Thursday, July 17, 2014

Escape and Evade: Camouflage Face Paint to Keep Your Heroine Alive - Info for Writers

Today on ThrillWriting, we're going
to learn about camouflage face paint to keep your heroine safe on her mission. 

My guest today, Elizabeth Kump, joins me to teach writers some of the whys, wherefores, and how-tos of using camo-face. Liz also shares a few ways to twist your plot line

For this article I used army-issue face camouflage. Mine (pictured below) is in modern use, but Liz was also using a compact which included grey that came from the Korean War. 

My experience as the model - 
* The paint had a distinct mineral oil odor to it.
* It felt heavy sitting on my skin so that I was aware of it, unlike my
   typical foundation.
* Application felt like pulling and stretching on my skin
* It was hot under the face paint.
* It didn't itch the way I thought it might, but it remained moist so
   hair or things floating nearby could adhere. It felt like if I used
   some dust/dirt or translucent powder to "set" the face paint, that
   would have been helpful. Powder would be a bad idea, unless it 
   was mineral powder, because the scent can give away your 
   heroine's location.
* Completely removing the face paint between scenarios was a
   labor-intensive, great-big-fat mess. 
   `Soap worked only somewhat. 
   `Cold cream worked best. 
   `Using disposal paper towels was best 
   `Washcloths worked worst, and the face paint did not come out in
     the wash. So guard your heroine's clothes - or don't - maybe
     someone needs to find some paint smeared on her collar or on
     her arm and ask your heroine some difficult to answer questions.
* It's easy to miss cleaning paint from areas difficult to see in the
   mirror like under the chin and the ears.

In Camouflage Face Paint to Keep Your Heroine Alive - Part 1 an Overview, Liz reviews the kind of makeup that is used for camouflage face painting and some ways that you could twist your plot line.

 In any given region, it is important to 
* Consider the colors and the textures of the surrounding area
* Cover all exposed skin, including hands, ears, and neck
* Use dark shades at high points such as cheekbones and noses
* Use lighter colors on recessed areas such as under the chin and
* Add elements from the natural area to clothing and equipment
* Reduce glare as much as possible

Camouflage Face Paint to Keep Your Heroine Alive
Part 2 - Arctic Mission 

Camouflage Face Paint to Keep Your Heroine Alive
 Part 3 - Woodland Mission 

Camouflage Face Paint to Keep Your Heroine Alive  
Part 4 - Jungle Mission 

Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

In this article I used Army Study Guide as my resource LINK


  1. How would facial hair affect putting on camo paint?

    1. I don't know -- let me talk to some of my army buddies and see what they say - since most heroines don't sport facial hair, I didn't think to find out. Good one Randall!


    2. Okay, my buddy said that most of the men were not allowed to go unshaven. He also said that if they had facial hair (special ops etc.), they would just paint around it The men could further disguise their beards with dirt.


    3. It occurred to me to ask since I tend to have a few days' worth of facial hair growth. I didn't know if it would have the same effect on hair as it does on skin.

      The fact (most) heroines don't have facial hair is probably a good thing.

  2. LOL - Agreed.

    So if you paint up - I'd shave first.