When people discuss period make up in a training capacity the usual periods seem to come up; twentieth century and particularly the nineteenth.
It got me wondering what about earlier periods? Times when there were no pictures or true representations of the looks?
Who do you believe when referencing? How important is it to be historically correct in a time when references were not readily available?
Do make up designer’s copy the perceived wisdom and work on what the period…. SHOULD look like?
What happens when one is working on a period film with no paintings for a reference point even?
In this case then one would have to look at statues and mosaics, even ceramic pots. Yet is this true? Did the sculpture use artistic license to enhance the portraits and works?
When searching on the Internet, I fell upon a college for make up who suggested students to watch films such as Gladiator and Troy as referencing for period looks. At CBMA we believe that this is wrong. Never look at someone else’s references as they are already removed from the source.
A great source for referencing is the National Portrait Gallery. These paintings were the pictures of their time.
Particularly good painters are “ Jean Fouquet, Jan Van Eyck “ as an example.
The students that live in London have no excuse for not being able to source excellent references.
We always tell our students the importance of not just referencing but getting an understanding of the period, digging deeper and not just skirting the surface.
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