Hi! Here is a general summary of the process of creative and colouring my final prosthetic piece.
During this semester we were asked to carry out several tasks in order to create a custom fit silicone prosthetic piece. At first I was unsure of what category I was going to base my prosthetic on. I finally decided to base it on a fantasy Frankenstein’s monster themed character. However I didn’t want to simply copy so I decided to change my characters story. Once I was completely happy with my character profile I then sculpted my design and completed the casting process to create my prosthetic. I was initially pleased with how it came out however; I noticed that my feathered smoothed out edges that I had previously sculpted were redundant as the cast come out as a full face and did not separate the two separate pieces. To combat this next time I would create a clay barrier around my sculpted pieces allowing the silicone to drain evenly creating a thinner edge for me to blend away on the skin.
I had no other option but to cut the two pieces out with scissors and work on blending the edges directly on the face. Before cutting I used oil paint and silicone to pre-paint the piece. This wold save time and also makes the colour permanent.
Once I was happy with the pre-painting of the piece I was then ready to begin the next process. As I had sculpted over my models natural eye brow I wanted to punch one in using the techniques I had learned with Sue Day. I was really pleased with how this looked as I had previously practiced on spare pieces of silicone. I had looked into how eyebrow hair grew naturally and noticed there was a strange pattern which made the hair grows almost in a pointed ‘V’ pattern.
It was important that I punched the hair previous to applying the piece as this is a health and safety risk as the punching tool is quite sharp. Another effect I wanted to try was stitching into the silicone. This would create a more realistic effect rather than simply sticking stitches directly onto the prosthetic. It was surprisingly easy to stitch through the silicone which I was pleased to find.
Once my prosthetic was fully prepped I was ready to begin. I adhered the prosthetic to the skin using pros-aide which I applied directly onto the skin and onto the back of the prosthetic leaving out the edges. It stayed in place really well allowing me to then glue down the edges separately to get a better fit. Once the pieces were glued onto the face securely I then used Cabosil which I had previously mixed with Pros-aide in the special effects studio. Whilst mixing the Cabosil I made sure to take all the health and safety precautions including wearing a respirator to prevent the light fibres from entering my lungs. I also made sure to place the tub of Cabosil under the extractor fan as an extra precaution. I then used a metal spatula to smooth it over the edges of my prosthetic. This worked really well however I found I had to reapply the product to some places as the Cabosil had shrunk whilst it was drying. Once that had completely dried I was then able to start applying paint over the top to further blend the edges. Unfortunately I only have greasepaints in my kit so I used a small amount of castor oil to make the greasepaints easier to work with as it allows the paint to glide smoothly over the silicone easily almost like the rubber mask paint. I also used Skin Illustrators to give the effect of different skin tones. I used a stippling and splashing technique to give a variation of tones in a more natural looking way; to do this I trimmed down a tough bristle brush and gently flicked the product onto the skin and prosthetic. This was really effective and made the piece look more realistic.
I had also made a cloak for my character to tie in with her back story or lurking in the shadows. This too was really effective as it only cost roughly around £3.00 to make. To find out how I made the cloak just click the following link for a tutorial
Overall I am a little disappointed about the final look although I did get good feedback from tutors. If I was to do this again I would make my prosthetic out platinum silicone encased in Glatzan to make it easier to blend onto the skin thus creating a more realistic effect. I would also create a clay boarder around my sculpt and clamp my cast tighter to ensure thinner edges. However I now know what to do to overcome thick edges and have learned a great deal over this semester.
Thanks for reading,