fantasy creatures

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Face Off Season 8 Episode 14: The Fantastic Finale!

Published April 15, 2015 by vfdpixie

The Season 8 finale was a fantastic one!  Right after the final three artists were chosen, McKenzie revealed the first surprise for the “most difficult finale yet”.  They would need help, and it came from the eliminated artists from this season!  After Darla, Logan and Emily picked their teams, they came back to the lab, complete with a red carpet, the following day.  McKenzie had monitors numbered 1 through 3, and a board covered with words.  The artists were puzzled, but were really jazzed when they heard what the finale challenge would involve:  create a team of 4 characters to star in a new film franchise, pick the genre of that film from the numbered monitors, and they would also have one minute to grab words that described that genre from the large board.  The team would then have five minutes to create a title for their film using those words.  There was also another surprise-their reveal stage would be at the Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park where a live audience would vote on their favourite team of characters on their own incredibly themed set!

Darla picked Rob, Stephanie, Daniel and Anthony to be on her team and chose monitor #1 that revealed the fantasy genre.  They came up with “The Spirits of Eden”.  The characters were elementals that worked to keep evil out of the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were banished.  Air, or wind, was represented by a faun who also personified a woodwind instrument.  Water was a merman water spirit, Fire would be a beautiful woman with flames around her face, and Earth would be a worm wrapped around a tree.  Coach Laura was not too confident about the worm character.  She thought it wouldn’t be attractive, so she helped Darla hash out a better concept for Earth.  The final design was an Earth goddess with a tree trunk dress and mushrooms incorporated into her body.  Mr. Westmore told her to keep the face soft for the water spirit, bring the mushrooms into the face of the earth spirit, and add some red to the fire spirit’s flames.  Darla was worried about her flame sculpt, but figured it out.  The end result gave me chills!!  I loved her elemental spirits.  The colours were beautiful, and my favourite character was the faun.  She was just beautiful and the chest piece was to die for with all the detail.  Neville thought she nailed the genre with the earth spirit showing a high-resolution detail.  Glenn loved the air element because the horns and chest piece was sculpted to be a wind instrument, and Ve loved the blending of the facial prosthetic pieces.

The Spirits of Eden characters on Team Darla

The Spirits of Eden characters on Team Darla (pictures from Syfy)


Logan’s team included Ben, Greg, Julian and Alan.  He got the sci-fi genre from monitor #3 and their movie title was “The Fortress”.  His characters were inspired by Dr. Moreau, creating intelligent lab animal experiments that fought against lab testing.  He created a lizard commanding solider, an armadillo weapons expert, a mechanic skunk and a hammerhead shark assassin.  Coach Rayce liked his concept and wanted him to make sure his team members were on the same page to make all the characters cohesive.  Mr. Westmore advised them on the anatomy of each character, and the only issue Logan had was keeping Greg on track with the fabrication.  He didn’t want to lose time with unnecessary work, telling Greg there was “no time for hot gun, only enough time for tape”.  His characters looked great!  Ve loved the skunk’s subtle paint job and the colours; Glenn loved the shark’s face and biomechanical elements with each character; and Neville thought actors would be inspired to play the characters Logan and his team created.

Team Logan's characters from The Fortress

Team Logan’s characters from The Fortress (pictures from Syfy)


Emily chose Jamie, Kelly, Regina and Adam to be on her team.  Monitor #2 revealed the post-apocalyptic genre and the name of the film was “Paradise Reckoning”.  Her concept was a Wizard of Oz journey with mutants, and they are brought together when they find a human baby.  Her characters consisted of  a man who was in a car accident and was now covered in broken glass; a man who was in an explosion and made of wood; a former bomb squad member who was now made of metal, and a female assassin fused with leather.  Mr. Westmore told her to pay attention to her paint job for the wood character and for Adam to add some burn elements to the metal character.  Emily created glass out of a silicone material and made sure it stuck even though it took up a lot of her time.  She was in a bit of a frenzy, but took charge when she needed to.  In the end she didn’t get everything painted as she wanted, but her final looks were really cohesive.  The audience made the Wizard of Oz connection, and the judges loved it.  Ve liked the assassin’s  leather bodice and paint jobs; Neville thought it was ambitious and very creative; and Glenn thought it was an intelligent concept and loved the windshield chest piece she took so much time to perfect.

