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Face Painting in Films

The film industry has advanced to the point where we are able to create environments and characters that have no resemblance to the world we are used to. When it comes to the transformation of actors and actresses into their film characters, a lot of the credit has to be attributed to the on-set make up artists responsible for the actors’ looks. Their impeccable precision, skill and ability to visualize the finished look allow them to create extraterrestrial, magical or distorted characters by employing face sculpting and face painting. Let’s take a look at the more famous movie characters who are actually simple humans with impressive make up on.

The Joker

One of the most notorious super villains out there. This character was born in the fantasy world of Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson and appeared in the first issue of the comic book “Batman”. Ever since then this character, widely known as a psychopath with a twisted sense of humor, was embodied by numerous actors. His trademark looks that no one will mistake for something else is his green hair, white skin and bright red lips, all of which is a consequence of him falling into a tank with chemicals. Due to his mainstream popularity, the Joker’s masks, costumes and or face painting kits are a popular go-to for Halloween, themed parties and other social gatherings that require a change of persona.

The Joker
The Joker


Who doesn’t know and doesn’t love the Harry Potter Series? Probably few. Some might argue that books are better than films and others might make that same claim just the other way around. Regardless of which side of the barricade one is on, there is no denying that the set, the costumes and the make up of the film series is truly impressive. One character that stands out not just because of being notoriously evil but also because of his distorted looks is “You-Know-Who” (if you don’t, it’s Lord Voldemort). His face was supposed to represent his inner state which is defined by void, anger and pure evil; the make up artists employed detailed white makeup, eyebrow blockers, and fake teeth, all topped off with a digital removal of his nose, and turned him into a monster straight out of nightmares.

Edward Scissorhands

If you put the make up on just right, Jonny Depp can embody pretty much anything, human and inhuman alike. From the careless and charismatic pirate of the Caribbean to Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, Depp has done a masterful job impersonating everyone. Among his more impressive performances is Edward Scissorhands. Once again, the make up completements the story of the main character – a lone and sad human created artificially during a set of experiments, who was left to live alone in an old castle after the death of his creator. His face – pale, scattered with scars – and huge, messy, straw-like hair all turned him into a memorable character for telling a story of loneliness and forbidden love.