A first attempt at face painting

At the Therians Easter meet I got my first attempt to paint up a good friend Chik'ki as a tiger. The Therians meet was the first public outing for the prosthetics that Sandroo had made, and these attracted considerable interest. This page documents roughly what happened.

Partly done The first step was to mark where the glue would be needed. With the mask held in place, the outline was marked with the orange base colour. A speciality glue called Pros-Aide was then applied inside this outline using a series of cotton buds. Once this dries clear a second coat is applied. When this goes clear the prosthetic can be positioned and stuck down.

The paint we used was Fardel water based makeup. This covers and blends well on skin, but doesn't work so easily on the latex. By diluting it 50:50 with ordinary tap water it can be used in an airbrush at the low pressures needed for painting the skin.

The latex was given a base coat of white using fingers, then I began to airbrush on the orange, extending this to cover Chik'ki's forehead, ears, and the sides of his neck. More white was sprayed to extend the lighter eye area onto his forehead, and to incorporate his beard. The pink nose and dark brown markings were painted on with a brush in a stylised manner as there wasn't a great deal of time.

Applying clear varnish Our tiger was due to go and play LaserQuest with other furs at the meet. Concerned that the water based make-up might run as he perspired I had intended to apply a clear Din-Air varnish. However, at the crucial moment these small bottles could not be found. By this stage we had about 20 folks spectating in our tiny chalet which was designed to house four.

In the end I had to use a small amount of Liquitex Matte Varnish, diluted with their Airbrush medium, keeping this away from his eyes.

A touch of fur Sandroo decided that two thin strips of plush white fur should be glued to Chik'ki's cheeks to improve the tiger effect. The make-up was wiped off in these areas, and more Pros-Aide was used as we knew this would stick to the latex.

The plush fur went well with Chik'ki's now white facial hair!

The finished tiger

The finished tiger Ready for combat, and not a moment too soon! Despite getting thoroughly soaked (the plush fur was dripping), the paint stayed on, yet washed off easily with soap and water.

Next time I think I shall need to be more prepared, and allow more time. Hopefully this way I'll be able to experiment. I was really happy with the Fardel make-up, and will have to buy more colours, and in the larger sizes (which are not significantly more expensive).

Many thanks to Andreas Harfst for the images used with this text.