Category: costumes

The Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey Team Up

 

When I made my Flying Monkey costume, I never dreamed that I would meet a Wicked Witch of the West! Chelphie Cosplay is the creator and wearer of this fantastic witch costume and she has a pretty spectacular cackle too — just ask! Our dynamic duo has been spotted at a few events and we even placed 2nd in the 2013 Dallas SciFi Expo Costume Contest. Check out some of the photos:

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey by Ken Pearson
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

 

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey costumes
Photo by Vodka Photos

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013 - Photo by Last Ryghtz
Photo by Last Ryghtz

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013
Photo by Alan Tijerina

Read my Flying Monkey Costume blog post to see more behind-the-scenes photos for my monkey costume.

Flying Monkey Costume from Wizard of Oz

Breanna Cooke Flying Monkey at Dallas Museum of Art Late Night

When the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a Wizard of Oz-themed Late Night event, I couldn’t resist making a Flying Monkey costume with my own twist! I already had the black feathered wings, so I just needed to make the outfit. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos of how I put it all together:

1. Hat

Flying Monkey Hat from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The hat is made from a Laughing Cow Cheese container, craft foam, and cotton fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t document it well while I was working on it. The side of the hat is craft foam covered in fabric. I used spray glue (Super 77) to glue the fabric to the craft foam. I drew the zigzag design on paper, then traced it on the red, white, and black fabric, and made each one slightly larger than the last. The zigzag pieces of fabric were also glued with spray glue. I also added a chin strap with thin elastic, like the elastic on party hats.

Materials:

  • Laughing Cow Cheese container (empty)
  • Craft foam
  • Cotton Fabric: light blue, red, white, black
  • Spray Glue (Super 77)

2. Wig

Flying Monkey Wig from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The wig started out as a weird Moses/Zeus wig from Party City. I didn’t have enough time to order anything online, so I used what I could buy locally. Armed with scissors, I slowly cut away at it to give it the signature widow’s peak of the monkeys (and most simians) in the 1939 edition of Wizard of Oz. I had my doubts at first but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Materials:

  • Grey wig
  • Scissors
  • Head form

3. Jacket

Flying Monkey Jacket from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

I created a paper pattern for the jacket based on reference photos and an existing fleece vest I own. Using plain cotton fabric in light blue, red, white, and black, I cut out all the layers to create the zigzag pattern and jacket base. I glued the zigzag layers together with spray glue (Super 77), attached it to the blue part of the jacket, and added interfacing to give the whole jacket the structured shape. I also added slits in the back of the jacket (not shown) for my wings to poke out.

Materials:

  • Cotton Fabric: Light blue, red, white, black – measure the amount you need based on your paper patterns and don’t forget about the hat!
  • Interfacing

4. Bodysuit

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Bodysuit - by Breanna Cooke

This costume, like my dragon costume, features a hand-dyed and painted bodysuit. I first tested the dye on a scrap of Lycra (1st image). I used Jacquard’s Dye-na-flow black, watered it down, added a few drops of Jacquard’s AirFix, and brushed the dye onto the bodysuit. Once it was dry, I painted on the fur with Jacquard’s Neopaque and Lumiere fabric paints.

Materials:

  • 1 white Bal Togs body suit
  • 1 bottle Jacquard Dye-na-flow black
  • 1 bottle Jacquard AirFix
  • Jacquard Fabric Paints: Black and White (Neopaque), Pewter and Pearlescent Blue (Lumiere)
  • Paint brushes

5. Feet

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Feet - by Breanna Cooke

I wanted to look like I was barefoot without actually being barefoot! Using some white socks (synthetic fabric), I stuffed them with polyfill, then dyed and painted them with fabric paints (same as used on bodysuit). I applied Zombie Skin (a creamy latex) to the toes to reinforce the toe area. I pulled the stuffing out of the socks, added some foam insoles, then cut out holes for each my toes. When I wear the costume, I paint my toes with same blue bodypaint I use for the face (see #7).

Materials:

  • White Socks (synthetic fabric, like liner socks)
  • Zombie Skin (latex)
  • Polyfill (or rags to stuff inside)
  • Fabric paints and dyes (see #4 Bodysuit)

6. Wings

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - wings - by Breanna Cooke

I made these wings a few years ago for my Harpy costume but they worked well for my monkey costume too. The frame was commissioned from Danielle Hurley and she does amazing work! I used chicken wire as the frame for the wings and hot-glued it to black canvas. I hot-glued approximately 350 black turkey feathers for the wings and used down from a black feather boa for the top. Needless to say, these wings are a tad heavy but they are definitely sturdy!

