Art Couture Painswick Turtle /Plastic pollution Bodypaint

Sun July 17th 2016

Much sooner than I hoped it was time for Art Couture Painswick (ACP) again- I’d been busy away painting nearly every day for 8 days, and with a sick toddler hasn’t finished the props I wanted to make for it.

ACP is a stunning biennial event in the scenic Cotswold town of Painswick. Streets are closed for the day and filled with food and craft stalls, whilst competitors in a range of categories wander the 10,000 crowds in the clothing and headgear they made from unusual objects.

Acp Alana & euan.042016-07-17 17.55.47Angela Youngs in her 2016 creation

The main stage catwalk and judging (by celebrity/ industry experts etc) is set up in the historic churchyard with its 99 yew trees.

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I have been lucky enough to paint in the body art category every year since that was included. In 2012 I placed 3rd with my “Comedy Queen’ about UK TV comedies for the ‘Celebrating Britain’ theme.

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The following year, again on model Laurence Caird, my Victorian Magic Man depicting stage magic & automatons from the 1800’s, won the Body Art 1st place!

This year the Body Paint Category’s theme was ‘Food For Thought’, so I based my design on plastic pollution in the ocean and how if affects sea-life which in turn affects our food-chain. I planned a huge neck ruff of recycled bottles, etc, but it wasn’t looking quite as I wanted. Its a bit tough to design things like that without the actual model to fit it too, and as the lovely Grace (god-mum of my toddler) was based in Norwich & I’m now in Bath, I wasn’t seeing her before the event. Or I needed the shop dummy to fit my props to that I typically sold when we moved to Bath as we didn’t have the space! But I liked the bottle-jellyfish I’d made.


We had to send in a statement about the artwork in advance, so this was mine – actually sent in a few weeks before, unusually for me, so I had a brief to paint to if not an actual design plan!:

“Plastic Soup/ All the Fish in the Sea

Only 5% of plastic is recycled, 1/3 escapes into oceans, a lorry full per minute. By 2050 plastic will outweigh any fish in the sea.

Marine creatures starve as it fills them, or strangle in netting and 6-pack rings. Bags look like jellyfish underwater, so if turtles catch one, their special throats, evolved to stop jellyfish escaping, mean they have to keep eating it.

Albatross eat fish eggs on floating objects. Toothbrushes, lighters, sanitary waste – all stuffed dead albatross chicks.

Ocean currents collect ‘plastic soups’ millions of kilometres wide, 5 swirling rubbish patches twice the size of Texas. The sea bed, Earth’s last frontier, is coated in tiny plastic particles.

Boyan Slat’s cleanup system, a floating barrier passively collecting rubbish for recycling, launches in 2020. But we need to stop plastic ending up in our oceans if we want to keep our seas and ourselves alive.”

Grace & Jennie stayed overnight at my mums’, then followed me over to Painswick far to early on a lovely sunny morning. One of the kind ACP volunteers jumped into my car to direct me to the competitors carpark, and luckily I bumped into a bunch of other painters who had already dropped off their kit who helped cart my stuff to the hall beside the Art Couture Gallery. 

 We had so much space to set up in- luxury! And ladies offering cups of tea etc.

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I set up my kit, and as the briefing went on started attempting to add rollers and plastic flotsam to Gracie’s hair, which was allowed before the official start. The rules are only professional cosmetic products, only a small % of stencilling or prosthetics, and 6 hours with a compulsory break in the middle.

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At 9.30 we started painting and I began to kabuki on colours in Cameleon white, yellow and celadon. I hate yellow so am trying to use it for once! I shaded the white neck / face with the Kryolan lustre powders in white & blue, dry (as they can be used wet).

We were closed to the public for the 1st few hours, out of respect for the models and to let artwork cover over underwear etc (even though all models wear underwear and female models have breast covers on) but I made sure I had blended colours on Gracies back too before the doors opened.

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The turtle in yellow, orange, bollywood pink, purple & inkheart blue, I based on several photos I found on the internet and a bit of memory from living in Belize. From then until the lunch break we chatted to extremely interested public as I painted.

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After snacks / lunch we started again but sadly I’d not switched on the plug so my camera ran out of battery & stopped taking time-lapse pics. I had planned to paint or make paper netting strangling the turtle but Gracie held a poll with the public and they decided I wasn’t allowed to! I did love the turtle too so I left that out.


On the back I painted a whale & baby and a colourful, healthy reef. I added freehand glitter tattoos over the abstract bobbly layer I had painted around her shoulders (to represent the layer of plastic shapes) and decorated that with glitters from Facade and Kryolan. 

