  has been frequently illustrated by Japanese artists, and led me to another face for my tale.

Emaki are handscrolls that tell such tales through illustration and text, kind of like comic books, and you unroll them as you read them so the images go across your vision as the story progresses, kind of like movies. Finding a way to understand these stories as comic books and superhero movies gives me my own way in. The word “samurai”, to me, means Toshiro Mifune in the Kurasawa films I first saw as a kid. Seeing Kwaidan (1964) really chilled me, and seeing how Ping Chong recreated such a visually complex movie as a live performance with puppets (at the New Victory Theatre) was a major influence on my developing StoryFaces technique.

angryoceanwaterfalltears_kuniyoshi_transformations_agostinoarts_e

Angry Ocean, Waterfall Tears ©2011 Christopher Agostino

To get a feel for this imagery and work out how I can get these images onto a face in a story, my exploration of these tales also included bodypaintings using imagery from Kuniyoshi and other printmakers, one of which was a full re-working of the  Ibaraki Demon tale, but I changed the name to “Irabaki” to indicate it wasn’t the traditional tale I’d found — though now that I’ve seen how many strange and wonderful versions there are for these legends I’m more comfortable taking my own path through to telling them while keeping their names intact.

Painted for Kryolan Professional Makeup at IMATS New York

The Irabaki Demon — a BodyStory — Painted for Kryolan Professional Makeup at IMATS New York

learn about all we do at:  agostinoarts.com  See the video: What Is A StoryFace?

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Halloween Face Painting 2013 — Gallery #zombieattack

TEventSign_Surprise-NiceorSpooky‘Tis the season… We do a lot of Halloween and Fall festival events this time of year, and folks seem even more appreciative of, and open to, our creativity as Halloween approaches. It’s a good time to develop new face ideas and expand on older ones. Our approach is to surprise each person we paint with an original design just for them, only asking if they want to be “nice” or “spooky” — or matching their costume if they have one. Here’s a gallery of some of my favorites as I paint this season, and I’ll add more as we go (gallery updated 10/23/13). Mostly they are the spooky ones, but there’s a few nice ones as well.  Check out our event schedule on the News/Schedule page and come and be transformed at Boo at the Zoo and our other Fall Festival and Halloween events.

 

 

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#ZombieAttack — Halloween Gallery 2: Vampires, Demons, Aliens and Creepy Characters

 

Some of my favorite spooky faces from the recent Halloween seasons. Halloween is like the national holiday for facepainting and the arts of transformation. Have fun, be bold and get creepy.

Check out the News/Schedule page to see where we’ll be this Halloween season, and come and be transformed.

 

Learn about all that we do at: agostinoarts.com

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Japanese Demons and Kabuki Spooky —re-post

by Christopher Agostino
(the heaviest traffic on the site these past few days are people searching for scary stuff like demon imagery, so I am re-posting one from last Halloween season  — and come see me at the Prospect Park Zoo this Sat and Sunday (Oct 27+28) to get your face painted — and I will be telling a new mix of demon tales from my storytelling show: The Eye of the Demon)
I paint a lot of demon faces this time of year, many inspired by Japanese imagery and folktales. In 2008 particularly, I put an effort into exploring new face designs based on Japanese masks and kabuki makeup. That year I was painting at the Transworld Halloween Show  for Kryolan Professional Makeup and took the approach at the event to paint horror faces based on world mask designs, as a contrast to the traditional zombies and skulls, so most of the examples here are from around that time.
     
This mask is a contemporary example of a Namahage Demon from the Akita Prefecture. It is worn for a traditional Lunar New Year celebration which sounds like Halloween in reverse, as young men wear the masks and visit people’s houses to scare their children and admonish them to listen to their parents—or the demons will come back! The parents reward the young men with sake and food. Although frightening, Namahage are said to be gods who bring good fortune, an example of the beliefs connected to spirit worship traditions in which powerful demonic spirits can become protective when they are appeased. Check out the Japanese movies Onmyoji and Onmyoji 2 for a fun depiction of demonic possession and the Ying-Yang master that has to restore the balance.
      In folktales, Japanese demons come with various descriptions. Some may be red or blue faced, with fangs, horns and one, two or three eyes. In the tale of the famous samurai Raiko and his battle with the Goblin Earth Spider, he is attacked by an army that drops out of the storm clouds, including animals that walk like men, beings with three claws and three eyes—one with eyes in its hands—and long serpents with human heads. There’s a few ideas for facepainting. At an exhibit of prints by the artist Kuniyoshi last year at the Japan Society I was very jazzed to see two illustrations of Raiko vs. the Earth Spider with imagery that has re-invigorated the way I tell and depict that tale through faces.
     
The prevalence of such beliefs within the medieval Japanese culture allowed for the growth in Edo province of “Aragato,” the style of Kabuki theater which produced the famous makeup for its samurai hero and for the ghosts and demons he would battle. The origin of Kabuki and other Japanese theater in shamanic ritual and spirit worship is evident in the hero’s ability to do the impossible because they have allowed themselves to be possessed by a powerful kami (“supernatural deity”) and thus have become hitokami (“man-gods”). Continue reading