Materials (for the wings, not the frame):

  • Black canvas fabric
  • Chicken wire
  • Gloves and wire cutters
  • Black turkey feathers
  • Black feather boa

7. Face

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - face - by Breanna Cooke

I followed reference photos from the movie so I could capture the big smirk of the monkeys. Since I wasn’t using any prosthetics, I also needed to give the illusion of monkey features with makeup. I painted my nostrils black to make them look wider and added accent lines to widen my nose and mouth. I used professional water-based bodypaint to paint my face, hands, and toes and red lipstick on my lips.

Bodypaints (all water-activated cakes):

  • light blue (Kryolan)
  • light grey (Kryolan)
  • storm grey (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • red (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • white (WolfeFx)
  • black (WolfeFX)

And there you have it!

Flying Monkey - Photo by Ken Pearson Photography
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

I’ve also been known to hang around with a certain Wicked Witch of the West (Chelphie Cosplay) at various events. Have a look at photos of our dynamic Oz duo.

A Day in a Dragon’s Life

Ever wonder what dragons do all day? You may think that they just hoard gold and breathe fire, but dragons lead a surprisingly normal life. Here’s a glimpse into what goes on:

First, they sit and think.

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

Then they start working on some chores, like mowing the lawn,

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

And watering the plants.

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

They spend time keeping their claws nice and tidy.

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

They take breaks by watching movies,

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

And make afternoon snacks.

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

They clean up the dishes,

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

And mop the kitchen floor.

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

Then to top off the day, they go for a car ride! Wheeee!

Breanna Cooke's green dragon costume inspired by Ysera, the Dreamer from World of Warcraft. Photography by Brian Merlo

Photography by Brian Merlo

Interested in seeing how this costume was created? Check out my blog post: Green Dragon Costume

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr!

How To Make Maleficent Horns

Maleficent hornsNeed Maleficent horns ASAP for Halloween? Here’s how I made a headpiece, inspired by the 2014 movie version of Maleficent. I made these pretty quickly so the process isn’t documented as well as I would have liked, but hopefully you’ll find some useful tidbits!

You will need:

  • Craft foam
  • Electrical tape
  • Reticulated foam (upholstery foam or styrofoam could work too)
  • Black faux snakeskin or pleather fabric
  • Tin foil and duct tape (for the helmet template)
  • Utility knife
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Contact cement
  • Paper and sharpie (for the helmet and horn template)

1. Make a helmet with craft foam.

I learned out to make this helmet from Evil Ted Smith’s Youtube tutorial. Watch his video to learn how to make a helmet template that fits your head. Instead of using thick EVA foam, I used craft foam for a more flexible headpiece. I was a bit rushed so the seams aren’t as smooth and rounded as they could be.

2. Draw a horn template, trace it onto reticulated foam, and carve it out.

BreannaCooke_MaleficentHorns_0009_mergedDraw your horn shape onto your block of reticulated foam then carve it out with your utility knife. Make sure the blade is sharp. Compare your horns with each other to be sure you’re getting the right shape.

3. Cover the horns with electrical tape.

BreannaCooke_MaleficentHorns_tapeInstead of wrapping the tape around in a spiral, I cut each piece individually. Fold over the top edge of the tape to achieve the ridged effect.

4. Glue snakeskin fabric on the front of the headpiece.

BreannaCooke_MaleficentHorns_0001 copyUse contact cement to apply the fabric to the front and fold it under the front edge.

5. Glue horns on and cover the helmet with electrical tape.

BreannaCooke_MaleficentHorns_0008Glue the horns on with contact cement. To cover the rest of the helmet with tape, start at the base of the horns and weave your pieces of electrical tape around the helmet. I cut shorter pieces instead of trying to wrap long pieces all the way around. Continue to fold the top edge of the tape over to achieve ridges all the way down.

6. Go be fierce!

BCooke_DHB2014_0018

 

 

Living Art America 2014

 

Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography

I’m so thrilled and honored to have taken part in Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in Atlanta, GA. My presentation took 1st place in the Emerging Artist category!

