I’ve tried a few times now to sculpt, cast, and apply wound prosthetics and I’ve encountered different problems with every new attempt. Either the prosthetic doesn’t fit my face, the edges are ridiculously thick and won’t blend, or my sculpt was just so wacky that it doesn’t even look like a wound. I’ve had a little more practice with sculpting and casting now though so I thought I’d give it another try. I used a photo of an animal attack prosthetic from Nimba Creations for inspiration.
Products I Used:
- Saran Wrap
- Parchment paper
- Black felt marker
- Homemade FX gelatin
- Pros aide
- Mehron black and red face paint
- Mehron bruise wheel
- Mehron coagulated blood gel
Sculpting the Wound with Clay
I used a piece of Saran Wrap and a black marker to trace the edges of my face, eyes, and mouth. I roughly transferred these dimensions onto a sheet of parchment paper so I could have a general idea of the area I was working with. I chose to sculpt this flat rather than onto my face cast because I’ve had trouble with trying to cast thin prosthetics that wrap around my face. I used some white sculpting clay (the kind that never hardens) and carved out some wounds with a flat edged sculpting tool. This could be done with a butter knife or basically anything flat or pointy.
Making a Plaster Mold
I rolled out some long ropes of extra clay and made a barrier all the way around my sculpted wounds. I rubbed a little Vaseline on the clay to prevent the plaster from locking to it once it was hardened. For something flat and simple like this, the lubricant probably wasn’t needed, but I’ve locked enough plaster onto clay now that I always use Vaseline or a squirt of cooking spray for every plaster mold I make.
I mixed up some Plaster of Paris using one part water and two parts plaster and slowly pouring it into all the corners and crevices of my sculpt. After there was a good layer covering all of the clay I slowly added a few more layers so my mold would be thicker and wouldn’t break apart while removing the clay. Sometimes my plaster is dry in just a few hours but I usually let all my mold sit overnight.
Casting with FX Gelatin
In a microwave safe bowl, I mixed up some FX gelatin using a 1 tbsp packet of Knox gelatin powder, 1 tbsp of glycerin, ½ tbsp of water, and one small drop of liquid foundation to make the gelatin skin coloured. After thoroughly mixing the ingredients, I microwaved it in short bursts of 5-7 seconds until it was totally melted and the gelatin powder was all dissolved.
I poured the mixture into my plaster mold, tilting the mold around until every part of the wound sculpt was covered with gelatin. To get thinner edges I tilted the mold enough to let the gelatin run out over the edge and then left it to sit flat so most of the gelatin would run back into the wounds.
This took me a few tries to get every edge covered evenly but luckily you can just wait for this stuff to harden, peel it out of the mold, reheat it it in the microwave in short burst, and just repour it. Working with FX gelatin is awesome when you’re still learning, like myself, and plan to have a lot of trial and error.
Applying the Prosthetic
Before I glue stuff to my face, I usually slather a bunch of face cream on with the hope that it will let the glue residue wash off more easily. I’m not sure if it helps much but I do seem to have an easier time of washing all the leftover pros aide from my face lately.
Using a q-tip, I covered the backside of my wound prosthetic with pros aide and let it dry for about 30 seconds until it was nice and tacky. I lined it up on my face where I wanted it to go and then pressed it down into my skin. It’s a good idea to get your prosthetic lined up as accurately as possible because once you have it stuck on your face it’s going to be a hassle to reposition. I used a little more pros aide around the edges to seal them down as much as possible.
Darkening the Wounds
I used some Mehron black face paint to fill my wounds in and start building some depth. I tried to fill in any extra little knicks and lines I had sculpted so they would show up more. I used a bit of the darker red from my Mehron bruise wheel to add some irritation around the edges of the prosthetic.
Bloodying the Wounds
Using my Mehron red face paint I went over all the black with a layer of red. Having the black underneath that red makes the cuts look a little deeper and makes the red look a little bloodier. I also tried to paint it along all the ridges and into the tiny knicks and scratches I had added.
Destroying Everything with the Dab of a Sponge
So, understandably, I wanted to irritate the skin around my wounds. I used my homemade stipple sponge (a regular makeup sponge with pieces ripped out) and started dabbing dark red around the wound from my bruise wheel. Stippling with that sponge onto the gelatin prosthetic may have been a mistake because it only kind of stipples and the gelatin is a lot smoother than my regular skin. Dabbing with the red just turned the whole prosthetic pink and it also slightly messed with my edges as well.
Pouring Blood All Over My Face
Even though my once fleshy coloured prosthetic was now a pink tinted disaster, I soldiered on and cracked open my Mehron blood gel. I dabbed it inside all my wounds and added little drips and smears here and there on the prosthetic as well as my skin. I also added a line of black face paint on my eyelids and underneath my eyes. I dripped some water from a makeup brush under my eyes to let the paint run and give myself that teary eyed, runny makeup look.
The Final Results
What I Learned
My edges weren’t perfect on this makeup and I have to keep working on that but Ithink they have gotten at least a little better. Hiding the spots I can’t blend with paint or blood has been my go-to trick so far but I don’t want to have to rely on that. I need to just make sure my edges are as thin as possible and make sure I use enough pros aide to stick them down.
Clearly, I need to get a normal stipple sponge and also not smear red all over my gelatin. Bad bruise wheel stippling can usually be washed off my skin but I couldn’t rub that extra red out of the gelatin, it was stained in there for life. Adding the fake blood distracted from the extra pinkness a little but I much preferred how the prosthetic looked when the gelatin was skin tone instead of totally pink.