Tag Archives: Face Paint

The Works of Lora Zombie Present Vibrant Colours, Inspiring Designs and Skulls


Girls Loves Skulls – Lora Zombie

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been particularly interested in Lora Zombie, a painter / illustrator from Russia who has created a series of colourful, eclectic designs that are combined with influential icons and pop culture references. At first I was amazed by the artist’s intricate style including the high level of detail or craftsmanship as well as the dripping paint that oozes towards the bottom of each individual painting / illustration.

According to Lora Zombie’s official website, the artist is internationally renowned through various social media platforms, blogs and exhibitions within Russia and the United States. I decided to search through Lora Zombie’s inspiring online portfolio and I have recently discovered that the skull is a popular symbol within the artist’s work.

Zombie’s illustrations are often categorised as ‘grunge art,’ however there is limited information in regards to this particular style, this is definitely something I’ll have to research later down the track; from a personal perspective, Lora Zombie’s work features a similar appearance to graffiti art.


Puppies and Skulls – Lora Zombie

‘Girls Loves Skulls’ for instance features a young girl embracing a large multicoloured skull within the centre of the image. This is one of my favourite illustrations by Lora Zombie; the combination of vibrant colours and paint splatters create a remarkable, yet dynamic style that successfully delivers a playful, optimistic approach towards death and the human skull, this is just my personal point of view anyway.

The visual aesthetics provide a level of curiosity and fascination; the skull in particular becomes a significant focal point that instantly attracts the viewer’s attention. The bold, vibrant colours compliment the contour of the skull as well as the young girl on the left hand side; her plain white dress along with her black, knee-length socks provides a dramatic composition with the other elements within the image.


Pugs and Skulls – Lora Zombie

The young girl appears to be rather excited or pleased to be holding this multicoloured skull that features a rather concerned expression. The refined detail definitely provides the subjects with a unique personality that are emphasised through the loud, vibrant colours as well as the harsh brush strokes.

There is another work in particular that has captured my attention; Lora Zombie’s ‘Puppies and Skulls’ is colourful, playful and absolutely gorgeous! The name summarises the work pretty well, this illustration features at least three colourful skulls that are surrounded by a range of adorable puppies, this is such a cute, yet artistic combination.

‘Pugs and Skulls’ also features a similar style and aesthetic; the work features a pile of small multicoloured skulls that are integrated with a crowd of energetic puppies, this is just too adorable! I could honestly write about the artist’s work for hours, as I thoroughly enjoy the humorous, yet comical twist within these imaginative designs. Overall, Lora Zombie’s work delivers a high level of creativity and innovation that is combined with a lively, yet vivacious characteristic.

If you would like to view Lora Zombie’s portfolio or website, just click on the links below.



https://www.facebook.com/LoraZombie (Images from Facebook)




Emma Allen’s Ruby, an Extraordinary Animation of Incarnation

Animation from YouTube (Link attached below)

A couple of days ago, I received a very interesting video from the Black Calavera Facebook Page that was posted by Ryan Fehily. The stop motion animation was originally uploaded onto Vimeo, this particular clip was produced by Emma Allen an artist who specifically works with ‘animation, face painting and body painting’, as referenced by Allen’s official website. 1

When I first viewed Allen’s clip, I was particularly fascinated with the level of craftsmanship, the face paint featured some decorative patterns and designs that gradually changed throughout the stop motion animation. According to Allen’s Vimeo Page, the animation features the artist who has painted her own face in order to present ideas of ‘incarnation’. The artist animates herself ageing, Allen’s face slowly transforms into a skull that suddenly makes a rapid transition into a living creature.


Allen’s Transformation 

So I began to wonder, what is the definition of incarnation? According to the Australian Oxford Dictionary, incarnation is a psychical ‘manifestation’ from an abstract concept. In reference to Allen’s stop motion animation, the artist becomes an embodiment of life and death through the application of face paint. 2

The name of the clip, Ruby is rather intriguing, this does add a level of mystery to the animation, I have wondered whether the title has a reference or a connection to Allen’s work?

I was intrugued by the skull that Allen had painted onto her own face, for me personally the surrounding darkness becomes a reminder of death and disintegration. Allen presents the processes of ageing, the artist’s facial features gradually change throughout the clip, which is quite a unique concept!

From a personal perspective, the animation does question what actually happens after death? I’m not too sure if there is a specific answer to this question, although it is interesting to view Allen’s own interpretations of ‘incarnation’ 


Images from Allen’s Animation

Throughout the clip, the black and white skull is composed with colourful / decorative designs; Allen’s face suddenly transforms into a range of leaves, branches and flowers that also provides a unique aesthetic. There is a very interesting composition between the skull and the floral patterns / designs, from a personal perspective the face paint does question what happens to the soul when a person dies? Is there another life or entity waiting for us on the other side?

Who knows really, these are very difficult questions to answer, when I first viewed the animation I was convinced that the concept was inspired by ‘reincarnation’ as Allen depicts herself slowly decaying, the clip explores the transition from death to another physical entity or form.

The use of glitter also adds an interesting composition that significantly contrasts with the surrounding darkness. I was instantly captivated by Allen’s extraordinary designs, the glitter also disguises Allen’s features that also provides another creative approach to the animation. Towards the end of the clip, Allen’s face suddenly transforms into a wild cat and the designs appear similar to a lion or a leopard.


