If you are like me, you love the autumn and Halloween season. So much so, that I made it into a career for myself. Usually, I use prosthetics and complicated mixtures of materials to create film ready special effectsfor my clients, however today I'm going to teach you a simple, budget friendly and effective trick that can appear much more realistic than latex.
You can see my full tutorial WITH step by step photos HERE: www.glam-express.com/profiles/…
Yes, Mortician's Wax to be specific.
Mortician's Wax comes in all skin shades, and lack thereof if you wish. It's sculptable, easy to work with, and often smells like spearmint which is an improvement versus latex which can smell strongly of ammonia. This effects material ( which originates in the mortician's field, where it is used to rebuild decayed features of loved ones ), is also a wonderful alternative to latex for those with allergies or very sensitive skin. You can use it to cover your eyebrows effectively. You can create fake noses and brows with it, fake cuts, scars....the possibilities are endless. You can use it very much LIKE latex, and I personally feel like it looks even more realistic in some cases for certain effects due to it's texture and blendability.
You can purchase Mortician's Wax in your skin tone or in translucent, and then shade it with a cream or alcohol palette/wheel for sfx later. In this tutorial, I'll teach you step by step how to use Wax to your advantage this Halloween, or for any sfx effect you may want to try in the future. This method is totally beginner friendly!
Supplies: I am using...
Pierce PLASTO Morticians Wax in No#1 Firm ($11.50 ): You are going to want a firm wax. Make Up Forever also sells one. I am not a fan of the wax you can get easily in Halloween stores due to it's texture and blendability, although if you aren't a realism freak and in a bind it can work for this. I am using a translucent shade here, because it's the most versatile and can be used for other effects like zombies or creatures. I am also, well, really...really pale. So this almost matches my skin.
Ben Nye Spirit Gum ($5.99): Spirit gum is key to this! You'll use it to make sure your wax piece sticks to your skin and stays put. I love Ben Nye's Spirit Gum. Matte works best for this.
Mehron Bruise Wheel ($13.82) : Your bruise wheel will allow you easily to shade and color your wound effect without having to mix specific shades yourself that look like an actual wound. Love these wheels! They make for easy application.
Fake Blood (around $4.00 homemade ): You can make your own fake blood with food coloring and maple syrup, or purchase some. I used some blood I made homemade and stuck it in a leftover clear tube I had laying around for easy dispersal. You can also buy fake blood of course at a Halloween store. Though homemade looks just as good or even better and is cheaper to make especially if you need a large amount. Try my blood recipe: For one gallon of Karo Syrup, 5-10 drops red food coloring, 6 drops blue food coloring, 3 drops yellow food coloring, coffee grounds, two - five tablespoons chocolate syrup ( this blood is edible and looks great! )
Popsicle Sticks ($1-2?) : I use these to scoop out the wax, an to blend the edges of the wax.
Some old brushes: I use old brushes that I don't mind ruining for SFX work. These are just two small brushes that I didn't mind ruining and were almost ruined anyway. Paint brushes work fine.
Mixing palette: You don't NEED this but I enjoy using it just in case I create a color combination mixture that I really like and don't want to have to duplicate. These empty metal palettes are great for on set work but since this is for self use you could just as easily use a paper plate.
STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL:
Step 1: Apply Spirit Gum to wherever you are placing your effect. Make sure your skin has been cleaned with soap or witch hazel in this area and dried. After you apply your spirit gum to your skin, allow it to get tacky by letting it fully dry for 3-5 minutes. Put your finger on the area and lift up, the liquid should still be sticky but feel a little bit thick. This will be the material that KEEPS your wax ON you and keeps it from falling off. Tip: Add small pieces of cotton fiber to your dried Spirit Gum to really anchor your wax when you put it on your spirit gum.
Step 2: Open and scoop out your wax, and place it in the spirit gum.
Scoop out your wax with your popsicle stick and either place it on your paper plate/mixing palette or directly apply it to the skin. You should have an idea on how you want your effect to look at this time. Do you want a laceration? A bullet wound? A scar? A slit throat? Get some reference of wounds and make sure to use them when you sculpt your wax and make your piece on your body or on your model. You can see here that my wax has been used many times, but rest assured when you open your new wax it won't look dug into. It's easy to scoop out of the container too, and is similar to the consistency of a very thick vaseline. I decided to do a large wound on my inner wrist. Place your wax on top of your spirit gum, and push down with some pressure making sure the wax and the spirit gum successfully adhere to each other.
Step 3: Blend your wax into the skin with your popsicle stick.
With a popsicle stick, or tool of your choice, blend the wax into your skin until it is flush, and there are no visible edges. You can also play with the shape of the wound at this point, changing its shape to meet your needs. This step is VERY important. Your wound should not look like it has edges before your paint comes into play. Paint, nor excessive blood makes a realistic effect. I absolutely loathe when I see SFX work that is covered in fake blood or a bad paint job with bad edges underneath of that already hot mess. Make sure your piece looks like it could be a part of the skin whether it is wax, foam latex or latex before you paint it.
Step 4: Take our your Mehron Bruise Wheel, and fill in the inner area of the wound with a dark, deep fleshy, damaged tone.
Again, I apologize for the used appearance to my Mehron Wheel, it has seen some use. Still good as new though. I've also number the colors ( Brown: 1 ), ( Deep Purplish/Blue: 2 ), ( Green: 3),
( Yellow: 4 ), ( Red: 5 ), for easy reference. In this step I start to fill in the wound to give it depth. I chose the Red color, 5, to fill in the first layer o my wounded gash as you can see. I'll later use this color to make the wound appear irritated as well. Take your brush, a paint brush even works, and fill in the inner area of your piece.
Step 5: Use your #2 color, Deep Purplish Blue to deepin the wound.
Use the purplish tone ( #2) in your wheel to darken areas of the wound. This gives the piece depth and added realism. I picked certain spots inside the wound and out and gave them added depth with this tone. I also added some slight coloration with this tone to the veins around the wound to make them appear more dramatic.
Step 6: Using #2, #1 and #5 make the wound appear irritated and heavily bruised.
Using your #1, #2, and #5 tones ( brown, red and purplish/blue ) you can now highlight veins, speckle irritation marks and shade your wound in detail. I like to add irritation in the form of speckling, veining and small dots all over the wound area and around it, then go in with the brown, then again with the purplish/blue. Remember not to overdo it, and refer to references of actual wounds if you need to. Don't just put red everywhere! Realistic wounds are actually multi tonal.
Step 7: The last step! BLOOD.
This step is the step most people abuse. Blood. They over do it, ruining the piece entirely! Remember, you want to see part of all of the wound still. You don't want to hide it with a giant blob of blood. If you do, what was the point of even making a wound at all? It looks like a giant blood mark. Carefully place the blood INSIDE the wound and then drip it in a manner that makes sense, or splatter it. You can even smear a little bit of the blood because you would probably touch a wound this big if you actually had one. Try to put the blood in an area that makes sense, like how it would actually exit the body in real life.
That's it! You're done! You can spray this with Final Seal, Fix It Spray or Even Hairspray to help set it! Soap and water or Spirit Gum Remover will take it off easily.
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