Make-up has a significant influence on an actor’s power of expression, and is therefore an integral part of their performance. The spectrum of tasks associated with make-up artistry reflects the wide variety of roles performed on stage, on film, on television and in other media. The transformation of actors into their stage or screen persona is often akin to sorcery, as make-up is able to bring about extreme changes to a person’s appearance. This can range from helping an actor take on a difficult character part to creating a striking stereotypical image, and can involve anything from slight modification to caricatured exaggeration. Specialist fields include the portrayal of injury and anatomic change, animal shapes and fantasy figures.
Mastery of a varied range of artistic means, manual skills and specific technologies is a prerequisite for the overcoming of the challenges faced by make-up artists. The course aims to prepare students accordingly by teaching them a range of skills such as make-up, hairdressing and historic hairstyles, casting and foam-based techniques, modelling and moulding.
Though modern make-up artistry is essentially an interpretive discipline, it involves an increasing amount of independent design work and autonomous development of figures and realization strategies. The aesthetic and functional concepts and designs drawn up by students in the Make-up Design class are therefore required to fulfil the prerequisites for successful practical realization.
The specialist theoretical basis this requires is provided by classes on stylistics and the history of costume and hairstyles, which impart comprehensive knowledge of stylistic developments in fashion and hairstyles.
Make-up artistry is a component part of the overall effect made by the human form (i.e. that of the actor), and is therefore directly linked to costume. This requires make-up artists to not only possess an intuitive understanding of the task at hand, but also be able to smoothly integrate their work into the overall creation.