Useful retouching-related excerpts from “The Makeup artist handbook”

Makeup knowledge is a game changer and it could represent a big advantage in the retouching industry. This article’s purpose is to expose some basic facts and techniques derived from professional hi-end makeup artists that can be used in your retouching workflow.

By studying anatomy drawing, you learn individual skeletal or muscular sizes and shapes. The functions and proportions are the keys to creating realism, as achieving perfection is impossible without understanding how to correctly determine the anatomical structure of the body. This being said, let’s check out some ratios:

A perfect body is eight heads high. The neck is a quarter of one head length, starting under the chin with the top of the head. The second head starts at the neck mark. The shoulder-line mark is a quarter of one head down. This leaves space for the chest above the clavicle and for the neck support muscles.

The shoulder line is two head lengths (not widths) wide, and is the top line of the torso triangle that extends down to the space between the legs. The chin-to-shoulder line is a half of one head length. The nipple line equals one head length, the top of the third head trunk. The belly button to the space between the legs is one head, the bottom of the third trunk head.
Body proportions

Although the proportions of the head will vary from person to person and change slightly with age, when we talk about eyes there are some basic principles that should be known and used to check the general size, shape and position.

If you view a head from the front, the space between the eyes is an average of 2.5 inches (one eye width should equal the space between the eyes). If the width of an eye is used as a unit of measurement, the head is five eyes wide.

They can be categorized into six basic shapes and, as you may expect, in order to improve the aesthetics of an eye, you need to know what kind of technique is necessary for each shape.

Balanced Eyes
Wide-Set Eyes
Deep-Set Eyes
Large Eyes
Round Eyes
Small Eyes
Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Equals one eye length apart. This is the eye shape that is considered the “perfect” one aesthetically. You can do almost anything with the balanced eyes, and not be concerned with corrective makeup.

Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Are spaced farther apart than the length of the eye. To bring the eyes closer together, place a dark color on the inside inner corner of the eye.

Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Are recessed farther into the eye socket. To bring them out, place a lighter-colored shadow on the upper lids. Use medium rather than dark colors in the eye crease. Less is more with this eye shape.

Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Will, in some cases, need to look smaller because a large eye conveys surprise and/or shock. To make the eye appear smaller, use dark colors on the eyelid and eye crease.

Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Can handle most colors. The eyeliner will need to be adjusted if you have to make the eye look more almond-shaped. Place eye-shadow color on the eyelid, blending up at the outside corners. You can also place a dark color on the outer top corner.

Andrei Ivascu Retouching

Need light-colored shadow to open them up. Dark colors will only make them smaller. To give the illusion of a larger eye, use a light color on the eyelid and medium color in the eye crease. Again, less is more.

Notice that in the images above, the shape of the eye is the same in all frames; only the shades of a correct makeup are illustrated with different examples for each category.

Now that you have the basic knowledge, it’s important to understand that in most cases it’s not necessary to go after a Michael Jackson – sort of drastic makeup job. Usually, you will want to keep things more subtle.

Not giving credit to the source of this information would be a shame, so here it is, you can buy the Kindle version of the book from Amazon for as low as $36.59. It’s a consistent book, so it worths the money.

© 2012-2021 Andrei Ivascu