Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in DRAM 40A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will identify and compare the use and effectiveness of available makeup products and materials.
  • A successful student will demonstrate skills in the design and application of theatrical makeup.
  • A successful student will employ basic design skills, including drawing, painting and clay modeling.
  • A successful student will locate and give examples of facial anatomy as it pertains to various character factors, including age, gender, race, and species.


A practical introduction to the techniques of applying theatrical makeup for the stage.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. analyze and appraise differences and similarities of facial anatomy.
B. describe, differentiate and compare facial types and how these may be simulated through theatrical makeup.
C. understand the process of researching and designing makeup for production.
D. recognize and acquire skills in the application of available makeup products, understanding how to substitute and adjunct products where specific applications or shortages require.
E. understand the process of designing, creating and applying prosthetic makeup.

Course Content

A. Study facial anatomy
1. student's individual type
2. various age, gender, and ethnic types
3. the effect of stage lighting on facial anatomy
B. Identify and practice enhancement of characterization through makeup techniques
1. straight makeup
a. basic
b. corrective/beauty
2. character makeup
a. creative/clown
b. age
c. facial hair
d. animal/character
3. specialty makeup
a. three-dimensional effects/non-prosthetic
b. three-dimensional effects/prosthetic
C. Practice researching and designing assigned makeup projects
1. compile a makeup morgue including categories for each assigned makeup project
2. render makeup designs using basic art tools (pencils, colored pencils, pastels, etc.)
D. From instructor demonstrations, learn to identify and subsequently experiment with a wide variety of makeup materials
1. become familiar with the minimum contents of an "all purpose makeup kit", including foundations, highlights and shadows, liners, powder, brushes, make-up removers, etc.
2. compare and contrast products from a variety of manufacturers and distributors of theatrical makeup, learning how to substitute when necessary for manufactured makeup or prohibitively expensive products
3. practice using materials for special character effects
a. facial hair (crepe wool, gauze, latex, spirit gum, etc., as well as a familiarity with human hair and ventilated appliances)
b. three-dimensional effects/non-prosthetic, using:
1) facial feature reconstruction materials (wax, putty, etc.)
2) special effects materials for cuts, bruises, burns, scars, etc. (liquid latex, cotton, tissue, gelatin, rigid collodian, blood, etc.)
E. Design, create and apply basic prosthetic makeup, using:
1. life-mask casting materials (alginate, plaster, etc.)
2. modeling materials (plastalina clay, modeling tools, etc.)
3. basic appliance making materials (liquid rubber latex, makeup, etc.)

Lab Content

A. Practice with and application of specified makeup materials and techniques.
B. Cooperative creation of plaster "life-masks".
C. Observation and categorization of facial features, character types, and artistic inspirations.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Ben Nye Makeup Kit or its equivalent, and various casting/mold making and art supplies.
B. Stage space or classroom, with appropriate lighting capabilities and table, to accommodate full class instructor demonstrations.
C. Protective clothing suitable for work that requires the application of stage makeup.
D. Dressing and makeup rooms equipped with running water, lockers, showers, makeup tables and mirrors.
E. Lighted makeup preparation station for each student.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Demonstrated effort and skill in mastery of makeup technique in in-class assignments.
B. Creation of makeup "morgue" of varied and interesting real face photos and art samples, including models from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, as a term project.
C. Makeup designs developed into completed makeups, one of which is a final project.

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, cooperative learning exercises, field work, laboratory, demonstration.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Corson, Richard, James Glavan, and Beverly Norcross. Stage Makeup. 10th ed. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon, 2009.
Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains the seminal text in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading specified chapters of required textbook.
B. Reading and referral to available makeup technique books and magazines.
C. Demonstration and application notes compiled in personal makeup morgue.


Theatre Arts