Author: jenpen22


References, (2014). Bat Facts and Information. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2014]., (2014). Somerset Attractions, Things to do in Somerset – Cheddar Gorge. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2014].

Cottrell, S. (2013). The study skills handbook. 1st ed. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan., (2014). History of Crystals and Healing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Mar. 2014].

Dawson, R. (2014). Jurassic coast. 1st ed.

Debreceni, T. (2009). Special make-up effects for stage & screen. 1st ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Debreceni, T. (2012). Special makeup effects for stage and screen. 1st ed. Burlington, Mass.: Focal Press., (2014). Carbon Fibre Cloth, Epoxy Resin, Kevlar, Diolen, Equipment and Supplies for Advanced Composites – Easy Composites. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2014]., (2014). Neill Gortons 911. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May. 2014]., (2014). Google Maps. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May. 2014].

Greenaway, F. (1991). Amazing bats. 1st ed. Dorling K.

Hall, C. (1995). Gemstones. 1st ed. London [u.a.]: Dorling Kindersley.

Heaps, W. (1971). Birthstones and the lore of gemstones. 1st ed. London: Angus and Robertson.

Kehoe, V. (1991). Special make-up effects. 1st ed. Boston: Focal Press.

Kehoe, V. (1991). Special make-up effects. 1st ed. Boston: Focal Press.

Kehoe, V. (1991). Special make-up effects. 1st ed. Boston: Focal Press., (2014). Learn Prosthetic Makeup – Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May. 2014].

Mercer, I. (1990). Crystals. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

MNN – Mother Nature Network, (2014). 10 cave animals: The olm. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Apr. 2014].

Mouldlife, (2014). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May. 2014]., (2014). Cheddar Gorge – Visitor information – National Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2014].

Pinterest, (2014). Pinterest. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May. 2014]., (2014). Silicone Mould Making – Casting – Prosthetics & Supplies UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May. 2014].

Sieveking, A. (1979). The cave artists. 1st ed. London: Thames and Hudson.


Final Video Screentest/film

Stills from the film to see the difference in grading between the first cut and the second.

First Cut

<p><a href=”″>Earth Keeper 1</a> from <a href=”″>Jenny Oliver</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Password: sfx

Critical Evaluation







At the beginning of this project I decided to set out a body of work that was going to challenge and build upon previous learnt skills, to show my ability as a level 6 Hons student. In the specialist practise assignment there were skills that I obtained whilst completing the project that were going to be of use in this one, such as mould making and flat piece application and colouring. Therefore with this project I built on these and expanded them further into more complex pieces, however doing this ground work first made it easier for me to make that transition.

One of the tasks that I find personally enjoyable is creating a brief and generating a character by building a platform from the various different research methods. For me it was important to design a character that did not already exist something that was unique and had not really been created before, this was only feasible by doing the research and layering up ideas.

Choosing to do prosthetics over other forms of makeup was mainly due to specialising in an area; I want to be in film but also like creating prosthetic pieces and characters, doing the prosthetic area meant that I could challenge myself further in the given time than any other method. One of the issues found with doing this however is budgeting for the expenses that occur. I found it difficult to experiment as much as I wanted, due to not having the funding to do so. I tried to obtain free samples from companies such as Mouldlife and Ps Composites however they did not oblige to handing out wet samples. Which meant there might have been better materials that could have been used but with my budget I was unable to find and experiment with them.

Along with being unable to experiment, not having a big budget meant there was less room for error, which meant that I was more cautious with the product planning through all decisions and made sure everything was cost effective which is the good thing to keep in mind when going into industry. However it did mean when things did go wrong such as the prosthetic cowl not filling fully every time, I had to make resourceful decisions on how to fix it in order to get a working piece.

One of the things that I found difficult was balancing my work having three projects on the go at the same time along with work experience at Millennium Fx and losing a close relative meant that trying to keep on top of my written work was a challenge, I found that once I finished one of the projects it spurred me on to complete this one along with trying to keep to my time plan as much as possible.

With this shoot I decided to film the makeup on a location as well as shoot stills on the same day which meant having to become multiple different roles, this was especially challenging on the day on the shoot as my may concern wanted to be applying the makeup however I also needed to make sure everything was running to time and my team knew what was happening at every stage of the shoot. When getting to location it became a challenge to direct the shoot after just applying a four hour makeup, in future it would have been good to also source a producer who would be able to take some of the pressure off in order to concentrate on the make up more. However with this in mind having an assistant help me apply on the day was a real help not only to keep down application time but also in assisting in maintaining the models comfort levels through the long application process.

The development over third year of my work and professionalism can be reflected in the way in which I can now handle situations whether it’s my moulds not working or something has gone wrong. Instead of becoming emotional by it which would have been the past scenario, I can now except the short comings and make resourceful decisions on how to fix them, for example my fibre glass jacket of the models face cast had an under lock on it, this was noticed and fixed before it became a problem, something that in the past I may have not looked into and just continued making it worse.