Team Emily's Paradise Reckoning characters (pictures from Syfy)

Team Emily’s Paradise Reckoning characters
(pictures from Syfy)


The audience at Universal had a blast looking at each set of characters, and voted on their favourite.  The judges agreed with their choice, because Darla was the winner of Season 8!  I was ecstatic!  I knew she had the talent, she just had to find it in herself to be confident and do what she does best, which is beautiful, complete makeups!  She wins a V.I.P. trip to one of Kroylan’s 85 international locations, a 2015 Fiat, and $100,000 in cash.  Coach Laura was also a winner, making her a two time champ of the show, which is a Face Off first!  Congrats to Darla, Laura, and all the finalists because they were phenomenal!  See you in July for the next season!

Face Off Season 7 Finale: Life, Death and Battling Knights!

Published October 29, 2014 by vfdpixie

It was a long road, and many contestants later, we were left with Cig the monster lover, Dina the ex-cake decorator, and Drew the makeup teacher.  An eclectic trio that consistently improved as the show progressed, and that hard work earned them a coveted spot in the finale.

The previous episode gave a few hints at the surprises in store for Season 7’s last episode.  The final 3 artists were surrounded by swords, suits of armour and coats of arms.  McKenzie revealed the subject for their final spotlight challenge:  Knights!  Like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, good and bad knights ran amok.  In their final Life and Death challenge, the artists had to choose a unique coat of arms and create a good and evil fantasy knight that represented life and death.  The artists had a great time actually pulling a sword from a stone to pick their coat of arms.  They would also have a lot of help with an eliminated artist from this season and a randomly assigned past season’s winner!  The next surprise?  These life and death knights would fight it out in an actual jousting, sword fighting battle!

Drew picked George and was assigned Rayce, winner of Season 2.  His coat of arms included a stag, so he went for woodland, elven creatures inspired by satyrs.  They were to be two warring sets of satyrs.  He was really jazzed that he had Rayce on his team since he was an amazing sculptor.  Mr. Westmore advised Drew on the nose placement of his elven fawn people, and his team went at sculpting and building.  George did a lot of the molding because he was fast at it.  They were doing well until Drew noticed some of the colours Rayce was using on his dark knight.  He wanted the paint job to be a bit more flesh coloured, but in the end, decided to trust Rayce.  On the finale day, Drew carefully placed the antlers on so when the knights actually fought, they wouldn’t tear into any cowls.  In his rush during last looks, Drew started to paint some of the armour the wrong colours, so he had to scramble to fix it.  His final characters were my favourites.  The were definitely fantastical and beautiful.  The judges liked the nice natural makeup on the good knight, and great cheekbones to convey the stag reference.  They loved the “gorgeous” dark knight and felt the characters worked really well together; you could tell they were from the same world with the harmonious style and palette.  The only thing that put Glenn off a bit was the hair on the face.

Dina picked Stella and was assigned Season 3 winner Nicole.  She got the aquatic coat of arms.  She wanted to design her knights with found things from the sea:  a good fish knight who got his armour from a mermaid, and a the bad knight who was reanimated by electric eels.  When Mr. Westmore heard this concept, he was worried that she wasn’t using the octopus that was prominent in the coat of arms.  This freaked Dina out a bit, but luckily, Nicole came up with an octopus that controlled the brain of the crab-like knight.  They would extend the tentacles down onto the cowl.  Stella sculpted a lot of the armour, including a starfish that Dina finished off with her now famous piping bag.  They were scrambling to clean out the molds when Drew, George and Rayce came to their rescue at the last minute.  Nice guys!  The gals would have 15 pieces to apply to the knights.  During last looks, some arm pieces were lifting so they had to add moss to some of the areas in question and tie them down with rope.  Dina’s knights were truly beautiful!  The judges were wowed by the amount of detail and cohesiveness of the work.  Lois adored the dark knight, and Glenn thought the amount of detail was astounding.

