How I Made This: Blank Canvas

James Charles has always been a huge inspiration for me, so when I saw him release his Blank Canvas look, I instantly thought of tons of variations I thought would be fun to do with friends. I instantly called up my friend Luke from Develop Model Management and my MUA friend Sisalee to work together to create our own version of this:


Sisalee, being the wonderful woman she is, instantly started thinking of ideas for how to re-create the look using the materials we had, She ended up painting half of Luke’s face with black body paint, blending over top of it with foundation, and then, using a combination of skill and liquid foundation, created the “dripping” effect.

While she was working on makeup, I was creating the lighting and backdrop with the two softbox lights almost perfectly in-line with the model. I shot at a fairly high aperture to capture all the fine details of the makeup.

After about thirty minutes of trying out poses and expressions, we decided that the makeup should be the main focus of the image, so we opted for a straight-on look with an inquisitive but serious stare.

Going in Photoshop, I only did some minimal work. The paint didn’t extend as far down his chest as I preferred, so I used a combination of the stamp tool and paint brush to fill it in a bit. I also used the repair tool to remove some stray foundation splatters against the black base layer.

In Lightroom I simply added an inverted radial filter with some negative exposure, sharpened the image, and toyed around with the levels a bit until I got something that I was happy with. Skin color consistency was very important for this photo so I wanted to make sure that I matched it as closely as I could to natural. Here’s the final image:


That’s really it! It’s a pretty simple look with the high-production-value appearance. I know I speak for all of us when I say Luke, Sisalee, and I had an amazing time working on the project.

Would have you done it the same way? Let me know in the comments below!