The final piece being portrayed in a video means that it is suitable for many different audiences, Professionals can view it on a level of how the piece moves whether the edges have gone down well and how it reflects the light, these things are not obtainable through just stills, it will also be viewable to the general public who can hopefully appreciate other aspects such as the character as a whole and how the video is shot. By putting my work onto social networks it will be able to reach a wider audience and hopefully promote my work

Overall this project was a great learning curve to see how I work best as well as adapting to stressful and confusing scenarios, it has built my confidence in working within and leading a team, which in the past, I would have been apprehensive about. Being able to balance different working schedules along with family commitments was quite a struggle but managed to pull through by planning time wisely and making decisions on what can be done how and where. All of these points are valuable skills that I will continue to work on and take into industry.








Time Lapse

This is a time lapse I set up using my Dslr camera, orginally the makeup was going to be applied at uni in the studio and therefore I was going to to use the universites camera which has a time lapse setting already installed on it. However due to the availbility of my model and team I had to shoot and apply the makeup on a saturday where there was no studio access.
This in turn meant I needed to find another way to shoot the time lapse as the proposal stated that there would be one.
After speaking to a friend he recommended me to download DIY photo bits camera control from this website

This is how the screen looks


its quite simple to use just takes a few practise set ups to get the settings right, it was also important to choose the right amount of frames per second, I knew that my make up was going to take 4 hours, if there were too many frames it would be a long video process too little and it may miss important steps. This was shot on 30 frames per second

The intention was to make the video around a minute long this way it was short and snappy and kept the attention of the viewer, yet still was long enough to see the application.

I wanted the make up to be applied in sunlight as this was where it was going to be shot in, however could not actually apply the makeup outside, with this in mind I sat the model facing towards the open patio doors, and placed my camera on strategically piled up boxes to create a tripod.

In the video you can see decisions I made when applying as I didn’t have enough funding to do a practise application I had to go on what was in my mind and knowledge I have from other applications. Theres a point where I make the lips a dark colour as this was the design however after applying it I soon decided that it took too much away from the rest of the makeup so you can see me removing, this isn’t a problem however as it does just look like a stage of applying makeup and I think it looks more natural that there are mistakes in it, so decided not to remove them from the edit as it is more of a genuine representation of how the makeup was applied.

The Shoot Day


Time schedule/call sheet for shoot day

Here is a cut down of what needed to be done in the morning before heading off to location, this was really useful on the day as I could inform my whole team of what was happening and made sure that I kept on track with the application
Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 12.56.27Click to Enlarge 

This is also something that makes the shoot to be on a more professional level.
I was lucky enough to have my photographer drive the crew to location which cut down on budget for lifts.

The shoot date was very hot and bright, which made shooting slightly harder luckily we had a scarf so that the cinematographer could see what he was filming but on a future note should maybe look into finding somewhere with shadow.

Also made sure we had plenty of fluids to drink on location and sugary snacks in case anyone felt dizzy from the heat.
Luckily this was not the case and the shoot went well. I found that it was difficult not just being a makeup artist but also the producer and director, ideally in industry this won’t be the case but it definitely improved upon my organisation skills along with heading up a team, which will be useful in future aspects of the industry

All the Photographs from the shoot

A cut down of my favourite images from the shoot
Need to cut it down further to my five favourite final images.

This first grouping is mainly of head shots my favourite ares the ones which are side view on however it is also good to have some that  you can see the whole makeup as a collective.

Second grouping is of wide shots of the make up in its surroundings, it will be good to also have one of these next to a close up photo to set the surroundings
to set the scene of the shoot and to tell a story

The last grouping are of shots that are slightly more posed I like the colourings of these photos however unsure that they might be slightly too posed my favourite out of them is the last image as it looks

like she is prey. i’ll choose the final images and then send them back to my photographer where she will edit them and send me the large HD files back.

Colouring and Airbrushing

After examining how much I will have to apply on the day of the shoot, it has become with in my interest to pre paint the cowl this will save time on application as all I will need to do is glue it on and the touch up with colour rather than paint the whole thing.
I have never used an airbrush before on a prosthetic piece, I have only done some stencil work with it in first year. I thought this would be a nice skill that I can involve into this and practise upon, along with seeing what different styles and techniques that could be obtained with it rather than using just the illustrator pallet.

I used silicone pigments through the brush mixing up different earth tones, with images of cliffs in the background so that I could match similar colours. I didn’t want it to be exact cliff colours as I still wanted there to be an element of human coming through. with this I made the neck darker and faded it up into a lighter colour on the top of the head.

This is when the airbrush became useful as it could create a nice blend.
One thing that could be noticed from using the airbrush is that other techniques are needed at the same time otherwise it will look less natural and organic and will look airbrushed.

I also ran skin illustrator mixed with Ipa through it for lighter detailing. Along with flecking colour over it to create skin imperfections. The final part was to add the colour to the crystal parts this was done by taking the same glitter and glue over the top of the silicone, this was so it matched the other crystals. Something I could have looked at was to maybe place the glitter flakes into the silicone before running it, although I would be concerend that the sharpness of the glitter could create tears or holes in the silicone.

