Applying Zombie Prosthetics -Lips & Skull

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,199
    Makeup Artist Christopher Patrick demonstrates applying zombie prosthetics to the lips and skull.

    Christopher Patrick: Hi! I am Christopher Patrick Special Effects Artist and we are continuing on with our flesh eating zombie makeup. We have attached our prosthetic teeth and now we are going to build up some, some huge disgusting lips for our zombie and we are going to create a scull rim around his eyes to make him look like he has been dead a little while and that his eyes have sunken into his skull.

    We are going to do this basically by using cotton and building up some shapes and then saturating them with liquid latex and covering them with a bit of toilet paper. This will give some great skin like effects.

    What Ryan is doing is he is really just figuring out a pattern for the eye-socket right now. What we are going to do first is lay down a little bit of liquid latex and build from there. So, I am going to just run some latex in the shape that he was creating. In the special effects industry, liquid latex is probably the number one, most used product, out there. We use all different types of latex. But the liquid latex is very accessible, you can get it almost any Halloween store and once you have a few little tricks with it, you can just do amazing work with it. As you see Ryan now is just shaping out that section of the skull. I am now just going to roll on a little bit of latex to the top of this cotton. You don't have to worry about saturating this one so much as we did earlier. Because again, we are going to apply a skin over this with a tissue paper. While Ryan sets them up, I am going to start working on the lips. I am going to take a nice, big chunk of cotton, and I am really just going to sort of roll it up and make a big tube shape. I really don't care if it's even or consistent because again, he is rowing.

    And I am just going to build up a big sort of horrible lip shape, like it's peeled away. So, during this process, you really want to make sure that you have plenty of Q-tips and toothpicks and such to work with. So, I am going to lay some more latex down where I am going to put that piece of cotton.

    Latex begins to dry very quickly and at some point, it just starts to peel itself up rather than laying more down. So, you certainly have to get your first layer down pretty quickly. I am just going to take that big piece of cotton and glue it right into that latex area.

    Now again, we are just going to take the Q-tips and sort of just roll some latex right on to this cotton. We can add some detail right after we get the first layer on, we can start adding detail to the shape of the lip. But again, you don't have to worry about being real precise here because this guy has been dead for a while. Do you make sure to coat the top of the cotton fairly thoroughly because, I think on the lip we are not going to cover it with tissue paper, because I really sort of like the fact that it's sort of disgusting and sort of rotten looking. At this point, if you want to grab a toothpick and add some detail to the look, really it's soft and you can just sort of add some little lines to it. Next step, I am going to put on the upper lip and I want it to look like maybe when Nick was turned into a zombie, that a zombie bit into an area of his face.

    So, we are just going to do about half the lip and leave a little space, so it will be a little more disgusting looking. We are going to use the exact same technique, on the upper lip of laying down a little liquid latex and then just setting the cotton into place and then coating it with another layer of latex.

    You also want to make sure that you have always covered your model when you are using latex on their face. As you see we are dripping latex all over. Once latex gets on your clothes, it's pretty much there forever. So, always drape your model and you could use a towel, an old sheet, whatever you have around.

    Alright. So, we have applied some cotton to create this big sort of rowing the lip area and now we are just going to patch up a few little areas like up here, where there is no lip. We are just going to do that by embedding a little tissue paper into this and we are going to go over the edge of the lips to sort of blend it on to the skin a little better. And this is just really cheap toilet paper that's got no quilting in it. I really like things to be smooth. We are only going to use this in a one ply medium, so this is two play paper, so we are just going to pull it apart and you can actually go all the way around the edges of the lips and do the same thing. Just take little tiny pieces of tissue paper, just to sort of seal up your edges.

    Liquid latex has ammonia in it. So, you do want to warn your model of that. Nick works with this often, but the smell it can be quite harsh and since we are working right around the nose, you should always tell people that, this is going to smell bad. Usually the end effect, makes it all okay.

    And then to finish this step up, we are just going to hit him with the blow dryer again real quick, just to make sure that everything is nice and dry and secure on his face. As long as you are using the latex very thin it will dry probably within a minute, so you want to use a medium setting and you want to keep moving with the blow dryer. That way you don't burn them and make sure that your model is aware that they can still talk to you while you are working on them.