Notions of Incarnation

It is interesting to view how the designs change over time, I wasn’t quite expecting to see a lion or a leopard towards the very end, although this does reflect the idea of reincarnation. Allen’s designs are definitely creative and imaginative, it is also interesting to view the combination of face paint and stop motion animation. If you haven’t seen this clip before, I would definitely recommend visiting Allen’s Vimeo page!

Click on the link below to view Allen’s official website!

1. http://www.emmaallen.org/about/

2. Moore, Bruce (ed) The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary (Australia: Oxford University Press, 1996) 

3. http://vimeo.com/72670988


Image Citations




# 7 Makeup Test

11/7/12 – Appropriation of the Mexican skull from Holy Kitsch 

© Photography and Makeup by Charlotte Pridding

Design inspired by Holy Kitsch store located in Sydney http://www.holykitsch.com.au/

The Mexican skull from Holy Kitsch inspired me to appropriate the design through the application of makeup and face paint. The Mexican skull is usually placed on top of the television cabinet and my parents had bought the skull from a store in Sydney also known as Holy Kitsch, which sells Day of the Dead merchandise.

The shape and the design of the skull has provided a level of inspiration especially for the research project. I always walk past the skull in the lounge room and I’ve always been attracted to the colour especially around the eyes or the mouth.

First of all I applied a layer of moisturizer and a layer of cheap foundation from the supermarket. I then applied white setting powder over the top, which covers the foundation, although I intend to use proper theatrical makeup for the actual photo shoot.

The powder didn’t quite set, which may indicate that I may have required a higher quality foundation. I may have needed to apply an extra layer of foundation before applying the setting powder.

I used a blue eye shadow for the eyes, which was outlined with a thin layer of face paint. I mixed red, yellow and white onto a disposable art palette in order to create the orange circles. I used the black face paint to outline the nose and the mouth, although I had to use a thin paint brush because the makeup brushes were too thick.

The face paint was quite easy to apply to the makeup or the base and I did not need an extra layer of paint. The actual design was very challenging and I did need a very steady hand in order to paint the different shapes.

Once I had finished the design, I was attracted to all the different colours and effects more than the actual shape of the skull. In comparison, the black and white representations of the skull that I have tested with makeup / face paint exaggerates the image of the skull.I do believe that the black and white make up actually provokes more of an emotional response compared to the colourful or vibrant representations of the skull.

Perhaps the black and white makeup / face paint  is dark or sinister, which may prevent the ability to recognise my own face. The primary colours within the design distracts my attention to the Mexican skull that is painted on my face. The question I really want to ask is, does the face paint / makeup provide a closer connection to death? does the makeup / face paint make me thing about death?

I would say that it all depends on the style of the makeup and how the photograph is taken. When I look at the photographs on-screen, there are certain images or photographs, which do make me wonder what my own skull would look like without the skin.

While I am painting on my own face, I am using the shape of my own skull to outline the shape of my own designs. The forehead, the eyes and the chin are quite easy to work with, although the nose as well as the cheeks can distort the style of the makeup.

My own perspectives of death or the image of the skull depends on the materials, the style and the context. I wasn’t really expecting to spend the year in the bathroom mixing face paints on disposable art palettes with cotton wool buds. The bathroom has actually become my studio and I’m actually using a similar technique to oil or acrylic painting.

The baby wipes actually remove all of the makeup and the makeup remover is good for cleaning the makeup brushes or sponges. The makeup / face paint was easy to remove and I am surprised that I have used the face paint that I have bought from the $2 shop. I wasn’t too sure to begin with but the paint mixes really well with different colours and If I apply a thin layer it is easy to remove.

It was quite a dark day and there wasn’t quite enough natural light for the photographs. I did take several photographs outside and I do think that I need to take the photographs before five in the evening, although I did not anticipate that the make up would take at least three hours to create,

I had to use the flash and I have also taken some photographs outside in order to capture some of the light before night-time. I was a little concerned that I had created a clown instead of a skull, although I am still practising with the makeup and I can always can the style before the photo shoot.

# 6 Makeup Test

10/7/12 – Appropriation of the Mexican Skull Key ring

© Photography and makeup by Charlotte Pridding

I decided to replicate the Mexican skull key ring that I had won at the arcade a few weeks ago. I applied moisturizer and foundation to my face before applying the face paint with a sponge, which minimised rough textures or uneven strokes.

I also used a cheap eyeliner to outline the design, although the eyeliner began to smudge onto the face paint and it was quite difficult to remove without removing the base colour aswell.

I was inspired by the shape and the design of the key ring and I thought the skull would make and interesting style with the face paint / makeup. I would have been better off using the black face paint for the outline and some good quality makeup brushes.

I used a black lipstick for the eyes, which created a shiny complexion, although I did create some interesting colours with the face paints. I mixed the red and the blue paints with the white paints in order to create pastel colours for the design.

I also used some disposable art palettes, which were used to mix the paints and the face painting was quite similar to painting with oils or acrylics. The design is quite complex and if I was to redo this particular style again, I will need to practise several times. There are some areas of the face which are quite difficult to paint such as the cheeks, although the eyes and the forehead are quite easy to work with.

I haven’t created a Mexican skull in colour before today and it was quite interesting to look at myself in the mirror. The different designs, distracted me from the fact that I had painted a skull onto my face.

The light was quite dark today and most of the photographs were blurry or out of focus. I decided to take photos around the house in order to find the best light and my bedroom actually has adequate lighting. I also tried artificial lighting, although the face paint begins to lose its actual effect from the exposure.