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Her face I re-used some zombie paste prosthetics I had sculpted when Gracie was being Sc’Ariel at the Prosthetic Event last year. I added flat-back pearls and some heat fused film and then added more pearls and recycled plastic to her hair

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I stopped painting about an hour early, after the public were ushered out, as I knew I would be a while sorting out the not-quite finished props.

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After a lot of messing about we decided the bottle-ruff was too bridal if worn over Gracies head, and too awkward if worn on her shoulders. I also ended up ditching the isis wings, and stuck to the jellyfish, gems and beads, all made of plastic bottles or recycled from ornaments etc. It gave a slightly netted/ dancer effect tangled around Gracies arms and neck, but I loved it. Sadly (?) it was so sunny the glowsticks inside the jellyfish weren’t visible outside the hall though.

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We all trooped out into bright sunshine to applause from the waiting public which was fantastic.

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Following Paul who was once again our charming cheeky Town Crier, all body artists took their models through the streets and across the churchyard to the photo rooms for official shots. Grace & I then took a few photos and she posed for the public in the churchyard.

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The models were then presented onstage whilst our design statements were read out.2016-07-17 17.02.06

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Whilst judges deliberated, and the other category awards were given, Paul took most of the models (some couldn’t walk too far due to the heat or uncomfy shoes or props) on a tour of the churchyard, streets, and finally the main road.

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I really loved this paint and was a bit over-excited through the whole day. I’m so happy that it turned out like I had imagined (and that now it is out of my head I will sleep a bit better!).

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Huge thanks to all the staff, sponsors, volunteers, organisers, the hugely appreciative public, and of course my genius model Gracie! Also my mum who wrangle my 2 boys (the toddler being hot & sticky & awkward!) all day….

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I will add a timelapse etc video when I finish it…

Art Couture Painswick Promo Time-lapse Body Paint 2016

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I’d been invited up to do a quick demo body paint at Art Couture Painswick as the BBC wanted to film a time-lapse to promo the vent on their social media. None of the usual models were available at such short notice mid-week, but luckily Sally the ACP Body Art Co-ordinator had the details of a member of the public who’d been so impressed by the photos in the ACP gallery he volunteered his body!

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I drove up on the 1st sunny day we had had in ages, and met Libby (the director, who rather marvellously had the winning paint I did on Laurence at ACP 2013 on her business cards ), Sally, Bob the model and Hayley from the BBC.

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As I’d only had a couple of days notice and was painting every day that week, I had made a quick stencil of the ACP name & date, and that was about it. 

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I wanted to depict all the themes for the different categories as well as advertise ACP so designed a slightly circus/ festival themed ‘poster’ on Bob’s torso, with rainbow rays coming out behind it. Clouds blended the white poster into this colourful background to represent ‘flight’, areas of cogs and machinery were for ‘Moving Parts’, green leaves meant ‘Food For Thought’, the body art category, orange brickwork and ‘splats’ for ‘Graffiti’, and Blue bubbly splooshes for ‘Underwater’.

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Bobs neck was bright pink and had the stylised ACP face on it. I finished this off with a circus top hat I made for Grace at the Professional Beauty London Excel paint, but removed the flowers etc to add a colourful ACP flyer to.

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Hayley edited it all into this video, and not only was it on BBC Gloucester’s sites,

but national BBC picked it up! Great for ACP and thank you to everyone involved.

My video clip is here.

Isle Of Wight Festival British Airways Bodypaint

I was delighted when TRO, a great PR/ Experiential company I have worked with before (they hire me to paint for a week most springs at a Volvo stand at the Camping & Caravanning expo) contacted me about working for them at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

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My lovely friend Jennie Roberts of Paintopia was hired to come as the 2nd artist. That was fabulous as we have hardly seen each other in months, even when at the same events, as I’m always painting and she’s hosting, etc.

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The months before, with Paintopia, then IMATS and several other big events, was so busy I hadn’t really looked closely at the booking details until we had met up in Southampton to get on the IOW ferry on Thursday evening. Expecting a B&B or whatever as there weren’t many big hotels,  (we knew it wasn’t a tent behind the festival stand), imagine our shock & delight when we drove down to the south of the island, up the longest private drive ever, to see we were staying in a mansion!


We didn’t need the travel kettle Jennie had packed for late night cups of tea at all – fully equipped kitchen, games room, gym, TV room, dining, sitting and play rooms…. Amazing! We met a few of the TRO & BA Staff, and a couple of the DJs, before heading off to bed quite late.


The next morning we got some more directions and headed back to the north of the island, calling in at a supermarket on the way to buy some snacks and lunch to have onsite. Sadly the rest of the crew were held up (taxis didn’t arrive) and couldn’t meet us with the electric golf cart at the staff parking,  so we ended up having to haul our gear, including hot and wet weather gear, just in case, for a good 30 minutes. Very thankful we had our trolleys!  We passed various parking areas, camp sites, tepee and yurt glamping zones, tent areas and then finally into the festival itself. It all seemed very clean and tidy and I loved that they had sniffer dogs on duty. Thank goodness it was dry – dust I can stand, it would have been impossible in thick mud like Download Fest had that same weekend!

