My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Gothic Eye Make-Up: Architecturally Gothic

Medieval Gothic art - and especially Gothic architecture - is the deep tap-root of Goth; it is from the old Gothic architecture of castles and abbeys that formed the settings of the early supernatural horror novels that the term "Gothic" was applied to them, and from those novels that the idea of Gothic meaning things that are dark, supernaturally spooky, atmospheric, and a mixture of darkness, the sublime and the terrible - and it is from that meaning, combined with the (broadly inaccurate) idea of the Germanic Goths being barbarians that the term "Goth" was applied to the fans of the music that would later also be called "Goth". 


As such, I decided it would be interesting to take direct influence from this for my makeup. Over the eyelid are three arches of increasing size with marble-painted smaller arches within them. The eyebrows and above them have tracery based on Gothic windows with pinnacles, crockets and and trifoliate designs. Under the eyes are two "clock-hand" inspired designs drawn to balance the upwards designs above the eye. 




This is my first attempt at drawing anything based on Gothic art and architecture actually ON my face, and I found it really hard to draw over the contours of my skin, and to draw with any accuracy in a mirror and where I could not rest my hand on anything to steady it. With the eyelids I used primer instead of foundation as the basis and then did a gradient of silver and pewter eyeshadow, then drew over that in eyeliner (using a narrow brush and a broader brush), then filled in the details with a silver eyeliner pen. The marble-painted sections were painted using water and powder eyeshadows and a water-colour brush (one assigned exclusively for use with make-up!). 


I would really love advice on how to do something like this more neatly. I'm quite happy with how it already turned out, but I would prefer to make it neater and have more accurately architectural details, and arches that look much pointier. As I mentioned before, I found actually drawing over my eyelids very difficult. The organic forms of my swirlies are more flowing and this easier to paint across an uneven surface, and are often drawn over the bony parts of my face, so are easier to draw. The hardest thing I find is lacking a way of bracing my arm so I can have a steadier hand. 

8 comments:

  1. I have a tremour caused by anxiety and when it's bad I've found having a mirror laying down easier to work with as I can look over it and rest my elbow on the table. You need good lighting though and it needs to be at the right angle so you don't cast a shadow over your reflection. You also have to be careful not to open your eyes too wide while the mascara/liner is drying. I always keep a few cotton wool buds with moisturiser handy for tidying up.

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    1. Ooo! Thankyou for that suggestion :) I will have to try this the next time I am doing any complicated drawn design for my face. I have neurological issues that impact my co-ordination (including the occasional twitch) and while I can draw rather well with my arm on a flat surface, drawing on my face proves much harder.

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  2. That's beautiful! How long did it take you to do? I love the idea of using a watercolor brush for makeup. Sometimes you just can't find a makeup brush that's the right shape.

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    1. It took me nearly an hour! I was getting ready for a dinner party, so I wanted to look my best. I have a couple of trimmed watercolour brushes I use for eye make-up only. I'm sure actual make-up brushes are available in the style I want, but only if I hunt them down, and they'll probably cost me more than cheap art brushes.

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  3. oh this looks so stunning! sorry i cant give any advice since the most detailed i have done yet are spiderwebs, spiders, bats and maybe some bloody/scar detail (wish i had some useful advice since i would love to make something with a feather detail XD)

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    1. I've done bats, but I can never get my spiders to turn out right - they always look like random bugs when I draw them :/

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