Creating A Monster (Makeup)!

Recently I was asked to create a creature makeup by the production company Limbo Pictures for a recent music video shoot.  I thought it would be interesting to show how I created a full body stylized creature makeup on a very low budget in very tight time constraints.

A still from the filming of two music videos for the band Pixel Fix with Sheringham Studios and Limbo Pictures. Shot on location in the beautiful Puzzle Wood in the Forest of Dean the shoot included the use of full body makeup and prosthetics, hairstyling and beauty makeup and the building of prosthetic horns to complete the character makeups

A still from the filming of two music videos for the band Pixel Fix with Sheringham Studios and Limbo Pictures.

As a freelance makeup artist jobs come through last minute. If you are starting out in this industry then it is incredibly important to be prepared for any eventuality and be able to use your initiative. That was the case with this production and I was required to create a horned creature that the lead character would transform into halfway through the music video. The creature still had to look like the actor so with very little budget and time to design the makeup I went back to my crafty art school roots!

I built two large horns out of  a metal wire frame to create the initial shape and layers of papier mache to build the structure and give it strength . By using a mixture of acrylic and embossing paint I created the dark black shade specified by the producers and by using  the embossing paint I could create texture to the horns. When dry they were ready to be used for the shoot.


With the help of my lovely assistant Abi Jevans I got to work prepping the actors hair and working out the placement of the horns. Luckily the actor Dion had long thick hair and to begin with I set the hair in pin curls to create a base to grip the horns on to.

Pixel Fix

Pin curls used to create a base to attach the horns for the creature makeup

Once the pin curls were in place I covered Dions’ torso and face in DermaSheild, an intensive moisturiser and barrier cream, so it would have time to work into the skin, this would help to protect his skin from the heavy makeup being applied. Then it was time to apply the horns.

Pixel Fix Pixel Fix

With my assistant Abi standing in front of the very patient Dion we worked out the placement of the horns and then used a number of wig grips to attach them to the pin curls. When making the wire frame I took into account the fact that I would need to leave little hooks at the end of the wire to attach  the horns to the hair.

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After allowing Dion time  to stretch his legs and to put in the creature contact lenses while his hands were still unpainted we then got going with the bodypainting.  The brief was for a huge black horned creature to lift out of the ground, screaming in pain so I knew that this was going to be a big makeup job. It was important to give appropriate timings to the producers to allow time for us to complete the work, while giving time for Dion to have breaks and ensure he was comfortable.

As Abi got going on painting the hands and arms and applying the creature nails I had created for the filming, I used gel and black colour spray to mould Dion’s hair around the horns so they were blended and began painting his face and torso. After ensuring every part of the body was covered with paint  and sprayed with a large amount of fixative spray he was ready.

Creature Makeup By HatMakeup

 I wanted to make sure that every detail was covered and so with the use of tooth enamel and black food colouring every part of the makeup was thought about.

11225921_10153411741617223_150660304_nDue to the hot weather conditions on the day of filming it was also important to make sure I was on set to check the makeup as parts of the colour moved as Dion became warm under the sun.

The music videos are due for release later in 2015 and to get updates of the work being created by Limbo Pictures and Sheringham Studios here are links to their sites :-

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