Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Black Swan

This week's theme for The Teleidoscope group on Flickr is “Movie Star” so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a Black Swan inspired photo. I love the film and always thought Nina's wing-like make-up is pretty awesome, so I decided to give it a go.

Here's how it turned out. 

I know I don't make the most evil-looking Black Swan in the world, but I'm still quite pleased with it, as it's so different to most photos I take. This picture took a fair bit of planning so I thought it would be nice to share how I did it.

First things first, I had to make a tiara. I followed this helpful tutorial. I didn't bother to cover my tiara in the plastic film as it suggests. Instead, I covered mine with silver ink to give it a nice sheen. I didn't use wire either. Instead, I attached mine to an old Alice band.

Then, the fun part – the make-up. I got a Boots gift card for Christmas so I spent some of it on items I thought I would need.

I found several tutorials on how to achieve the Black Swan look. I decided not to follow any of them though as most of them were really detailed and suggested buying loads of make-up and using really expensive brands, which I can't afford (and personally, I've never seen the point of buying expensive make-up), so I bought cheap alternatives.

  • Snazaroo white face paint (from eBay)
  • Collection 2000 black kohl eye-liner pencil (I probably could have coped without this, but it was useful to draw out the outline of the wings)
  • Barry M black liquid liner
  • Barry M silver metallic liquid liner (this stuff is ace!)
  • Collection 2000 damson lip definer

First, I put on the face paint. It took me a while to apply it as I'd never used it before. After that had dried, I drew an outline of where the wings would be around my eyes. I then coloured them in with the liquid black eyeliner, and when that dried, I added strokes of the awesome silver metallic eyeliner to create a sort of feather-like effect.

I had intended to put on some black mascara too but I totally forgot. It probably wasn't that essential anyway. I had also intended to buy a red eye pencil to do a red line underneath my eye, but Boots had completely sold out of red eye pencils.

I then applied the lip definer. I didn't want to buy a lipstick too so I used the definer to cover the whole of my lips.

For the final picture for The Teleidoscope, I did a fair bit of editing in Photoshop. The light wasn't great so I adjusted the exposure, offset, curves quite a bit to get the light how I wanted. I also changed the colour balance to make it look a bit less yellow (the wall behind me is an off-white, slightly yellow colour). 

I then used this tutorial to give my eyes a red-ish tint to make them look a bit scarier, and finally, I used the burn and dodge tools to enhance my eyes slightly. In the original film poster Nina's eyes look much scarier but I couldn't find a tutorial or work out how to get mine to look quite that scary.

And that's it! :) I had so much fun doing this. :D


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