Cig picked Sasha and was assigned Season 6 winner Rashaad.  The coat of arms they worked with was one with gargoyles.  His concept involved good knights who protected people from gargoyle-like knights.  Cig knew he wanted Rashaad to do fabrication, since he was a star at that.  Mr. Westmore cautioned Cig against having the knights look too dark, and after looking at his Life character, decided he needed to sleep on it because the sculpt didn’t look right.  The next day, he decided on a human looking knight and a gargoyle.  One look was going to be minimalistic and he knew it was a risk.  I thought his life knight looked a touch too red, but the death knight was amazing.  The judges liked the silicone used on the human life knight and that there were no edges to be seen.  They also liked the contrast between the hyper-real looking life knight and the monster, gargoyle knight.  They thought it was great conceptual work, but felt the good life knight didn’t push the character enough.

The battle was really cool!  With bagpipe players and horses thundering around the arena, the crowd cheered at the sheer spectacle.  Thankfully, all the makeups held up to some brutal sword play, leaps and tackles.  In the end, the judges picked Dina as the finale winner!!  She walked away with a new Fiat 500, $100,000 and a trip to one of Kryolan Professional Make-up international locations! I am so happy she won!  She is the little cake maker that could!  She quit her job to do this, and had little experience, but heaps of talent.  Nice to see someone following their dreams. Congrats Dina, you deserve the win!

Face Off Season 7 Episode 10: Creature High

Published October 1, 2014 by vfdpixie

For the Spotlight Challenge this week, the artists headed back to high school!  Yuck!  My high school years were pretty crappy, but I did make some friends that I still keep in touch with to this day.  The artists shuddered at the though as well, but this challenge was also pretty unique.  Movies like Teen Wolf, Twilight and Harry Potter involved supernatural characters who still found it hard to be a high school student.  The challenge called for the artists to create a fantasy creature high school student that came from a certain high school clique.

Dina picked a Goblin Nerd.  She based her character off of her sister’s bad perm.  Mr. Westmore cautioned her to watch her details because they could end up looking witchy.  She sculpted large nerd glasses with clay and vaccuformed them to make a great prop.  Her makeup was so cute!  The character’s name was Meg Oblin, and she was a band nerd.  She had a band uniform, braces, and the bad perm as promised.  The judges loved the oversized sculpt and great details.  She was safe this week.

Drew created an Emo Faun.  His inspiration was the students he taught at the Tom Savini Makeup School.  He wanted to design a sad goth kid that hung out with emo kids with a touch of Glenn too!  He felt he needed to “bring it” because he was in the bottom last time, so he really focused on being precise.  I really like the hooves he made for the model’s hands out of L200.  His character’s name was Laurence “Devin” Faunda, and he looked great!  The judges loved the clean application and the faun nose.  Glenn loved that the character’s expression reminded him of a painting of Pan.  They all thought it was well done and loved the colour palette and forms.  This makeup put him in the top looks!

Rachael picked a Faun who was in the cheerleader clique.  Her intention was to go the mean but popular girl route.  Mr. Westmore didn’t like the mean look she was sculpting even thought that was what she was going for.  She sculpted horns and did a life cast of her model’s ears to sculpt faun ears, and also created a mold for the faun’s double joint in the calf.  During her application, she had to take a lot of time gluing her pieces down and thought the were too subtle.  She wondered if it was going to be enough.  In last looks, the horns proved to be too heavy so she had to scrap them.  This was hugely disappointing for her.  Courtney Faunda the mean cheerleader didn’t work.  I thought the details were way too subtle.  The judges didn’t like the rough texture and thought it was rough in general.  They thought the frown sculpt was demonic looking, and the faun ears that Glenn actually liked were hidden by hair.  The overly simplistic concept put her in the bottom looks.