About the art:

Event Theme: Future Vision
This piece is a tribute to Voyager 1 — the first human-made object to travel outside our solar system. Contained on Voyager is a golden record with music and images of life on Earth (DNA, human figures, trees, plants) to hopefully be discovered by beings somewhere in the universe. The headpiece takes inspiration from H.R. Giger’s biomechanical female aliens and hints at the idea of an alien discovering the record and incorporating into her body. Voyager 1 and 2 also gave us the first hi-res images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and beyond. So order to gain a clear vision of our future, we must reach forward through the solar system and light years, but also look back at the past, to see where Voyager is taking us.

About the event:

IMG_8523Artists have 6.5 hours to paint a model (with the help of an assistant if you have one). Then we each have 1.5 minutes to present our creations to a panel of judges. After the judging, there is opportunity for photos and then an evening runway show. Artists can select music and prepare a statement to be read by the MC while their model walks/dances/twirls down the runway for 2 minutes. It’s the most amazing spectacle of art!

About the paint and props:

All the paint is professional grade body paint and artists can do a combo of brush/sponge or airbrush. I only used brush and sponge for my piece. Models must also wear some sort of thong and pasties. I created the headpiece ahead of time with EVA foam (anti-fatigue mats), craft foam, and pipe insulation. The record was a real record (Barry Manilow to be exact) and was painted gold. The shoes were also created ahead of time and are heel-less shoes with craft foam vines/plants built on top.

Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: David Leo Photography
Photography: David Leo Photography
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: Walt Weiss
Photography: Walt Weiss
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography

3D Printed Action Figure of Dragon Costume

I’m an action figure thanks to Captured Dimensions!

This past May at Dallas Comic Con 2014 I opted for a scan session to have my dragon costume 3D printed as a small figurine. It was a really cool process and such a unique way to capture all the hard work that went into the costume.

Step 1: Scan Session

It was like being a movie star! Lots of flash bulbs and cameras capturing me from all sides. I did a couple different poses but this was the final one we chose.

Green Dragon Costume
Green Dragon Costume

Step 2: Creating the 3D model

These next steps were all done by Captured Dimensions. All I had to do was approve the final model before they sent it off for print. Check it out below! It even earned a “Staff Pick” badge on Sketchup. Twirl the model around to see all sides.

Breanna Cooke – Green Dragon Cosplay
by captureddimensions
on Sketchfab

Step 3: 3D Printed Action Figure

Captured Dimensions sent the digital model off to be 3D printed and then came the great reveal! So cool!

3D printed green dragon costume
Dragon Action Figure_02

Dragon Action Figure_04 Dragon Action Figure_03

Green Dragon Costume inspired by Ysera, World of Warcraft

Halloween 2013 was the year for a dragon! I took most of my inspiration from Ysera in World of Warcraft. I’ve outlined most of the process in my tutorial on instructables.com. Go check it out there or take a look at my process photos below. I also won a 2nd prize from Instructables for my dragon, yea!

Design

BCooke_Dragon_SketchAndReference_01
Body Suit

BCooke_Dragon_Bodysuit_Process_02
Headpiece

BCooke_Dragon_Headpiece_Process_01
Prosthetics

BCooke_Dragon_Prosthetics_Process_01
Prosthetics continued

BCooke_Dragon_Prosthetics_Process_02
Wings

BCooke_Dragon_Wings_Process_01




Greek God or Goddess Costume for Late Night at the DMA

DIY Greek god or goddess costume.
DIY Greek god or goddess costume.

The Dallas Museum of Art invited me to write a guest blog post on how to create a quick Greek god or goddess costume in honor of this month’s Late Night at the DMA program. The event is celebrating their latest exhibit, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, so attending in full costume is definitely encouraged. You can read my full step-by-step tutorial on the DMA’s blog Uncrated.

My tutorial also received a great write-up by the Dallas Morning News Arts Blog and they also explain how you can earn DMA Friend rewards points for dressing up. KERA’s Art & Seek blog also featured my tutorial in their Tuesday Morning Roundup.

See you at the DMA, in costume (of course)!

Avatar Costume: Dr. Grace Augustine with Body Paint

Dr. Grace Augustine costume with body paint

Who could resist dressing up when going to “Avatar: The Exhibition“! Since it was December, dressing up as Dr. Grace Augustine (Na’vi version) seemed like a more practical option in order to stay warm.  Here are some tips for doing this costume:

Paints used:

I used the paints that come in the Silly Farm Pandora kit.