Another 10+ minutes of trekking through the various festival zones and we finally found the huge, intriguing British Airways Arena tent. All you could see was a check-in desk with a queuing system in place, just like in an airport.


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The idea was that at the desks, after being asked by real BA air hostesses where you were going and getting a special luggage-tag wristband, you crawled though the luggage carousel and entered a party. A uniformed customs official (a dancer) put you in the body scanner, activated by your wrist band, which took infra-red style photos and videos you could download later, then you walked in through the departures board to see a DJ on top of a pile of suitcases, surrounded by fun free activities.

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There was a speakeasy bar where answering destination riddles won a cocktail from that city. A spin-to-win board where prizes ranged from blow-up airplanes to free flights to CapeTown. A ‘selfie’ fuselage, Caribbean massages, a ski-lift photo booth again with downloadable videos & pics & props, and beside that, a Bedouin tent from Marrakesh with free face & body art inside by Jennie & myself.

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We had been given lovely kaftan tops to wear, which whilst nice and colourful & cool in the heat, were white… not always the best choice for face painters though!

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All with real flight crew in uniform, and a bunch of amazing dancers who constantly changed costume to match different Gatwick BA destinations. It seemed risky – no advertising, nothing to be seen but the check in desk but we loved it.  

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On Friday we took part in the ‘flight parade’ to drum up interest. All the glam air crew in matching Union Jack Hunter wellies and uniform, guided by all the dancers in ground-crew jumpsuits & high-vis with glowing plane-directing paddles, were walking in formation through the festival handing out some tickets.

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Jennie & I were supposed to be quickly painting things on interested people as we passed. We soon realised that even just a stencil & puff of glitter put us miles behind the crew, so were always madly stencilling, glittering then running to catch up. Back to the arena tent and we opened at 4.

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The idea was to reward the curious, and oh my goodness did we! The music was fab, we were jigging away as we painted, and the noise when someone won a set of international flights was insane. Jenn and I were flat out, sticking to 3-minute-or-less fast designs, chatting to everyone we painted and asking them to take a selfie, and they all thought the whole thing was amazing.

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We were supposed to be painting to match BA destinations, but as they fly everywhere we could and did do just about anything.

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Day of the dead sugar skulls for South & Central America, USA stuff (inc film/ hero faces),  jungle animals, tropical flowers, snowy things….

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The staff finally managed to shut down our queue so we quickly packed away and stuffed kit behind the scenes so our tent area could be used by the public.


The aircrew and dancers still looked immaculate and were working away in a huge happy crowd. We went to find a very late tea, then walked to the far end of the festival to see the last few songs by the Stereophonics.

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We were going to wait to see Faithless but were so tired we gave up and started the trek back to the car. We stopped to buy churros-  I love them – and for the 1st time were shocked by the giant size of the helpings – we only finished 1 portion, they are usually smaller & shorter! Faithless came on nearly an hour later when we got back to the car, exhausted, so I’m glad we didn’t hang about. As it was, by the time we’d got home, showered, cleaned brushes, stencils & sponges and got into bed, it was after 2 am! The rest of the staff started arriving then too.


Saturday morning we were quite stiff from the unusual working position – the bedouin cushions & settees had looked so nice we had put away our usual chairs for customers the day before, and we felt the difference! We breakfasted by the fish pond on the verandah (!) chatting to some of the crew, which was lovely, and had a short walk around the grounds. After debating getting a taxi in so we had less distance to walk now we didn’t have kit, we decided we might want to pack up after work tonight if we didn’t want to go back into the festival on Sunday. Realising all the bands started after our ferry left on Sunday, we had to do the long walk from staff parking again.


No flight parade this time, but word had got around, so there was an even longer queue to get in all day, as people returned or joined out of curiosity.


By the evening, staff removed one of the luggage crawl-ways so people could just walk in when tagged, which meant more were allowed in,  and the party really kicked off.

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They had to shut off entry to our facepainting queue a long time before we finished, but there was so much else to do people were OK with that. I also went round when we had cleared the queue with all the pre-glued bling I had made, and stuck that on people who hadn’t been painted.


The photo-booth people very kindly offered to drive myself & our kit back so they could see where to go when they had to pack at 1 a..m. so we trundled through the busy crowds at about 10pm.


By the time we returned to the BA Arena, Jennie & I went off for an amazing Thai takeaway whilst seeing a bit of The Who, after which she charmed some T-shirt sellers into a large discount on festival tops for us.


