Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Mark of Cain cosplay test.

   Evening and thanks for stopping by again. Halloween has passed, which always makes me sad. Partially because we lost Huz's wonderful mom really unexpectedly six years ago today and partially because I love Halloween and it makes me sad when it's over. Especially since it's two weeks left to the Con!! 

   I tried the Mark on Huz, who humored me by being Dean for a Halloween [arty hosted by a friend one week before Halloween and then again on Halloween itself so I could try twice on him. His arm s obviously different than mine in a few ways. 

   First, he's got much more arm hair than I do. Second, he has a gorgeous tattoo in the spot where the Mark goes, and being in a wheelchair I can't reliably cover it with makeup that won't be everywhere. Third, his elbow was screwed up when it broke at one point and he can no longer straighten his arm, so even the simple act of applying it is not easy because he basically has to cuddle with me. (Not that I'm arguing!!)

   The first method I tried to apply the mark to him, I didn't use much in the way of the toilet paper. I started him out with the red lip liner, and a base level of liquid latex, and added color in between. I only used the toilet paper to help build up the layers where the Mark is the thickest, the top and bottom of the check mark, the teeth on the edge. That was it. And you really couldn't see it well. I added  some layers on latex but it just wasn't enough. You really couldn't see it. I didn't even take pictures, that's what a failure I thought it was. 

   A few days before Halloween, I stayed up and made another Mark to use, this time making it on a piece of glass. I made sure it had enough depth and body to be peeled off and applied like a prosthetic. I also deiced the make up I had purchased form the Costume shop (a bruise wheel) was greta for bruises, but not for the Mark. I feel the colors were too red for what really looks like a thick, pinkish-beige scar. i'll tell you shortly what I ended up using. I used the stuff off on the side of the picture, including the sheet of toilet paper which I tor e into tiny pieces and sort of decoupaged the Mark as I went, to give it fas depth.

   So I took the display box I bough from my friend with the Mark on it and used that as a stencil (slightly big, but since I'm competing with his tattoo, I'm actually totally okay with that.) You can' really see it well here, but there's a piece of glass from a picture frame on top of the box, so I can trace the Mark. (Thanks, Jonna!!) I'm not great at drawing in general, and frequently need stencils and the like to help. I traced it with the red lip liner (forgot to take pictures, though.) And fill it in the a good deep base color.

   Once I had the base color, I painted the first layer of latex on it, and went back immediately to add some toilet paper pieces to it to puff it up. I waited until it dried, then did another coat of latex and toilet paper. When that dried, I did one more layer of latex and filled the higher spots in again with TP. Pictured was the second layer, when I was getting good depth.

   At this point, I started to add some color to give it a more pinkish scar hue than red of blood. I had some blush hanging around that is electric pink on one side and beige on the other so it evens out to a good non-nightmare tone pink, and this was surprising step number one I added. I liked the color it added, but I knew it wasn't nearly enough. I also textured the top with dry brush strokes to give it the fine lines actual gaping scars get. I left it on the glass leaning against the wall until it was actually Halloween night.

   I gathered my tools and applied the Mark to his arm while we entertained our toddler and fend off the too-early trick-or-treaters. I had him clean his arm with isopropyl alcohol, then applied a generous amount of pros aide with a q-tip, which stuck to everything in sight. 

   Then I peeled off the Mark pieces one at a time and fitted them together (since it's in three pieces) and waited for a moment or two while it dried. When it was done, I knew I still needed more color for it, so I grabbed one of those 24-hour lipsticks that I wear for work in a beige-pink color and also dries without needed to be reapplied. 

   You can't see the lipstick color well in the picture (I didn't take it) but this was taken at the end of the night. He said it stayed down well, except for a few little spots right at the edge I didn't get the little flappy edges down well. I will probably try to do this a little better when we're in Cali. The lipstick was a great idea, though. I really like the way it came out, overall. I need to make another, and maybe an extra one, smaller, for me to wear on Sunday. We'll see. My niece may want one,w which is cool, but applying it to myself will not be easy.

   It was funny applying the Mark to his arm because he has several scars already from the trauma he's suffered, and comparing the fine lines that appear in a scar to the Mark as they show it in pictures it had the same texture, but the color was like it had been done recently and was still healing, puffy and pink. I actually need to add a little more next time. All my lipstick was along the side of the bottle, I'll remember to tip it upright before we go to bed Friday night. Really thrilled, this is going well.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Supernatural: Gun continued.

