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Clown makeup tutorial, part 4 – completing your clown face

Welcome back! So far, we’ve talked a little bit about some of the underlying concepts of clown makeup in Part 1, and the basics of applying clown make-up in Part 2., and somewhat about clown noses in Part 3. Now we’re going to address some of the other remaining “pieces” and try to wrap everything up.

First, bear in mind that there are other “€˜parts” we haven’t addressed — things such as wigs, false, eyelashes, special glasses, etc. That’s okay; this series isn’t meant to take the place of the great resources we have available (like Strutter’€™s Complete Guide to Clown Make-up, or Creative Clowning, or any of the other books listed under the Book Reviews category). Neither is it meant to take the place of your local Clown Alley (which, for the uninitiated, are simply local groups of clowns that get together for their mutual benefit).

There are really only two points I would like to address before closing this part of the series. First, practice makes perfect. Or, as a good friend of mine puts in, “practice makes permanent.”€ That can be good or bad; if you’re making bad habits permanent, then it’s bad. But for now, stick with the first half of that equation — €”practice! Try putting on clown make-up; try different styles of make-up, try different eye-shapes, different ways of accenting your features. Your unique clown face is in there somewhere, wanting to come out. And don’t forget that you’re free to change things in the future. As I mentioned in earlier installments, my wife changed from a Whiteface clown to an Auguste clown at Clown Camp 1998; Bobby Kaye‘s make-up evolved slowly over decades.

The second point is that there’s another make-up style we’ve ignored till now; the Everyman, or European style. This style of make-up has little or no make-up associated with it. If you’ve read Turk Pipkin’s Be A Clown book, he gives an excellent example of this make-up style. Among famous clowns, Roly Bain is a good example. Or think of your favorite TV “clown” – I’ve already used the example of Steven Urkel from Family Matters. Urkel wore no make-up, but by his costume, character and actions, he made it very plain that he was a clown.

Next time, we’ll move on to clown costuming. See you then!





Computer nerd by day, professional clown on evenings and weekends (Raynbow), who combines the two by maintaining a bunch of websites dedicated to the history and performances of clowning, such as Free Clown Skits, and comedy such as Best Clean Funny Jokes.
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