Then as we had promised, we returned to the BA tent to find the biggest party in full swing. There were even some Who fans we had painted the Who logo on there – they went to watch the band and after a couple of songs decided the BA tent was more fun so came back!!


We met the Dickson Brothers from Kiss FM who were lovely, (and huge heroes of Jennies eldest daughter), and the off-duty staff were all joining in too.  We bounced around to their fantastic set with the public & staff until the brilliant ‘shut down‘ (click that for a vid clip) with air hostesses, DJ’s etc showing everyone the exits, emergency safety talk style, and had a lovely lock-in with the large crew for a while. Jennie was even allowed to try on a real air stewardess hat.

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By the time we got home and into bed, 1 wee bird started singing. As I mentioned it to Jennie, the whole lot started… been a while since anything except the baby had me still up at dawn!

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Anyway we visited my brother-in-law on the way back to the ferry, and filled up with coffee for our drives to different sides of the country.

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A totally amazing 3 days… bookings like this are what makes the hard slog ones worthwhile. An amazing event with a brilliant team, we can’t say enough about how good the experience was and are so glad it  was so well received, and got into the press.


Bee Honeycomb Neck Art Body Paint & Facepainting by Bath face painter Bristol body artist

Jan 2015

This was an idea for something a publication asked for that didn’t get used in the end, and I forgot to put it up until now.

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The tiny paper eyelashes inspired me as well as all the awful warnings about bee deaths due to pesticides etc – without bees so many crops won’t get pollinated, its a huge problem.

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This was mainly done with Cameleon paints,

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by brush & sponge application.

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Then using the glitter tattoo glue & freehand application bottles I sell, I added some details and outlines,

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and coated them in Kryolan & Facade cosmetic glitters.

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With the same cosmetic adhesive,

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I glued small flat-backed pearls into the flower centres.

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Lastly I added black pearls for the bee eyes.

Huge thanks to Model Mel, and to DR Cook Photography

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Bees are so important!

Look up tips on plants you can grow to help them, don’t buy or use pesticides and check how fruit/ veg you buy has been grown.

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Video here

Day of the Dead inspired glitter tattoo bodypaint

Oct 2015

So for the second paint of this Wednesday (seeing as Paintopia Jennie & I were all set up already), we’d been lucky to get Emily Quantrill. She rushed straight over after managing to leave work early. Whilst her partner David Smith (who joined our world after booking me to paint him as a Na’vi from Avatar a few years back and he’s a very popular bodypaint model in his spare moments now) let my mum feed him with lots of home baking, I did a fast simple line sketch on Emily.

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As it’s getting near to Hallowe’en we fancied doing something spooky-ish but pretty (Horribly Pretty) and I decided to use the Sugar Skull celebrations popular in Mexico as inspiration. (I lived in Belize over the border from Mexico for several years and loved the colour and happiness of their festival).

Using  my fave BodyFX NZ foam latex breast shields, we started a  blue-shaded underlayer. I stencilled and overpainted in white and then began free hand glitter tattooing accents using the cosmetic water based adhesive and fine-tipped bottles I sell.

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Jennie added in lots of double-dipped  flowers to represent the chrysanthemums which are the traditional flowers for the event. I’d also made some for her hair.

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Jennie had to leave so I finished off adding multicoloured layers of cosmetic glitter (Kryolan, JT glitters & Facade glitters).

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Then as it was getting late & I’m rubbish with hair, we put on some amazing lashes, put her hair up simply and left David C (not the beardy body builder boyf) to his photo shoot with Emily. I sadly realised then the time-lapse camera hadn’t worked again, doh we are jinxed…

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Anyway I adore the colours in this – thanks so much to all involved!

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Paintopia Documentary Launch Bodypaint – Avatar/ Na’vi


Sooo having caught up with my blogs this spring, I’ve totally failed again since having baby Euan in April, sorry! But will just skip a bunch and do these more recent (-ish) ones then catch up again when I can.

Anyway; Martin & Sonia met Jennie at Paintopia 2014 and came up with a pitch to shoot some episodes of a documentary about artists on the people involved with Paintopia. Plan was to work with us (as in ‘staff’, guest artists, instructors, models…) over the year, then film the final parts at Paintopia 2015. They came along to many of our local paints, meet-ups and events and we got to know them well. They had the same wish to portray bodyart as an art-form divorced from the sleaze etc it often attracts as we do, and we really got on.

Of course things didn’t go to plan: I was unexpectedly pregnant and often ill, things got moved/ cancelled, then poor Martin broke his arm, so a lot of the scheduled filming didn’t quite happen. However they and their team were at the whole of Paintopia 2015 and  put together a lovely episode based mainly on those 3 days.