Scrap Store: to make costume

At this scrap store everything is donated from industry’s that know longer need the waste. In this case they rely on donations from business and customers using the scrap store. It cost’s £5 to become a member if you are a student, you are then given a bag which is £2 and can be filled up with as much scrap as you wish. scrap there was varied from gift boxes, fabric to wrapping paper and tiny pieces of plastic.
I looked at this scrap store for my last project so was more in the know about how it worked, as last time I found it slightly confusing what was free and what you paid extra for.

This time I was interested in getting materials to make my costume, I already had the base t-shirt so I was looking for sheer fabrics to drape over it along with material I could wrap around her hands.

The scrap store is located in Boscombe in a small house, however inside is full of treasures that are constantly changing, almost a Narnia of scrap. I will always keep in mind the scrap store for any work in the future as it is such a useful ethical source of materials.


in the next post about making the costumes I will show which ones were from the scrap store and the cost sheet for how much it cost to make in total.

Casting silicone face piece

my mould is a squish mould I chose this over injecting as it is only a relatively small piece with no undercuts on it there for squishing it will be easy enough to do and will prevent air bubbles caused by bleeders. It will also save on the amount of silicone I use as I wouldn’t have to fill the injection tube.
as well as this with it being a smaller piece injecting it would be hard as there would be no room to hide the seam caused by the tube.

This is being cast out of mouldlifes platsill 00, I use 00 as it is more cost effective as it is already deadened which means that not as much deadener need to be added after.
The first piece I cast out was deadened to 25% I mixed up slightly more than I needed by miscalculation however this was not a problem as I filled some of my flat piece moulds, with this I have saved time from mixing up extra silicone as well as not waisting the excess.
the mould it self is bolted the whole way round this helps to make sure when it is put back together it locates properly, and also to make fine edges on the piece by creating a tighter mould.
the first cast out of this mould .I put together and then bolted it however when de-moulding it was clear to see that it hadn’t had a tight enough fix together, as the edges on it were slightly too thick and would make it harder to apply and blend away.

Images of the thicker edges on the first piece, the eyes are popped out as I wanted to see how it fitted to the face but made the decision that it needed to be ran again. Also from this it was apparent that the silicone needed to be slightly softer to avoid it from popping away from the face around the eyes and nose area.
Second time I ran it 50% deadnened to the same 00 silicone, when the mould was squished and bolted together this time I put alot of heavy weights on the mould in order to get a tighter squish.
this worked well and the edges were a lot thinner however a small tear happened under the nose, this piece could definitely be used as a practise colouring piece however would be hard to hide the split.

The last time the piece came out great and should apply nicely.

Making the Costume

From my designs I wanted my character to wear quite baggy trousers almost like harem pants, this is because I imagined her to climb the caves and surrounding caves, which would be less possible in a dress or skirt, with having the trousers it would maintain the androgynous aesthetic to the character. The first point of this was finding the trousers.

Here is the design I drew for my costume with draping fabrics, and water eroded trousers.

10294977_10152493643588410_7625326942249952649_o (1)

I researched on amazon and ebay for some harem trousers however they weren’t the colour I wanted nor were they the right price due to a minimal budget.
With this in mind I took to the high street looking in charity shops for something that would be fitting for my design. There still wasn’t anything that was hitting the right points. Until I came across a pair of white trousers in primark


Priced at £9 they were in my budget and with them being the material they were I new I would be able to dye them exactly the design I had created.

The idea behind the colouring in the design is that the character spends alot of time going in and out of water, so I wanted it too look like tide marks up the legs, similar to the colouring on a sea cave.

This was achieved by several different dyeing processes, First off by dying them a just off white colour
to make them look more natural.
I then went about dying the bottoms, by putting less dye in at first and then as I raised the trousers I made the dye more concentrated. I wanted to make them slightly darker and more brown so decided to put green dye into the bowl to counteract the red colourings from the orange.
However I occidentally got green dye on to the paler orange cover. This was definitely a happy mistake as the green colour adds an extra natural feel to it and a colour that is seen in sea caves .


image of sea caves I looked at from love the earthy colours along with oranges and greens.


The top half I made with fabric sourced from the scrap store, The top I bought from Primark a while ago for £3
I wanted this half to be more feminine as the bottom part is masculine, this way creating this androgynous design.
floating materials and a juxtaposition to the strong structures of the cliff face.
This was put on a mannikin and then draped into position building it up with different materials. along with draping it with ladder string that I attached crystal beads too to tie it in with the crystal theme. all of this was then sewn together, hoping that it will be able to fit on the model with out too many complications.
The accessories she has are also from the scrap store the shell necklace and body piece came to £1, I thought having the shells on the costume will add to the reason as to why she is on the beach. Originally the character was just going to be in caves however this was hard to find in location.

Finally the bag was made out of leather scraps, that I sewed together and then deteriorated using fullers earth. I originally tried to use a cheese grated to erode the bag however the material was too tough and would not work.