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Quick and Dirty bruises. (Lots of Photos)

25019 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  CoolDJTV
I've been detailing a body and needed some decent looking bruises. I looked around online and didn't really find much in the way of instructions, so I futzed around a little on my own and figured I'd share what I learned. I'm using craft paints from Micheal's. Obviously if you are bruising up a person, you'd need to use makeup in the correct colors.

At its most basic, you will need the following:

--a very dense craft sponge. (I don't have a part number as my wife had one. You want a pliable, and very dense sponge that you can rip pieces off from to use)
--I use a cheap craft brush out of the .99 assortments that go on sale at --Micheal's all the time.)
--Navy blue craft paint. (the .99 stuff)
--Brick red craft paint. (Also .99 if I remember correctly)
--paper towel ( to blot your sponge and clean your brush)

Do a Google image search for "Bruise". Spend a little time looking at actual photos of bruises. If you find any you like, print them to use for reference. (I printed some, but ended up just free-handing them all)

Technique. This is really the easy part. Its not as complicated as I thought it would be.

There are 2 main techniques.
1. Straight up and down. You are just dabbing the color without smoothing it at all. This creates the look of blood vessels and scrapes in teh bruise.
2. Dab and Twist. This is dabbing the color down and then twisting the foam to smooth the colors out. When you do this you do NOT get the texture of the foam. I use this to fill and blend areas of the bruise.

-set everything out where you are going to work.

-Grab your sponge and tear off a piece. It doesn't have to be a huge piece, just big enough you can hold on to it properly.
-Open your navy blue paint and get a little on your brush. Paint it onto your sponge. You want to spread it around thin so its not too harsh when you apply it. A little goes a long way, you can always add more later.

-Pick the spot when you want your bruise to be. Dab a little of the blue onto the body. Dab straight up and down to create little spots of blue. (blood vessels) and then dab and twist in random spots to make the blue a little more fuzzy and soft. You want a mix of both styles. Its not going to look like much yet, but dont panic. LESS IS MORE WITH THE BLUE.

-Blot your sponge on the paper towel and then paint a little brick red onto the sponge with the brush. Dont worry about the blue there, just go right over it.

-Use the sponge to blot the red over the top of the blue layer on the body. Again you want a mix of straight up and down passes and some dab and twist. You want more coverage with the red, but you should still be able to see the blue. You are trying for a mottled uneven red tone. You want some unevenness there. Go lightly at first, you can always add more in a second pass if you think to need to.

Continued in the next post.
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Also keep in mind where bones are in the body. Cheek bones, shins, knees, elbows are all natural places where bruises happen. Bruises tend to be worse in those areas as there is less fat to cushion the blow. Try to shape your bruises to they make sense and look like they naturally happened there. Bruises over bones are more ragged and more patchy as the skin will sometimes get abraded when its bruised. (Think of your jeans rubbing on your knee when you fall on it. You get the bruise and a scrape at the same time.) Deeper tissues like the stomach tend to bruise darker as there is alot of soft tissue for blood to collect in. So you may need a darker blue layer, and a darker red layer over the top to make it look right. (I'm attaching some examples at the end of this write up.)

If you are looking for a fresh bruise, you are done. You can go back and add a little more blue and then a little more red if you think your bruise needs it. Just remember that not every bruise is a huge one. Small bruises look good as well, and it makes things look even more real. If you need an older bruise, go on to the next post in the thread for further instructions.

So, if you need to make an older bruise, we have a couple of additional steps to do.

-Blot your sponge again, grab your paint brush and paint a little bit of mustard yellow on to your sponge.

-Lightly blot the yellow around the edges of the bruise you already made. This is a dab and twist so the yellow is fuzzy and soft on the edges. You don't need a lot of yellow in the center, you DO need it at the edges. Don't make it regular, pick a logical side and make it slightly larger so the bruise looks uneven.

Again if you like the look, you can stop here. If you want to make it look a little older still, keep going.
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-Blot your sponge again, and grab yourself some Olive Green. Again paint a little bit on your sponge in one corner so you can control it when you dab and twist. This layer you want to be soft and fuzzy without a lot of detail. You want to put the green into the area right at the edge of the red/blue bruise itself. The green is simulating the dead blood cells that collect at the edges of a wound after some time has passed. You want to tint the bruise in that zone a little darker with the green. You still want the yellowish at the very edges of the bruised area, but you want to darken the outer edges of the bruise itself.

If you like the look, you are done! Congratulations. You have created a nice fresh bruise, a slightly older bruise, and a fairly old bruise.

If you DON'T like what you ended up with, take your wet paper towel and wipe the bruise away. The craft paints I used are water based so you have the ability to clean them off if you hate the look. Wipe it down, dry the area off and try it again! Good luck!
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Here are some examples from the body that I have been detailing:

Lighter scraped looking bruise. Very little soft blue, mainly red dabbed straight up and down to leave the patterns from the sponge.

Banged up knee. Darker blue towards the inside, splotchy red to simulate scraping as well as bruising.

Stomach bruise. Deeper blue in the center, with darker splotchy red over the top. I would not want this injury.

Head abrasion. Patchy blue with patch red over the top. Mostly dabbed straight up and down. Very little twisting. I wanted it to look more scraped and bruised.

Probably my favorite bruise on this body. If you look you can see the outlines of knuckles. Two hits in the same area. Very light layers of blue and red. Mainly splotchy and not smoothed out.

Hope this helps someone. And I hope you have as much fun beating things up as I did.

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Hopefully it helps someone out with a prop or a costume. I went into this thinking it was going to be a lot more complicated than it actually was. It really is easy work for a really nice effect. :)
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