Photos courtesy of Spectral Motion/Universal Pictures Hellboy (Ron Perlman)

We had a great response to our story about the make-up work on Hellboy 2: The Golden Army in Issue 73 of Make-Up Artist magazine. So we have added Joe Nazzaro’s additional stories and photos from the film and labs where the film’s many characters were created. Make-up artists working in three different countries collaborated on these creatures—see for yourself!

The task of applying Ron Perlman’s distinctive Hellboy make-up fell to Spectral Motion chief Mike Elizalde, who was already overseeing more than a dozen major characters that his company had created for the film. “[Director] Guillermo del Toro came to me one day and said, ‘Listen, Ron has asked that you do his make-up.’ I was a little reluctant at first, because there was already a huge workload for which I was responsible, so devoting all the time and energy it required to put Ron in the make-up took me away from that task a little bit, but as it turned out, the support team I had there was phenomenal, so I was able to get Ron in the make-up every day and still have time to look over the other stuff that was going on, so it all worked out pretty well.”

Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and production crew

One of Elizalde’s biggest priorities with the Hellboy make-up was to retain the elements that worked in the first film while still making subtle improvements when possible. “For example, Guillermo didn’t want too much heavy theatrical shadowing and highlighting,” Elizalde said, “because the lighting would take care of that, so that was one change made in the application process. Instead of punching up the shadows and highlights, we left it as a subtle base make-up, blending the edges together and blending Ron’s eyes into the make-up and anywhere else that needed a little assistance. By and large, we went with what we were receiving from the shop, which were pretty thoroughly painted pieces.

“One of the areas that I always felt could use a little improvement was the detail work and texture on the first make-up. To my eye, it didn’t feel very natural, but the second iteration definitely had a much more natural flow of detailing.”

In order to maintain continuity, del Toro enlisted Chad Waters and Matt Rose, who had created the original Hellboy make-up and consulted on the sequel. “The first thing we did was find any existing appliances or silicone masters and basically dissect them,” Waters said. “There was always going to be a new sculpture by Mitch Devane, but there was a lot of measuring involved!”

“Fortunately, we were able to find the upper body torso,” Rose continued, “so that could be reused, but it was the only functioning mold we found and it weighed a ton. We were lucky, because that was a monster to do on the first one, but the rest of the make-up was re-sculpted.”

Mike Elizalde touches up Perlman’s make-up

Assisting Elizalde with the Hellboy application was British make-up artist Anthony Parker, who began the shoot working on Perlman’s stunt doubles. “When I first started working with Mike, I was pretty nervous, not just because I was working with Mike and Ron but it was the Hellboy make-up as well. Ron is very good that if you haven’t glued something down right or [it] doesn’t feel like it’s sitting right on his face, he’ll be the first person to point it out, which helps a lot!”

Hellboy 2: The Art of the Movie by Dark Horse Books is now on sale.