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Martin filming 1 of the Paintopia catwalks shows

We decided to do a launch party to show it to the bodyart community & say thanks to all before it aired on TV. Sadly the channel which had commissioned it had obviously seen too many of the nastily edited/ scripted american (etc) shows (not just on body art), and very late on decided our lot were too nice to each other. Which is something we are proud of, Jennie & all work hard to try to make everyone feel welcome at Paintopia. If you have forgotten some bit you need or want to try something, unlike at some bodyart events around the world I have painted at, most people there will offer it to you or try to help you. Etc. But Martin refused to fake-edit in strife and conflict, so the show wasn’t aired which was a shame! However we went on with the launch evening which Sprowston Manor kindly hosted again (I think their staff are addicted to paint & glitter) anyway as we wanted to have a nice gathering to see it.

Paintopia documentary launch posters

Jennie & I fancied some painted models welcoming in our audience, to showcase what we do/ what the film was about and make it a bit more fun. As we (Paintopia) are starting a series of bodyart Youtube tutorials we thought to kill 2 birds so to speak, so this was supposed to be the 1st one… but tech malfuncitons etc meant that didn’t quite happen. Jennie re-created her Mystique paint on Gracie and to show the differences (amazing how many people muddle them) I decided to do yet another Avatar look, on Simmone. Angela Youngs painted a stunning Hell Girl on Mel using props she made herself.

NOTE – Mystique is a red-haired slightly scaley one-colour-blue (in this case cameleon Victorious) mutant woman; Avatars are incredibly tall, incredibly skinny  stripey-shaded-blue-with-glowing-white ‘star-speckles alien life form, with zebra-like ears and long zebra tail and extremely long dark hair often braided tribally with beads & feathers. Oh and usually a sort of tiger nose/ brow but I didn’t bother with that prosthetic this time.

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Anyway we met everyone and started painting to be ready for 6ish for photos and people arriving. Simmone who was being my Na’vi from Avatar was a bit under the weather but insisted on keeping going. We each painted the front of our models alone, then did the backs together.

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This was the first play I had with Cameleon bodypaints new metallic purple-blue ‘Inkheart’. I LOVE it – its a fab strong colour with a sheen like spilt blue biro ink. I mainly used it for the stripes on Simmone. Jennie’s daughter added some plaits into the wig I had bought and I’d alos quickly braided/ glued some leather/ wooden beads/ feather ‘jewellery’. Add in a raggedly skirt I used to use when I was a facepainting wood elf every day and I had my Na’vi.

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I don’t quite know where the time went; OK I had both my boys there, but I’ve done this in under 90 minutes at events like the Rugby 7s in Hong Kong! Think we were having too much fun/ too many breaks!

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We then had all 3 models stand together and quickly (with about 20 minutes left!) I sketched in a really uneven ‘Urban Jungle’ which we filled in with assorted paints including UV JT glitters, and added fast detail with some freehand drips, flicks and BAM/ Grafitti stencils.Paintopia documentary launch avatar hell girl mystique us on back logoPaintopia documentary launch urban jungle back grafitti logo

I’m hoping you can see what a fun time everyone had; I like it when models really get into their characters (and have a bit of fun).

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The ladies went off to have a photo sess with David Cook and we painters tried to tidy up and change (I look odd in pics as I was mid-baby feed and hadn’t belted my top yet).

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We were again very lucky with the weather – warm and sunny – so Sprowston Manor looked its best. Bet the golfers were surprised again.

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Poor Simmone then went off to A&E on medical advice! She’d been a trooper, insisting on staying to get the shots at least and had even been researching the film character’s poses. Goodness knows what they thought but I guess she would have been easy to spot if they put any description in her triage notes!

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After airing (eek) the Abba homage re-written for Paintopia by Al that we asked everyone to send in clips for, we watched the documentary which went down well and can be seen



Jennie & Gracie are also Euan’s god-mums and Gracie wanted baby cuddles after the show. I usually put him in a black onsie that doesn’t matter if paint gets on it, but he’d been sick so was just in his last clean shortie. We found that Gracie cuddles transferred rather well onto nicely moisturised babies!!! 🙂 All washed off of course…

Paintopia documentary launch euan gracie mystique smilePaintopia documentary launch euan gracie mystique coo

Paintopia documentary launch euan after gracie mystiquePaintopia documentary launch euan after gracie mystique clse

So thats it. DO have a look and do subscribe to Paintopia’s/ my Youtube channel if you’d like to see more…

Thanks as ever to all involved!

Gold Bond girl living statue bodypaint tutorial

So Jennie Roberts, myself & Gracie BodypaintModel just did our first Paintopia youtube bodypaint tutorial (edited by Jade Roberts)…

Approx 30 mins tutorial on different methods of painting a Gold Living Statue

Video here

Gold (or silver) Metallic Bodypaint – Step-by-Step/ FAQ/ How-to.

