The make up artist is no different from a regular artist. Where he uses the human body as his canvas, various shades of cosmetics and body paint form his pallet of colors to adorn his subject. Makeup techniques vary from the most common being the application of fashion makeup for fashion shows as well as entertainment media. Makeup for the former event tends to be dependent on what fashion is being promoted. Color schemes can be plain or extreme depending on how the fashion designer wishes to complement his line of products.
Since the world of entertainment media normally reflect the real world, it would not be appropriate for your local newscaster or movie actor to look strangely out of the ordinary. Earthlings do not possess red eyes or yellow hair by nature. Makeup, in this instance, is meant to either make the subjects look more sophisticated with prominent features enhanced without sticking out like sore thumbs.
Stage makeup or theatrical makeup is normally used to enhance the actors' faces in the harsh lighting. Actors tend to sweat in the heat and cause shiny faces which are a no-no on stage. Since theater productions are run live without cameras zooming into the actors' faces, it's imperative the audience is able to see their facial expressions as best possible.
Some make up artists may choose to venture into the extraordinary by embarking on a career in special effects makeup. Although some entail fantasy makeup, the results need to be believable. It must make sense to the audience and not cause disbelief or unwarranted humor in their work. If the artist is attempting to portray an injured person at an accident site, the blood and injuries must look just right. Hence, artists in this specialized area sometimes take courses or have specific backgrounds to produce quality work.
Newer makeup techniques are introduced in line with market demand for greater clarity. The advent of high definition televisions requires different methods of makeup application as well as filming practices to ensure spots and blemishes are removed.
A good artist never takes away the identity of his subject but rather enhances it whilst maintaining some degree, affording a glimpse or two in the background.
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