What makes a clown recognizable?
A brightly colored costume
and a painted face!
Kelly "Gidget" Casper
Throughout history, clowns have had limited resources for designing the look of their make-up. One clown might design a unique shaped eyebrow or muzzle to distinguish himself from another. Today the variety of products available allows unlimited possibilites for facial designs, from traditional basics to elaborate designs as seen in Cirque du Soleil.
Clowns should study pictures of professional clowns and their make-up to decide what "look" will best define their character. Experience is the best teacher, so it is wise to spend time in practicing the art of making up their faces. They should definitely strive for individuality and, before long, a personalized look will be established.
Clown face designs have evolved over the years to include a myriad of different looks but the basic styles for clown types remain the same.
There are two basic types of Whiteface:
One is called the Neat Whiteface and has simple features with black and red accent colors. The mouth is your own mouth size and there is no false nose; sometimes the end of the nose is painted with red.
The second, called the Comedy Whiteface, has bold features that are often in colors other than red and black. This type of clown often uses a false nose.
Because the Auguste is the most comical and silly character, his face has the most distorted and fun style. His actions are larger than the other styles and his facial features are created larger to match, with lip outlines far beyond the actual lips and an eye area that stretches up onto the forehead!
The Tramp or Hobo/Bag Lady
While the Whiteface and Auguste Clowns have their origins in the European Circus, the Tramp or Hobo clown is of American origin. The bag lady is the female counterpart to the Tramp or Hobo and has evolved even as homeless women have appeared on the streets alongside males.
This character uses a base of flesh colored pink or tan. Designs usually include a beard and highlights of white around the eyes and mouth.
The Tramp usually wears a forlorn expression and the Hobo is happy and always wears a smile.The Bag Lady can be either happy or sad.
Tramp or Hobo/Bag Lady Application