A Handy Guide to Fake Bloods
There is an array of fake blood out there, but how to select the right one for the job? We give you the lowdown on how to select the best fake blood products… Just a warning - it may get a bit bloody from here!
Fake blood colours
Blood is red I hear you say. It is indeed, but which shade do you require? This depends on the origin and the age of the wound, and on top of this you have to consider the skin colour or fabric you apply the blood on and the lighting used, which may also alter the blood colour.
Another point to consider when deciding which blood you should use, dark blood is being used more and more on big films as this allows them to get a lower age rating, compared to the colour of real blood. The darker blood is also less likely to change under different lighting set-ups, so favoured more by the Directors of Photography (DOP).
Arterial blood is the oxygenated blood in the circulatory system found in the lungs, the left chambers of the heart, and in the arteries. It is bright red in colour, while venous blood is dark red in colour (but looks purple through the translucent skin).
Here is our quick guide:
Venous blood is dark red in colour (but looks purple through the translucent skin).
Try the following products…
Arterial blood is the oxygenated blood in the circulatory system found in the lungs, the left chambers of the heart, and in the arteries. It is bright red in colour and more liquid consistency. Try the following products...
- Pigs Might Fly Arterial/Standard
- Kensington Gore Theatrical Blood Arterial
- Rob Smiths Original Blood Arterial
- Maekup Bloody Real Dark
- Vermillion FX Runny Blood Bright Crimson
Dried or old blood
Blood immediately thickens as it leaves the body due to oxidation, degradation and fibrillation. Brownish red in colour – almost rusty – it creates a crust or scab to seal the wound. Try the following products…
- Maekup Gloopy Thick Dark Blood
- Fleet Street Dried Blood Dark
- Maekup Dried Blood Dark Slow Dry
- GM Congealed Blood
- Fleet Street Paste Scab
- Vermillion FX Clot Blood Paste
Fake blood types for different surfaces
Not all fake blood can be used for all purposes. So, don’t only just consider the colour of blood you require, but also where you are going to apply it:
Blood applied to clothes
Opt for a product that doesn’t stain clothes, especially if any of the clothing has to be reused. No brand will guarantee their blood products won’t leave stains (making such a claim would open them up to possible lawsuits), but from experience we can recommend the Pigs Might Fly range from Nick Dudman, who was the Head of Creature Design and Makeup for Harry Potter and Penny Dreadful. To avoid any issues, we always advise to do a test on a hidden part of the fabric to double check if the blood stains do indeed come out.
Blood on Silicone
Regular blood has a sneaky tendency to separate on silicone, once upon a time the only way to solve this was to add a few drops of fairy liquid to your blood. This time has now passed and Robert Smith has come to our rescue! By creating a blood especially for silicones! Which you can find here.
Mouth Blood and applying blood to teeth
Any blood applied to the mouth and teeth should be labelled as such as otherwise it may not be safe. Try either Maekup Mouth Blood or Vermillion FX Mouth Blood, which are both easy to use and completely safe.
Kryolan Blood Capsules are made from gelatine and filled with a specific blood powder. After the user bites a capsule, the blood powder colours the actors saliva, which results into a realistic blood effect. The capsule can be hidden the actors mouth and activated at will.
If you need to create an effect on the teeth, try using something alcohol based like the Fleet Street Pegworks Tooth Palette available in x2 colours to help you create everything from tabacco stains, rot and blood (blood colour only featured in Palette 2). Watch the video to watch the Tooth palette in action!
Blood applied to eyes
In the delicate eye area, make sure to use a specialist fake blood product such as Kryolan’s Eyeblood. Just be aware that it cannot be used with contact lenses or if the eye is irritated. Lastly, once the blood is open it must be kept in the fridge and discarded after 1 month.
Bloody Five Palette by Skin Illustrator is our MUST HAVE PRODUCT for the following reasons; it contains the best range of blood-related colours: Prime Red, Blood Tone, Aged Blood, Black and Rose Adjuster. It's great to keep in your set bag for quick touch-ups, or use it to create a blood effects from scratch and finally its versatility can't be beaten, it can be used on everything skin, silicone, teeth and hair.