So Jennie Roberts, myself & Gracie BodypaintModel just did our first youtube bodypaint tutorial (edited by Jade Roberts)…

Approx 30 mins tutorial on different methods of painting a Gold Living Statue

Video here

Cat Finlayson Wheatsheaf goddess for Jungle PR and me11222411_965328283531535_7834711760301172679_n

Video of metallic cosmetic powder with oil bodypaint

I’m putting this up as we are obviously heading into Hallowe’en planning season, as I’ve just had my 4th email in 3 days asking how to do the James Bond Goldfinger girl look. I get a LOT of people asking me to do this/ how to do it, so many that its saved as an auto response in my Gmail.

Date: 10/08/14PH: Hannah McKayPictured: Jason SmythCaption: Paralympian Jason Smyth supports the children's cancer charity, Clic Sargent by being painted in gold body paint.Gold body paint clic jason_smyth_hannah McKay ready in bpc

Gold body paint clic jason_smyth_hannah McKay side out crop bpc

10/08/14PH: Hannah McKayPictured: Jason SmythCaption: Paralympian Jason Smyth supports the children’s cancer charity, Clic Sargent by being painted in gold body paint

Plus September is GoGold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Gold Tennis close bpcMetalic oil body powder dark strecth kneel bpcRND Carla nearly done

So; officially, here it is. This is THE most requested, most DIY’d bodypaint (-that usually looks OK unlike many DIY bodypaints-) and usually looks good though possibly not as shiny as some expect (read on for various finishes/ methods).

Pink gold silver bodypaints rugby oo bpc

For gold statues (or silver, bronze, copper, etc – there is a range of colours!)

I always use Graftobian metallic powder and Liquiset (has urea in it), or metallic powder and mixing liquid (alcohol based). be safe get the liquid that matches the brand of powder you buy.

Each part is usually sold separately, and for most looks you need both – the powder AND the liquid. Both brands sell the powders in 1 size only (bottles all the same size but some have less weight in as some metals are heavier than other shades), but the liquids come in small and large.

Graftobian also sell ‘Metal Mania‘ kits which they say contains all you will need. Personally I think there isn’t enough liquid for a body in it (and I don’t agree with their sponging application methods though – slow & messy, see my tips later).

When living in Hong Kong I also used a very similar product (had the same packaging as Mehron) called Eastman but I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

Yes, I have tried all the cosmetic pre-mixed liquids, regular ‘hard’ cakes, sprays, mousse paints etc on the market (as of  October last year anyway). Trust me (and most pro body-artists), these 2 brands win by far for speed, end look, toughness, and ease of use/ removal.

There are other brands – Kryolan do a liquid paint in a range of metallic colours called Kryolan Liquid Brightness but that’s more sort of a pearly effect really. It is OK to look at and maybe easier for a non-professional to use, but not that shiny – I used it for this statue though she was then ‘aged’ with other shades over the top.

Dunstan statue muse leaned bpc Dunstan statue muse planter bpc

Video of the gold liquid Kryolan paint on Emily

I generally get the larger liquid as it keeps in the bottle. 1 pot of powder is usually more than enough for 1 whole body, provided its not got to paint more than underwear too. I get at least 1 body per pot of powder, with mixing liquid left over.

Neither brand is really meant to be used on a face on/ around the eyes & mouth, so best to use the powder dry there.

Wheatsheaf goddess barhma Jungle PR glasses bpcWheatsheaf goddess barhma Jungle PR lotus car

Or you can get a gold eyeshadow or similar if you don’t have proper gold facepaint.  This is because both brands of mixing liquid have a substance (either alcohol or urea) which evaporates and can irritate eyes etc. (Also this means the mix degrades fast so don’t make it until you are ready to use it). But it is all cosmetic, safe for skin, and although staying on very well (non smudge), it washes off.

RND carla started nosesRND both done forum.tiffRND Rachael finished

My Red Nose Day photos by Michelle Workman, Models Carla Finlayson &  Rachel 

Dry method

This Mr Freeze was done completely with metallic powder brushed/ polished on with a large fluffy paintbrush and powder pad, dry. It seemed to last pretty well but you could always use a cosmetic fixing spray like Kryolan Fixier (much as I hate fixing anything – use sparingly and avoid eyes/ follow instructions). I wouldn’t advise a whole body this way purely as it seems to use more powder than the liquid methods, and was less sturdy.

Silver head metallic face bodypaint Mr freeze bodypaintingbycat



A little of the powder goes a long way, so DO NOT mix up the entire contents of both bottles! In a desert-sized bowl pour a little liquid, add spoonfuls of powder, and mix. Everything says 1/2 the amount of powder to liquid but that is hard to judge – by weight? by volume? -so it really is trial and error. 