   Good evening, dearies!! Welcome back. I'm on the topic of custom-making Dean's gun from Supernatural. Below is the picture I have of Dean's gun and below that you'll see the base I'm starting with. I've made some modifications already, to the grip, for example. The original has nice smooth ones made out of mother of pearl, where as the base has knurled grips.

Dean's primary gun.

The base I bought at a costume shop.

   I spent a lot of time sanding off the mold lines and some of the details of the lettering, since it's not the same gun as the one he has. I'll change it when i go to repaint it later. If any of you readers out there have any suggestions for places to buy them that sell actual copies of guns by type, I would love it. Simply repainting the same gun rather than trying to make one first the other would be excellent.

   I forgot to take pictures earlier of my progress with the grip, so I'll have to do it tomorrow. I'll probably edit this post then, or start a new one. Who knows. Good night!!

Supernatural: Cosplay costumes Complete!! (Almost...)

   With Halloween upon me I needed to finish our customers in case Huz wants to be Dean for Halloween. He might choose to be one of the Doctors but I'm not sure. I wanted to be ready, just in case. So I finally bought the last tow components I had been needing for Soul Survivor cosplay (Sam and Dean), and Lucifer!Sam for the cosplay contest on Saturday of the Con. !! 

   I'll be sharing pictures of the completed outfits shortly. I have to go steal the out of our bedroom closet to model them for you. 

Lucifer!Sam for the Cosplay contest on Saturday. I won't wear it the whole day, as I will die of heat stroke. But I'll wear it as long as I can after the Contest. I just got the shoes, shiny things they are, but I can't find anything like what I want for less, so the sparkly ones win. I'm only missing a rose bud which I will hopefully order when we get there, but maybe I'll buy a plastic one to take just in case I can't afford a real one, delivered to the hotel.

Dean's murder shirt, used best to my mind from Soul Survivor, 10x3. I didn't want to take the time to put on my boots, but I have them, so I'm all set. 

And Sam from Soul Survivor, with a very good shirt. The pattern and color and size is consistent, if not exactly exactly a match. Arm sling has more white details than Jared's, but what are you gonna do? The one like his was like $20, as opposed to this one which was only $10. Also holding my favorite, Ruby's knife Demon Slayer!! I love that knife.

   So, all in all, I'm ready. At least costume-wise. Three good costumes, and I'm sure I have nothing else to worry about. Right?  

   Alright, in all seriousness I do, in fact, have a ton to do so I'm going to go do it. Night night!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Time to get Marked!!

   Evening!! Mark of Cain, that is. When my friendie Shaun was going to come to Pasadena I was going to apply it to him, but since he's not coming and I have bought everything for our cosplay, I don't feel too bad going ahead with Marking Huz, instead. Just a little snag, though...

   He already has a tattoo on the spot on is arm, and it isn't the Mark. I might be able to cover it with make up, but because he's in a wheelchair I'm afraid it's not going to adhere well through the day of pushing, pulling, service dog controlling, selling, setting up, taking down and more. It will be avery long day (I'm guessing if we're lucky it will be 6:30am to 12-1am every day for three days in a row.) So we decided I will just apply it to the top of his tattoo and just have ot deal. It may ever be cool since his tattoo is fairly dark and may stand out more brightly. 

   I watched a couple of YouTube videos of different techniques for applying liquid latex to make a scar or brand because that's really what the Mark looks like, it has a 3D bump to it like a brand. After a couple of less successful ideas, I decided to look for the Mark tutorial. There were two that I saw, one where you paint it on a flat surface and peel it off to apply, and one where they apply directly to the skin. 

   It looked much easier this way, so that's what I"m doing. After I found where I stashed the make up I bought a couple of weeks ago I am able to try it out. I'm a little less than halfway through, but I wanted a moment to get my YouTube music channel back up and running and comment here. 

   Okay, so I got all of the layers of latex on, about 5 before I decided to call it quits. Not because I felt that was plenty, I'd like to do 10-12, but I felt like I don't want to waste the latex. I do think for Friday and Sunday I might well do the Mark on myself just because I love it. I wanted a tattoo, but my job is really conservative so I'd have to cover it. Waiting for the latex to dry so I can paint it. I'm hoping Huz will still be up so he can tell me what he thinks. (He was awake, surprising at 2am) and he approved of my Mark. Other than I did the wrong arm. But that was because it's a test and I'm mostly right-handed. I'll learn to do it with my left by the time the Con rolls around.

The bottle of liquid latex I got at the costume shop. Kind of small, but I'm not sure how often I'll use it so I guess it won't matter for now. Maybe invest in a bigger one for less if I feel like I want to keep doing this.

