Age is just a number…….

On the day of my assessment I was very prepared and arrived in plenty of time to set my area up. I had practised my technique before but I wasnt completely confident with how the final outcome might look. I had not yet cut or styled my postiche which I was using as part of this task and I felt I had not perfected my Latex ageing skills. The model I had chosen was my dad who is 46. As this was a look for TV I could not age him anymore than 10 -15 years without the use of prosthetics. So I was aiming for an age of around 60. I was incorporating my postiche task with this project which meant I was attaching a moustache to my model, the moustache was based on a father christmas character from the film Miracle On 34th Street. I did not dress my model as father christmas as this would have meant me making a full beard also.

I chose to do a TV ageing look instead of theatre because I wanted to challenge myself. I had tried theatre ageing several times and although there was room for improvement I felt quite confident in how to achieve the look in general. In comparison to this I had only spent one studio practise slot attempting my ageing technique for TV, and this was only the day before my assesment. I personally find it harder to strip make up back than go over the top so I really wanted to perfect this. I intended on using old age stipple for my final as I had found in my research that this product is used in the industry and amongst proffessionals. I ordered my Old Age stipple and it arrived just in time for one practise, however I felt this product looked too obvious on the skin and was quite pigmented, making it look very unrealistic. ( this was not the look I was hoping to achieve) I am not sure wether the quality of the product is to blame or my lack of knowledge with this technique, but I did not have enough time to find out at this point. I therefore chose to go ahead and use latex to create my ageing for TV. I had practised with this product once before and I found it very effective. I had looked at You Tube Tutorials and gathered information from books and my tutors about how to perfect this technique.

On assessment day I began by shading and higlighting my models face with eyeshadows and my Kryolan Supracolour Pallette. I used blue/brown tones around the inner corner of the eye and slightly pinkish tones under the eye, in the tearduct and on the lid. I had researched how my models mum had aged and I tried to incorporate some of this into my design, including stippling red marks around the cheeks to represent broken veins. After this I began to apply my latex, I asked the model to stretch the skin around his eyes whilst I stippled on latex and dried, I repeated this process around the cheeks, on the eyelid, around the lips and around the mouth. I also added a little to the hands as these were on show in my final images. However when It came to powdering and adding wrinkles to my look it appeared I had added to much latex and the edges were too obvious for a TV or film look. ( They were a different colour to the rest of the skin) I had to make a decision wether to carry on and correct the latex or to take it off and start again. I chose the last.

This time I added all of my make up before adding any latex. I chose a light brown greasepaint and a thin brush to make the wrinkles look as real as posible and I carefully highlighted above. I was actually much happier this time with the make up application and I felt It looked more realistic. I added a small amount of latex this time just around the eyes.

Amidst my panic with the latex, I made a slight mistake in my make up application. I did not want my eyebrows to be a different colour to my postiche so I brushed some grey and white greasepaint through them. Looking back I realise that this was a silly mistake to make and I dont really know what my intention was as I knew this would look far to ‘fancy dress’ for TV.

After speaking to my tutor I quickly swapped the greasepaint for hair mascara and this looked 100 times better.

Apart from the eyebrows, the feedback given from the assessment was that I was probably a little to heavy on the wrinkles and I should have mixed my dark brown with a reddish greasepaint to give a more natural skintone effect. The look I had produced was more small theatre than TV. My tutor thought I had been brave in my attempt but I think we both agreed my technique was not up to assessment level.

Conclusion

I am a little dissapointed with how my final assessment went, but I have nobody to blame but myself. I should have practised this look more and I should have got more feedback from my tutors about how to age with latex. I also should have done more research and set out my time more appropriately, and I believe in the end I panicked and made the task harder than it needed to be. I think there is much room for improvement in this area for me but although a part of me regrets it, I am glad I took on the challenge. I wanted to show that I could produce a theatre look too so I went home and photographed this look also, this will only benefit me in my portfolio building. I wanted to try my latex ageing again to prove to myself that I could do this but unfortunately I did not have the time before hand in day. I think my main struggle was knowing where to stop and how much was too much. I did too much this time but atleast I can learn from this.

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