This is the slow bit – keep adding powder, mixing until all dust/ lumps are gone, and when the mix looks like liquid metal in the bowl when fully mixed, test it on your arm. If it dries looking shiny enough for you from all angles, it’s probably ready to use, but you do need to keep adding powder and stirring it as you work.

Gold Tennis hands open bpc

 There is no exact guide to how much of each to add to the mix – it gets shinier up to a point then goes slightly solid/dull when it is over-saturated, it is hard to describe. And always try a little more powder than you think even if it looks gold – many beginners get dull looking models as they don’t have enough powder added.

Silver bodypaint rugby point bpcJVC silver bodypaint dressed bpc Silver yoga pat bodypaint rugby bpc
Or you can mix the powders with baby oil for a super shiny look. The drawback is that this oil mix doesn’t dry, so is only really good for photoshoots where the model doesn’t have to touch anything (and doesn’t mind a tough messy clean up afterwards). Even resting fingers/ leaning against things leaves marks on the finish which are easily re-painted or even just smoothed over but a pain if you want them moving about/ touching stuff.

Metalic body oil all hand focus bpcMetallic body oil spattered liy lookbpcBorg Droid norcon Isnap frontd bpcBorg Droid norcon Isnap face d bpc

Make it up in small batches as you work, you can always re-coat areas.

Use a bowl/ pot that you don’t mind getting ruined as it can be hard to wash off utensils.

Don’t keep the mixed powder & liquid or make it up in advance as it goes ‘off’.

It paints over most fabrics that are not too cotton rich (try it on undies to see which type/ fabric/ colour is best). But fabric does soak it up a lot so always take extra/ pre-paint material if you can.

DO NOT spray clothes etc before hand with a gold car-spray as 1 agent did – we had to cut the newly-gold sweatbands with tin-snips and put them on him like handcuffs. Either find gold fabric/ undies or a gold fabric paint/ spray.

W hotel gold eyes shut statue plinth bpc W hotel kowloon gold statue zani brolly logo 2 bpc



For the liquid methods, once mixed the best (and fastest) way to get the paint on is with a wide,  flat, thin, short-bristled, very soft, brush. I think they are called wash brushes, I usually use a 3 inch wide version with bristles less than 1 cm long. They used to sell cheap 3 packs (3, 2 and 1 inch) in those discount bookshops like the Works. Similar to this anyway – don’t get expensive ones as this tend to ruin them.

Metalic il paint drip cat paints back bpcCat painting Rach red nose day yell 09-001


Keep turning the model so thin patches show up as the light changes. Once dry (almost instantly) it stays on really well, I did models in it for events in HK and after working all day they still looked fine – just as well as I don’t use fixing sprays if I can help it! Make sure at any breaks they don’t wrap up in fluffy clothes or towels though as that takes off the shine – I use silky make-up dressing gowns etc.

Gold rugby bodypaint posed bpcGold Tennis buddha meditate bpc Gold rugby bugy bum bpc

 For the oil method, models can often DIY it and pretty much massage it into their skin. Or  you can use a brush of the type I mention above.

Metalllic body oil chest flames bpcMetalllic body oil neck bpcMetalllic body oil all side pose bpc

Video of the gold oil mix in sun on Borg/ C3P0 mashup


This mix can be put onto hair though as usual I’d be careful of recently dyed/ pale/ blonde hair incase of staining. Get the hair as smooth and flat as possible first if you want a solid gold look, which will use a lot of the mix. I find that sort of ‘dry-brushing’ the hair so prominent locks/ strands pick up the gold rather than saturating the whole head works well whilst saving mix. Or use gold or glittery hairspray.

Metalllic body oil tribal face DSC_7227 bpc

With cakes its generally too expensive and takes a very long time. Cameleon and Kryolan are my fave solid-cake golds.
If you buy Kryolan in ‘cake’ form, for either face or body, generally buy Kryolan Aquacolour, NOT SupraColor- that is oil based and a pain to fix/ get get off (although it looks fab). The only difference is the word on the lid so watch out. The other thing you is the Kryolan AqC gold doesn’t look gold – I think its their copper that looks more gold!


I’ve always advised soap/ shower gel & a body scrubber (wipe off as much of the oil method with paper towels or a scarficial cloth first). But we recently discovered that the usually magical Cameleon solid brush & body soap didn’t budge some application methods of the mix, but the Cameleon brush & body foam soap pump took it easily off AND cleaned the bath too!

Gold top Taryne bpc

Powder & matching liquid method – as you can see no transferring onto white dress! 


Make sure your model hasn’t used anything on her skin that day  – fake tans etc can react, and moisturiser or oils make it hard to stay on.