  • 1 Kryolan Light Blue
  • 1 Silly Farm Avatar Rainbow Cake
  • 1 Wolfe White
  • Fixative Spray

Clothes:

  • Maroon or red tank top
  • Tan safari shirt
  • Tan Cargo Shorts
  • Brown hiking boots
  • Dark calf height socks
  • hemp necklace
  • Headband (long strip of light colored fabric)

Steps:

1. Get dressed in your tank top and pants. If you’re planning to wear shorts and paint your legs, leave your shorts off and just carefully pull them on at the end.

2. Paint a layer of light blue all over the exposed areas. Don’t paint your hands yet.

3. Using the dark blue side of the combo cake, paint stripes on your face and arms. Allow the stripes to be a bit uneven and jagged, they’ll look more realistic this way.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_001

4. Using the light blue side of the combo cake, paint a thin stripe down the center of each dark blue stripe. This will help give it more dimension and depth.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_002

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_004

5. Using the white cake, paint small white dots while following the edges of the blue stripes.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_003

6. Put on your wig, necklaces, and remaining clothes.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_005

7. Paint your hands. Then spray yourself with fixative spray to help seal in the paint.

8. Have fun!!

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_007

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_006

Fiery Phoenix Costume

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_10022

My Halloween costume was a mythological phoenix, the colorful red and gold bird that bursts into flames and is reborn from its own ashes. This costume consumed all my free time in September and October, but I’m really pleased with the result! I’ve posted these instructions on Instructables.com too!

Bodysuit:

– 1 white full body unitard (Bal Togs brand)
– Jaquard brand fabric paints – 2.25fl oz size
– Lumiere line (2 crimson, 2 gold, 2 burgundy, 1 burnt orange)
– Neopaque line (2 yellow, 2 gold yellow, 2 red, 1 black)
– paint brushes
– 1 iron (for heat setting)
– 1 mannequin to hold your bodysuit’s shape

How-to Paint the Body Suit:

Plan out your design, then start painting! This design took me at least 40 hours to complete. Having a mannequin is crucial for holding the body suit in the stretched position. The body suit is made primarily from nylon, so I chose Jaquard paints because they were one of the few that list nylon as a suitable base. If your body suit is made from a different fabric, you may want to investigate a different brand of paint or do a test sample. After the body suit is dry, flip it all inside out and iron it with the correct setting for the fabric. I placed towels in the legs and arms so the designs weren’t pressed together under the heat.

Bird Feet Boots:


– 1 pair of boots
– 1 inch thick green high-density foam (sold a fabric stores for seat cushions)
– white craft glue
– scissors
– 6 fake bear claws
– black or brown acrylic paint
– 16oz liquid latex
– foam brushes
– fabric paints for painting the boots to match (leftover from body suit)
– paint brushes
– Hot glue and gun OR Liquid Nails perfect glue

How-to Create Bird Feet Boots:

Using craft glue, stick together pieces of foam so that they are wide enough for a toe (about 3 inches wide). Shape the foam with scissors so that it is rounded and toe-like (repeat 5 more times). Cut out an insert for the claw, but don’t glue the claw in yet. Paint the green foam with acrylic paint so it matches the boots. Using the foam brushes, paint the toes and boots with liquid latex. Be sure to follow the instructions on the liquid latex. Once the latex is dry, glue in the claws. Then paint the boots to match your costume. I used fabric paints since they would match the body suit even though they’re not the perfect paint for sticking to latex (and I’m not sure what is).

Headpiece:


– 2 4’x4′ pieces of polyethylene foam
– hot glue and gun
– 1 red and 1 gold spray paint
– 2-3 sheets of kids thin craft foam
– acrylic and fabric paints (leftover from body suit)
– paint brushes

How to Create Foam Headpiece:

Create paper patterns of each spiral piece and cut them out of polyethylene foam. Glue the pieces together with hot glue so that the flat sides are together and there’s a space for your head. It’s almost like making a helmet. Cut out pieces of the thin craft foam for the beak and side “feathers” and glue on with hot glue. Give the entire headpiece a base coat with spray paint, then add accents of color with acrylic paint and any leftover fabric paint.

Wings:

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_04018

– 1 pair of Isis belly dance wings (available online)

Face:

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_07020
– Face and body paint – Paradise, FAB, and Kryolan water-based cakes
– paint brushes

How-to:

With water-based face/body paints, dip your brush in water and rub it on the surface of the dry cake until the paint is a smooth and creamy consistency. Now paint your face however you wish! I don’t have any process photos of this part, so you get to be creative!

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_01015