They drew the mark on the skin first with a lipliner, so this is an old one I had hanging around. I don't use lip liner anymore so I had to dig for it, but it worked.

The color of the liner, in case you care.

The bruise wheel I bought from  the costume shop. The colors didn't represent well. There's a yellow, chocolate brown, bright red and eggplant purple. I used brown as the base and then added red. I just used my fingers because this is only a test, but I would use a brush if I had one hanging around.

The (mostly) blank canvas. I have a tattoo on my arm too, but it's down by my wrist so I have this nice, white canvas of skin to work on.

I sat and looked at some images of the Mark to get an idea of how it looks. Most people move the "teeth" further away from the curve, but I think they're actually supposed to be closer. Not the greatest, my liner pencil needed sharpened but I was being lazy. Some people also draw the Mark more straight lines, but I think it's more curved, like the Nike Swoosh. So that's what I went with.

The first layer of latex is down. I used a q-tip to apply it, but it left little stipple marks. I should get a brush to use, since it will hopefully give me the smooth look I'm wanting. I just have to find some I don't care about because it will die.

About 5 layers. I stopped here because it's a test, but I will keep going when it's time to actually do it to about 10-12 layers.

Painted and sealed!! The sealer is to protect the color on top from getting smudged, which is a good idea when you're wearing something in a spot like that you're going to be hitting constantly. Especially since we're going to have so much going on with the Con.

   Alright, so I'm quite happy with that. Another one or two practices and get a few more materials I need to really do it right and I should be all good!! Okay, it's late so I"m gong to go to bed. I'll keep posting pictures as I improve my Marking ability.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Make up; Second post.

   Hello!! I'm not exactly sure what I should be doing, but I'm going to see if I'm going in the right direction. I'm waiting for Huz to go to bed because I don't want him to ask questions about the make up as he might realize why I was at the costume shop. (The answer is, I'm making him something for christmas!!) So I don;t want him to ask and start to put together my recent errands. 

   Once I have the kitchen to myself I can find out if the sponges I bought today at Target will work. I couldn't find quite what I was looking for, so I grabbed these, that actually might work better than I had anticipated. My biggest problem with the types of sponges they usually use to apply for scrapes (like what would be on Dean's arm in Yellow Fever) or road rash if you're not familiar with the show, is that the pattern of the typical sponge is like a honey comb, so it's very repetitive and leaves a predictable mark on the skin. 

   I wanted to either rough up the sponge, or find something to apply the make up that isn't so patterned. These have pattern, but they'e more random, like just fibers thrown together. And this isn't. See?

Here's a more side view so you can see the fluffy texture a bit better. They're disposable, which is nice, so hopefully this will be my winner!!

Front. It's very soft, too. That's better than those more aggressive sponges they sell for this purpose elsewhere. Once Huz will get his cute ass to bed I can try it out!!

   Yay!! He's gone to bed finally!! I'm going to get my work started and then take a moment to try out the makeup and see what we think. I do now realize I will need fake blood, but only when my friend is going to Cosplay with me. I won't need it for my other make up uses if Huz and I are the only ones, since he'll be wearing a shirt that covers the arm.

So here's the early part on the show, when he's first experiencing the symptoms, but it gets worse through the episode.

Here's my stage one, the three lines from Dean scratching at it. Pretty good. Probably make the lines a little narrower, and cut the giant sponge thing in half because I really didn't need much.

For fun, I expanded upon what it would like once he had really been digging at it, like he does in the show. This looks more bruise, though, without the blood to make it good and gory. So I'll have to get blood to make it look more like road rash and less like a bruise. But, for the days when we will need bruising I will have that down. Now I just need my friendie to come so this can be necessary!! And, with a bit of a disappointment from the night's work, I'm off to bed. Night!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Supernatural: make up trial part one.

   Hello and welcome!! I'm still learning, and I've never done stage make up in my life. The only time I've tried it, it actually didn't work out, so I'm hoping I have better success with this!! My intent is to put the Mark of Cain on someone's arm. Either mine, Huz's, or my Cosplay buddy Shaun. (I'm the Sam to his Dean.) I'm just not sure if he's coming to the Convention in California, but he will hopefully be there in Phoenix at least so we can finally do what we've been dreaming. I'm still really hoping he can come to California in November, but I guess we'll see. 

