Monday, 24 February 2014

The Academy Of Make Up: Day Courses

As I've mentioned before, I have taken a few course at The Academy of Make Up (link) in Glasgow. It's gruelling to wake up at 5.30 in the morning to get a bus/train down for 9.30, but it has definitely been worth it! I've taken the Pro Course which is ongoing, as well as three day courses; Intro To TV and Film, Body painting and Intro To Theatre.

Intro To TV and Film

I went to the Intro To TV and Film first, as it is the the side of make up I am interested in. There were only three students including myself, so it was nice and intimate. The class was taken by Sophie, who works in the TV and Film industry and worked on River City as well as World War Z. She started by giving us a branch graph and information about the different roles within the industry and how we would start. We learnt the processes for TV make up, including continuity and how make up looks under lighting. Then, we were given characters and created a look based on the information we were given.

We then had a demo on how to apply and blend in gelatin wounds and how to colour them to look realistic using grease paints, before trying it out for ourselves. I wasn't too good at blending them and decided to try and cover it with bruising, but I think it's a good first attempt!

After we played about with the gelatin wounds, we regrouped and spent the next hour speaking about the essentials for a kit and which production companies are nearby. We got lots of information and tips on how to get into the industry and what to expect.

Body Painting

The next course I took was the Body Painting. I didn't really know what to expect, but I figured it would be a good skill to have. It was taught by Kat, who started off by showing us the different types of paint and brushes. She showed us the techniques we would need and many examples, including full body paint (with female and male body parts painted, eek!) Then, we were thrown into the deep end and given templates to sketch a design before our models were invited in.

At first I was pretty scared, as I had chosen to paint a Phoenix, which was pretty complex. My model had never been to the Academy before, so he had no idea what to expect- I found this comforting and it made me a but less nervous. I sketched out a rough outline with a white eyeliner pen, before diving in and painting. The actual painting was a lot easier than I expected, although it took a long time. Kat came round each student and gave ongoing advice to help us get the best results. We also used pigments and water to create a more 3D effect, as well as gems.

It took me about 5 hours to complete my Phoenix and in the end I wasn't happy with it. I think it looks okay for a first attempt, but the tail didn't go as I had pictured and it ended up looking more like the Pokémon Moltres than the majestic being that I had imagined. Looking back I know what I would do to differently if I were to attempt the same design again, which is always a good sign!

Intro To Theatre

The last of my day courses is the Intro To Theatre, taught by Romy. We started by looking at the different roles within the theatre industry and which teams we would work with. Then, we looked at the different types of theatre productions and what make up they required. We were introduced to the different types of make up used for theatre and shown the two types of wigs. Romy explained that when she has trained in Germany, she would make the wigs herself, which take on average 60 hours!

Next, we had a demo of a few different ways to dress the hair in preparation for a wig. We learned the correct way to apply and fix a wig onto the head before moving on to a demo of how to create an elderly look on a younger model using grease paints. This was a long process and took a lot of skill. 

We then paired up and created an aged look on each other, before putting a wig on to finish the look. I found I had to keep referring to my notes to remember each step, but once I got into the flow I was pretty impressed with the finish look - which I didn't get a good photo of, boo!

I make a beautiful old lady, no?

The thing I loved most about the courses is that all three of the Make Up Artists threw us straight in and came round to support us as we worked. It had a much more trusting atmosphere than an actual college and I felt like I was learning a lot quicker. All of the Artists are currently working in the industry and each teach classes on the parts of the industry the are most involved in. I am loving the Pro Course as well and I've learned so much, but I shall write a separate post on that once it's complete!
Have any of you taken make up courses? Or are you maybe thinking of trying out The Academy Of Make Up?



  1. I'd love to do a course like this, I'm trying to to save my penes for when I come to to Glasgow for University for a class there, It must be amazing! You look great as an old lady haha! I love it!

    Http:// - Alexandraindia

  2. If you have pennies to spare i'd highly recommend it! The learning environment is professional yet easy going and more than anything it's nice to know you're being taught by people in the industry :) Oooh University, that's pretty exciting!


  3. This sounds so interesting. Did you do this as a one-off kind of thing or are you trying to build up a career in performance make-up?

    Rosemary x

    1. I want to get into the Make Up industry! At first I want to do TV and Film, but I really want to specialise in Prosthetic Make Up :)



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