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.

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.

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.