Because I have been thinking a lot about Halloween and horror movie monsters lately, I developed a strong urge to try doing a werewolf makeup. I have only made small prosthetics in the past and I didn’t know how I was going to make this work so I just start started sculpting and made up the rest as I went.
Products I Used:
- Face cast
- Plaster of Paris
- Homemade fx gelatin
- Polymorph plastic
- Mehron black, brown, white, yellow, red face paint
- Glue stick
- Pros aide
- Cotton balls
- Blonde hair extensions
Sculpting the Face
I didn’t really know what the heck I was doing when I plopped the clay onto my face cast. I started with big chunks on the general areas that I thought the prosthetic would cover and then I began to blend them into the face cast, pushing the clay around into what I thought would be a good shape for a wolf face.
I couldn’t find a reference picture I wanted to follow so I pretty much just went for a dog shaped nose and jaw with a beastly sort of jutting brow. I eventually smoothed my rough shape out into something cleaner, using just my hands for the majority of the molding. I added some furrowed brow and nose lines with a ball tool but I kept ending up putting the tools down and trying to fix things with just my hands.
Shaping the Teeth
While sculpting the face, I wasn’t even totally sure I was going to make anything I’d want to cast. I was mostly just trying to get an idea of what shape a werewolf face might be, but I ended up kind of liking how the end result looked. I dug out my polymorph plastic beads and decided to see what this thing would look like with some teeth.
I melted little spoonfuls of the polymorph plastic in hot water and then shaped them into rough fangs. I kept having to remelt and reshape them all until I managed to get a somewhat symmetrical mouthful of teeth.
Casting with Plaster then Gelatin
I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a prosthetic out of this and I actually attempted painting the clay with liquid latex to possibly make a mask I could fill with cotton. That was a disaster and I will speak no further of it. I then decided to see how a gelatin prosthetic would work so I removed the teeth, made a clay barrier around the area I wanted to cast, and lubricated the clay and face cast with Vaseline.
I mixed up some plaster with two parts Plaster of Paris and one part water and dripped small amounts into and around all the details on the clay. I then added more and more plaster until I had a thick mold and let it set overnight.
Once the mold was dry, I gently but firmly pulled the mold off the face cast. I made sure to apply even pressure on the thickest areas of the mold because I’ve had enough corners break off that I am overly cautious now.
I mixed up some homemade gelatin using a ratio of 2 parts Knox gelatin powder, 2 parts glycerin, 1 part water, and just a tiny bit of liquid foundation to give it a fleshy color. I heated this in the microwave in short bursts of 5-7 seconds until the gelatin powder was totally dissolved and then poured it into my plaster mold.
It took me a few tries of letting it set, peeling it out, not being happy with how it set or how much gelatin I had used, and then remelting the gelatin and recasting the prosthetic. Eventually I ended up with a usable, yet slightly heavy, prosthetic.
Gluing in the Teeth
The holes for the teeth that I had made in my clay sculpt didn’t really translate into the plaster mold so the gelatin prosthetic was left with only very slight tooth holes. Using tweezers and a somewhat sharp sculpting tool I dug out some of the gelatin and made fresh holes for the teeth. I glued my polymorph plastic teeth into their spots with crazy glue, having to remove and reposition a few until all of them were straight.
Pre-Painting the Teeth and Prosthetic
I thought it might be a little easier to get some of the paint on this piece before gluing it to my face. I used water activated paints for this but I’m sure alcohol activated paints would have given me much nicer results. I don’t yet have an alcohol activated paint palette so I used my go-to water activated Mehron palette instead.
I used Mehron black face paint to completely blackout the inside of the mouth and used the black to shadow some of the lines in the brow and nose, as well as the nostrils. I went back and forth between brown, yellow, and white to give the teeth some dimension, character, and a dab of tooth decay. I added a bit of red around the gums and base of the teeth as well because my wolf is a habitual snacker and just can’t seem to keep those teeth free of blood stains.
Attaching the Prosthetic
I used a glue stick to cover up my eyebrows, not getting too fancy, just making sure they were glued down and safe from any pesky adhesive. I coated the entire inside of the prosthetic with pros aide, let it get tacky for a few seconds, carefully lined it up in my face, and then pressed it down and held it in place for a few moments to let it dry.
My prosthetic edges are getting a little better with practice but I did still have some thick spots that wouldn’t stay down. I ripped tiny pieces off a cotton ball and plugged up any areas that wouldn’t lay flat. I coated the cotton in some pros aide and sealed up any other slightly lifted edges with the pros aide as well.
Painting an Even Base
I painted a really quick base all over my face and prosthetic with some Mehron brown face paint. I’ve found that I can distract from imperfect prosthetic edges as well as get more realistic flesh tones by splattering paint onto me rather than just brushing it on. Using a stiff paint brush, I alternated between white, black, and brown face paint, wetting the brush with water and paint, pulling the bristles back with my fingers and releasing, allowing the paint to splatter everywhere in tiny droplets.
I tried to add more of the white to the middle of my face and more black and brown around my hairline and hollows of my cheeks.
Adding the Sinister Tones
I wanted my eyes a little darker and more menacing so I shadowed under my brow bone, either side of the bridge of my nose, and the inner corners under my eyes with dark brown face paint. I pulled the paint along my lower lash line and also blended it out towards my temples.
I added a little more red to the teeth and gum because my werewolf is kind of a vicious beast and has no regard for oral hygiene. I also darkened the nose with a mixture of black and brown paint.
Laying the Wolf Hair
The nearest FX store is about an hour drive from me and I didn’t want to wait for crepe hair to be delivered from an online purchase so I dug out a ratty old blond ponytail extension I had and snipped off little bits from the ends. I applied it by painting a line of spirit gum on the lowest area of where I wanted the hair, pressing some hair into it, then painting another line above, adding more hair, and so on until the entire section was covering with blonde wolf fur.
The cheek fur came out okay but I didn’t totally plan out how the forehead hair would look and my fingers were getting *really* sticky by that point. I couldn’t get the hair to lay where I wanted and was getting a tad frustrated when I realized I would have a line between my forehead fur and my hairline. I was I incredibly tempted to just cut some short bangs to blend with the fur but my commitment to this werewolf makeup was just not on the impromptu DIY bangs level.
The Final Werewolf Makeup Results
What I Learned
I love, love, love gelatin prosthetics, the bigger the better. I had a slight problem with the prosthetic being too heavy and the chin coming a bit loose. I think it actually would have held and been okay if I let the pros aide get tackier in that spot before I applied the prosthetic to my face. That was the last section I painted with the adhesive so it was still quite wet when I pressed it to my skin.
The werewolf fur was not executed as well as it could have been. The cheeks were okay and the hair extensions as fur actually worked out surprisingly well but I really wasn’t satisfied with how I laid the forehead hair. I think I should have laid it with the direction going up into my hairline rather than down into my nose. My hands and the prosthetic were so sticky by then that there was just no fixing it. This could have been prevented with better planning but I do get a certain joy from just flying by the seat of my pants so sometimes you just have to embrace your wacky forehead hair and glue coated fingers.