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Optical Influence And Delusion Through Lighting Effects
( Originally Published Early 1900’s )
In advance of your plans for make-up, find out every particular of the lighting arrangements to be used on the stage where you are to appear, as the colors of your make-up must be in absolute harmony with the light effects or your best efforts will be in vain. Before one can fully master the influence of light on make-up, a little experience is desirable. This experience can be obtained by experiments in your dressing room by using various colored papers to cover the lights surrounding your mirrors. The colors of this paper should be the same or nearly the same as the colors of lights to be used upon the stage. This practice affords the easiest and most practical control for the achievement of a make-up, correct in every detail, conforming to the lighting effects intended by the stage manager.
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Gazing at the stage from the audience, the stage in full lights appears nearer to the audience, and if dark, the stage seems fari her away. From these facts, we conclude that th stronger the lights, the softer must be all the make-up, that is, the more precise must be all the lines of the entire mask. On the other hand, if the stage is kept dark or in dim light, the colors, shades and lines of your make-up must be accentuated very strongly in order to be effective A gen-eral rule may be adopted, and that is bo use the same colors as the lights, only make th( m heavier and more pronounced ; but good judgment of proportions must be used when folk wing this rule, because, at times, insufficiency of one color may have to be covered with a super luency of another.
Some examples of the effects of colors:
Red Lights :
The red markings in your make-up would actually be devoured and the dark lines would be augmented, whereas in white lights, this make-up with “red” would be emblematical of the character to be portrayed in the red light effect, it should be pale and corpselike. The same applies to red hair.
Blue Lights :
The make-up looks paler—all red lines and spots appear violet and accentuated. In blue light, red color changes radically, hence special care must be taken to avoid red color. Blue and gray blue lose much in their shades when they are shown in blue light; therefore, they should be applied stronger and darker than when shown in white light.
Green Lights :
Although rarely used on a big stage, almost every make-up in green lights looks death pale, disagreeable and unsympathetic. This light effect is only used in death scenes or when Satan is impersonated as, for instance, in Mephistopheles. In such instances, it is advisable to use a make-up as simple as possible.
Yellow Lights :
Almost as disadvantageous as green, bright red colors should be used as yellow colors lose their effects. Strong flesh color will give good results.