It looks best on smooth, tight hairless skin – i.e. shins and foreheads. And always looks better with bright sharp lighting e.g. in flash photos.

Good luck!

AND the Gold Bond Girl ‘death’ due to suffocation in the paint is a MYTH. We are mammals, with lungs – we do not breathe through our skin or need a small bare patch at the base of our backs to breathe through! And if you use good safe cosmetic stuff like this, you can still sweat so won’t be overheating any more than a non-painted person.

And don’t get me started on the eejit who replied to my ‘how to’ email that it was hurting his girlfriend and he couldn’t get it off – he’s used a well-known brand of garage-door-type paint. I told him they were idiots and to go to A&E…

ALSO TRY LOOKING AT Facepaint-UK‘s blog years back for ideas


Red Nose day Comic Relief Bump Art Prenatal Painting

Feb 2015

Like many professional body artists, I often get booked for baby showers/ pregnancy photo packages or just to paint pregnant bellies, and I donate several bump paints to Comic Relief annually (we also make and sell a calendar of our work for them too). Gestational art is quite a big industry now and I’m asked for all sorts of designs – everything from matching nursery decor to where the parents met to things with meaning or parts of the baby name…

Tree of Life Bump xmas tree bpcVics dino egg bump side eye blcked bpc

This year Comic Relief HQ contacted me & asked if I’d be willing to paint some promo bumps for them to use. I agreed to do 9 bumps as my ‘donation’. It all changed and I was later informed that  The Orange Grove Clinic, Yogabubs and Babyfit had organised 40 mums to be!

Slight panic as I had to be at my own specialist bump clinic (I’m expecting in May and am trialling an artificial pancreas system for Cambridge University during pregnancy) that afternoon, and bumps are not 5 minute jobs – they are a LOT bigger than faces so take longer.

Ideally for a custom paint or glitter art I advise at least an hour, it is usually 2 for a decent job. Luckily as these all had to be done with this year’s Red Nose designs I hoped 30 mins-ish would be ok – but still couldn’t finish 40 bumps in a few hours! On my advice CRHQ bought some professional paints and had asked students to help out.

1st DUE DATE RND Comic relief bump Forum me paint1st DUE DATE RND Comic relief bump Forum in prog bpc

I arrived at the Forum to find a face painter already there, but I was the only face & body artist and was lucky to get to paint the first bump to arrive.  I think bumps really do look better in this case if painted with better quality products like the Cameleon paint I prefer (it is much more vibrant, feels nice on and washes off well) by brush and not cheaper paints by sponge. My 1st lady (the snorkel bump) was due that day!

1st DUE DATE RND Comic relief bump Forum far snorkel bpc1st DUE DATE RND Comic relief bump Forum bpc1st DUE DATE RND Comic relief bump Forum snorkel bpc

I also did the Astrosnort on my other bump. Sadly not many of the expected mums turned up but there were enough for all the students to paint one too.  

Red Nose Day Comic relief bump spaceman far bpcRed Nose Day Comic relief bumps forum both bpc

So, if you see the photos around do please credit me as I don’t seem to be getting my name on them even though you can see my back/ ears in a lot of them!

Video clip of my two bumps here

P.S. Bump art is one of my favourite things to do – the skin is so smooth and tight and baby often kicks back (can be odd if it alters the shape of the bump by moving to distort your canvas!). Plus (as I well know and am starting to feel again) by that late stage of pregnancy there is often not a lot mums can do for fun or to feel more beautiful and its a great memory of your pregnancy to keep photos of.

Check out my Gestational Art Gallery for some of the prenatal paints I have done…

VW Whitenoise Bodypaint

June 2014

David Cook (photography organiser for Paintopia, fireworks display creator etc) has been organising monthly meet-ups for some locals to get more into bodypainting. As it is often at weekends I’ve not been able to go that much as I tend to have jobs, but I managed to get there this time and do a quick promo paint for VW Whitenoise who have asked me to paint there this summer.

Whitenoise Graff dh painting face bpcWhitenoise Graff dh me hairing bpcWhitenoise Graff dh shoulder in prog bpc

I said I’d do a little advert paint and Stephanie Moore volunteered, turning up with loads of festival-type clothes.

Whitenoise Graff dh Vw back look crop bpcWhitenoise Graff dh Vw back bp

I used the new graffiti face & body art stencils I bought from Illusion Magazine, love them! And mainly Cameleon Uvs.

Whitenoise Graff dh steph laugh bpcWhitenoise darren rainbow top smile bpcWhitenoise Graff dh crop bpcWhitenoise Graff dh face crop bpc

Thanks all, fun and in my fave colours!

Whitenoise Graff dh both straps bpc