   So, the Mark of Cain is actually a curse, but it presents in the show like a brand that glows when it asserts its power on the bearer. I can't really make it glow, but I can make it look like it's raised, I hope. At Bubbles of Joy, Chad told me how to use something fibrous, like cotton from cotton balls, to give the Mark some good thickness, and it will stay put for the whole day, since it will be a very long day. I'm going to make a few ahead of time so we can just apply them and remove them and do a bit of paint the day of. And bloody us up a bit, too. It should be easy, in theory. I'm also hoping to take the time to bloody us up more as the day progresses. 

The Mark when Dean is receiving it from Cain. Note the glowing quality.

The Mark just sitting. It has a thick appearance, like a brand. But it's so much more than just skin deep, it causes a lot of problems with the accompanying curse.

   Shaun and I wanted to dress like Sam and Dean from three episodes, and one of them would involve Dean being a Demon, as Shaun really wants to wear the black sclera contacts, and it's my favorite. We would both be bloody, since they had a fight the episode before. We also wanted to dress like one where Dean's injuries get worse through the day. And the plan was for another particular episode where no one would be bloody, so I might have the day off of make up. But, since Huz might be my Dean instead, I'd have to limit us to just the day where Dean is wearing the Mark, simply because I want to do it on someone!! I would only do it on him that day while we're dressed as the characters form the episode where Dean is Marked. Then I think Huz would wear his ties the rest of the weekend and I would wear plaid without any further interest. Except for the Cosplay contest, where I'm entering (and expecting to not win) as Lucifer!Sam in the white suit. We'll see how all of this goes. 

   Having Shaun go along would not only be super fun, but it would also be more memorable for people to come by and see we're Cosplaying as these characters. I think it would be unique, since the booths don't generally get run by Cosplayers actively Cosplaying unless that's what they sell. (Like Hilly Hindy, who is a professional Cosplayer and Parody Goddess.) I'm going to see how we go. I'll be practicing as soon as possible, and I'm going to put the Mark on Huz for Halloween or on myself, if he won't dress as Dean. We'll see.

   So here's my make ups:

Bruise color wheel, which has some great colors for the Mark as well, and liquid latex, prose-aide, to help the liquid latex-made Mark stick to someone's arm, and this gel to seal the top of it. And, lurking in the background, a remover to take it off, as I'm sure he would like to not wear it, at some point in the evening.

   I'm a bit tired tonight to try taking that on in addition to everything else I have to do, but I will be getting it going as soon as I can. I'm so excited!! Night night!!

Supernatural: Dean's Gun. (#1)

   Hello, and welcome!! I'm an amateur Cosplayer who has recently decided to start making my own props. I've always wanted to, so I guess with my decision to start this business at Conventions, the time has come. I'm rally glad to be doing this, and I hope I don't screw anything up!! I've never tried this before, so if you're following along at home and I goof, try to make sure you wait until I finish a project before you follow in my steps so I know I don't send you off of a preverbal cliff!!

   So, the piece I want to make is Dean's regular gun. Huz could tell you exactly what it is and all that, but I'm not that talented. So, after checking out some pictures on Pinterest, I'm thinking I can mechanically turn the gun from point A to point B with a minimum amount of fuss. We'll see, as there are one or two parts I'm not sure if they will go as simply as I'm thinking they will, or if I will have to rethink it a few times. Fingers crossed!!

   Here is the original.

He has this really nice, fairly fancy (and, as a Fan, I have always kind of wondered about the origins of this gun. It doesn't seem like something he would pick. Is it sentimental? Was it John's? Or Henry's?) Anyway... Really pretty, with the engraving detail and the really bright mother-of-pearl handles. And it's seriously bright and shiny.

And then, there's mine, that I bought today at a local costume shop. (Thanks, Bubbles of Joy!!) It's getting hard to find toy guns, since I guess people consider them "unsafe" or something. Lame. Anyway, this one is the base I bought with the lovely camo and orange nose that they put on for safety, so you know it's not a real gun. 

   This one happens to be a water pistol, so it has a trigger that actually moves. My plan is going to involve, first and fore-most, using sand paper to knock off the icky mold seams, and some lightly- engraved words on the side about the type of "gun" this is. I'm also going to try to get some of that orange paint off of the nose.

   My next concern is that the grips of this one are finished like a knurled finish (meaning the cross-hatching pattern frequently found in metal objects like tools and Firearms so they are more easy to grip.) That doesn't work well for the smooth grips of the original. I'm hoping I can use a combination of clay, yes no, maybe so, and sand paper to knock it down enough that you won't be able to see that texture anymore. I guess we'll see how it goes. That's the part I'm most worried about. If I can do enough to soften the grips, then I'll paint them like mother of pearl. And the rest of the gun in silvery colors, of course.