Sunday, June 25, 2006


Ghoul Number Two

Dick Smith's Ghoul #2 is slightly more elaborate that his Ghoul #1. The former was designed to be made entirely with greasepaint, while this ghoul requires building the features out with cotton. Cotton might seem like an unusual ingredient, but master horror makeup artist Jack Pierce used it extensively. Building up the features of his actors with cotton and Collodion, he was able to create such classic designs as Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man.

Dick Smith does basically the same thing, except, instead of gluing the cotton to the face with Collodion, he uses one of the makeup artists' other best friends: Karo Syrup. He covers the cotton with liquid makeup, and the results are quite startling:

Dick Smith's Ghoul #2

Creepy! Let's get started!

STEP ONE: Apply the cotton balls
Tug on the cotton balls until they're no longer balls-shaped, and then affix them to your future ghoul's face. Dick Smith recommends using Karo Syrup, we used Spirit Gum, you can also use surgical adhesive, which has become quite popular among makeup artists, and was another of Dick Smith's innovations.

Step one: Apply cotton balls Apply cotton

The thicker the cotton balls, the thicker the resulting face will be. Courtney decided to make the cotton on Max's face thicker than in Dick Smith's example, especially around the nose, which, as you will see, gave the resulting ghoul a bloated, almost melting quality.

Be very careful in gluing cotton balls over hair. Max got some on her hairline, and it was somewhat painful to remove. Nail polish remover or baby oil will help, but it's a little like getting gum out of hair.

Apply cotton Apply cotton

STEP TWO: Add makeup over cotton
Dick Smith suggests using sallow purple liquid makeup, to which he recommends adding some school glue to make it harden thicker (by this we presume he meant Elmer's glue). We happened to have liquid latex on hand, so we used that in the same way. Courtney colored the latex a horrid purple grey and then simply painted it over the cotton.

Step two: Cover cotton with liquid latex or liquid makeup Cover cotton balls
Cover the cotton balls Cover cotton balls

STEP THREE: Let the makeup dry
Especially if you are using liquid latex, it's going to take a few minutes to dry. Sit back and read a magazine.

Step three: Take a break

STEP FOUR: Add details with makeup
Courtney first went in and used black greasepaint to accentuate the makeup's natural shadows, particularly around the eyes and under the chin.

You don't want your makeup to all be one color -- in Max's case, it made him look a little like a melted candle. So Courtney used a stipple sponge to add some ghoulish colors -- greens and yellows in particular. We experimented with making the mouth a ghastly yellow.

Step four: Add more makeup Color the mask

And here's the completed Ghoul #2!

The completed ghoul #2


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