Stella created an Emo Minotaur.  She chose to go with a female character and make an overweight goth cow.  Mr. Westmore told her to balance the weight in the overall look of the sculpt if she was going for the fat look.  I don’t know if I am too sensitive, but I felt the overweight cow character was a tad mean with shades of bully, but if she was embracing the horrors of high school, I guess it could fly?  Anyway, she worked on a fuller sculpt and had to scramble to get her mold done.  She let it cure outside in the sun, and hoped for the best.  It came out great, but she had to patch up a lot of air bubbles caused by steam from the heat as it cured.  This character was called Elizabeth Mino, and the judges liked the nose and elegant profile and shapes.  Stella was safe with this makeup.

Cig went for a Minotaur Nerd.  He wanted to go for a red-headed, “gingertaur” with acne.  Mr. Westmore told him to use a mix of colours to create freckled skin, and he used brown, yellow and red to get a natural look.  He also sculpted smaller adolescent horns out of foam and wire.  This was my favourite makeup.  Manny Minotaur was the ultimate nerd.  He had an “atomic wedgie” with his tightie whities hooked onto his horns, a runny nose and a milquetoast look on his face.  They judges thought this was the funniest makeup they had seen!  They loved the character, solid detailing and the consistent colour on the face and arms.  Glenn loved the character’s expression, and they also loved the forms of the nose, mouth and neck.  He was in the top.

Sasha got a Cyclops Cheerleader.  She wanted this girl to be mean, with lots of eyes (?!) and blue skin.  Sasha, Sasha, Sasha!  The Cyclops has one eye.  Mr. Westmore warned her about the multiple eyes because people wouldn’t understand the character.  She panicked a bit and did some sort of re-sculpt, but the character called Olivia Lids still had a row of eyes on the reveal stage.  I really hated this character.  Sasha was afraid the design wouldn’t reflect the challenge and she was right.  It looked more like an alien and that’s what the judges thought.  They said without the pom-poms, they wouldn’t know what it was.  Strange enough, she was safe.  I was not impressed.  I have seen other artists go home for a good design but not getting the challenge, so I am surprised that she is staying.  Sasha really does have four-leaf clovers up the wazoo.

George tackled a Goblin Jock.  He wanted his character to have a thick neck and a flat top hair cut.  Mr. Westmore told him to sculpt out the hair and not create a pointed head.  After he revamped the sculpt, he got more of a vision for the goblin.  He also created a mullet from an existing wig, and despite fixing the jaw, felt the final look was too blocky.  He also had to fix a blotch of red paint he smeared on the goblin’s face.  George was not happy with the makeup, and rightfully so.  It was too plain.  Even though Doug Oblin was Meg Oblin’s sibling, he was the polar opposite.  He lacked any pizzazz, and the judges didn’t understand the shapes.  They thought it needed secondary forms and it was too blocky.  It didn’t read as a goblin but more muppet as Lois observed, and she thought he needed more practice on eyebrows because these were terrible (as well as the ears).  He was in the bottom looks.

This week’s winner was Drew!!  They loved how the colour was blended on the face to guide the eye.  They also felt it was a professional makeup with a near perfect sculpt and told him it was a great time to step up his game.  I am torn with the person going home.  Rachael came to the end of the line because of her missing horns, bad paint and edges, and generally sub par makeup.  They emphasized how important a flawless application was for a subtle makeup which did not happen here.  I’m not sure this was wise, because I think she is a stronger artist than George, but if they are going solely on this particular challenge, it was the right choice.  George does have unique concepts, so hopefully he brushes up his skill to convey his ideas.



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