I volunteered to facepaint for The Little Haggis Hoolie Syria Medical Aid Fundriaser, as the horrible images and tales coming out of Syria have been haunting me and I wanted to donate more than clothes.
This fabulous sold-out charity event in Bristol was organised by Kathryn Jeffs & co, (an old BSc Biological Imaging University of Derby friend of mine – see her bump paint tree of life I did a few years back) and she had a host of amazing volunteers and talent there.
My mum lives in Bristol so brought along my boys – I’m not sure she will agree to that again as my youngest, 20 month Euan, is a total live wire now and never stopped running. He was in his first ‘proper’ kilt (Royal Stuart not my own green Farquharson) as he’s outgrown my baby one and isn’t into our own tartan proper kilts yet. Sadly we forgot or didn’t manage to get his cute wee sporran on – he’s loved that and stuffs it with cars all the time. Finley again wore his grandad Finlayson’s boyhood kilt with trousers…too cool for school.
Anyway the hall looked amazing decorated with fairy lights and the handmade tartan bunting. People were hard at work in the haggis dept, boiling vats of tatties for the mash and making very scrummy orange mush (usually its mashed turnips – neeps – but this actually tasted NICE I must ask what was in it – sweet potatoes and carrots maybe?). Euan, especially, stuffed it down.
Bubble art, shield-making tables, the Explorer Dome (I really want to see that!) and the fab ballon twisting skills of were also on offer. I had doodled a few quick scottish facepaints on my FAB wipeable board and ended up mainly doing the more colourful ones as there was another lovely lady called Ros there with blue & white paints who kindly did the ‘brave’ (Mel Gibson) inspired ones, saltires and saltire butterflies. I did lots of celtic foreheads, heathery crowns, Nessies etc.
Fin hiding behind his shield
Guests were piped in which did give some of them a fright but I love a good bit of bagpipes (go and see acts like the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, hearing rock and metal and pop done on them is amazing).
Later on they had a very gentle ceilidh band doing lovely simple dances with the kids – gentle as no pipes/ accordion I guess, more flute etc. Euan and the rest adored it. Skye Meredith, Storyteller looked wonderful but I couldn’t hear her from where I was.
This made me laugh – Euan’s standoff against the hordes before the 1st dance, and later threatening them with his balloons…
Fab event and my boys still have their lovely balloons from the Pick-n-Mix balloonist. And overjoyed to hear everyone raised over £9000 for the medics working in Syria. A brilliant effort, well done to all x
Hayley contacted me; she was one of the dancers I painted and Samm did the latex heads on for the elaborate dance show at Gilgamesh last year.
Hayley was applying to be a performer at a rather nice cabaret club in Soho, as a snake dancer with her own real pet snake and wanted to wow them. So, we ordered a snake face prosthetic & stencils, and I quickly glued that on and painted her up. Then I glitter tattooed on the scales in patches all ver her and over a glued-on thong to give her the most reptilian look possible.
It was icy outside so we had to keep her Burmese Python toasty, and she did get a bit inquisitive when finally let out of her box!
I have edited the videos to avoid boob views as Hayley was topless under the paint, which is why they are short and clipped.
The NOR-CON sci-fi group are a fun bunch with some amazing Cosplay skills who we often work with.
They let us have space on their table at the ICENI Gamers show in the Norwich Forum, where they were advertising their August “The Rift” event to celebrate Dr Who’s anniversary. We’d go along to pull in charity donations (we hoped) and to publicise Paintopia as it would be a Sci-Fi and Superhero theme in 2013.
Mark had his talking mobile Dalek which my toddler loved!
Jennie & I brainstormed and decided we’d do a Weeping Angel as the most easily paintable Dr Who villain. I made the wings out of cardboard, wall paint, acrylic, soot/ ash/ grit, and lots of duct tape. The dress was a cheap one from Ebay and the wig another cheapie that had previously been used as a gold statue wig, so was already quite painted and stiff. I used the same paint mix as for the wings on it.
The fab Stephanie was really keen to model as her fiancée Gary was a big Dr Who fan. She was brilliant, letting me stipple her with kabukis, flick wet bodypaint and dribble glitter tattoo glue (for sparkly pigeon poo) all over her. Her Mum, Shellie, the awesome model mum/ voice of Paintopia, was manning a table explaining to all about our event.
We borrowed a table from Costa Coffee and stood her on it with donation can for Nelson’s’ Journey at her feet. People walking past actually thought she was a cardboard cutout. The fans who knew the character came for photos or to put in a donations and really squealed when she moved.
We definitely gathered some attention – and filled the charity can!
Michelle of Purple Photography kindly took these amazing photos
– and doesn’t the last one make you shiver, the Weeping Angel stalking her prey!
Oh I LOVE getting to do the more imaginative stuff, especially to go with people’s outfits so the whole costume is completed! Tis the busiest season of my year – Bewilderwood and kids events/ parties most days, and clubs/ private party bookings in the evenings!
First up we have Di of Frozen Photography who wanted a scary dead doll. When asked if cute scary or really scary she chose the latter… and on seeing herself in the mirror decided she would get changed at her mates so as not to freak out her boys at home!
Then a truly gruesome flayed werewolf for lovely Joe the wood worker/ tree person from Bewilderwood.
A nightclub booking gave me a randomn array from cowboys to ghouls – and a tiny tiny spider…
Then I did a lovely bunch at a party I do regularly – zombies mainly. This year the hostess went for an evil meduse look, with glitter tattoo scale effects and face by me and freaky contact lenses.
Host Josh had asked for some elaborate prosthetics and a bald cap which I ordered from Ebay, and glued on with cosmetic adhesive. Then we painted him… he decided not to use the slip-on black prosthetic forked tongue!
Carly Fryman is related to Martin, a friend of mine at Bewilderwood, and had asked if I could help out at the first show given by her new business, Dynamic Dance. The show was a fund-raiser for Meningitis. Sadly, this was because years ago her baby brother died of the illness, and shockingly, another of her brothers died from it this year. Ryan was 19 and away at University at the time. I know many of his friends who worked with me at Bewilderwood, so I wanted to help.
Carly had a range of dances with different age groups, some of which had kids in more than 1 group/ costume. None of the other painters I know were free so I was on my own to do 200-ish faces in a few hours. I knew from the huge Mardi-Gras team events I had organised in Hong Kong that conveyor-belt painting would be fastest, so that is what I did.
I only took 4 colours, based on Carly’s theme – black, white, silver and grey. I was trying the new Superstar silvers which were very sparkly but ooof I do not like the scent!
For the quick & simple robot ½ faces I’d base 3 faces, do the black on all 3, then the highlights. It worked, I finished the dancers within the 3 hour limit and had lunch before the second performance.
Another set had a webby eyes, and the older teams had a sort of run-eyeliner-with-swirls look. I also did some Gaga-inspired stuff int he same shades on the teachers who had their own dance.
I must say the silver did look good and stay put fairly well even on sweaty faces, and washed off well for those having to change costumes, but it was quite soft and used up fast. OK but possibly not going to be my favourite paint.
Jennie and I have worked many times alongside the NorCon group, who dress up in asstd Sci-fi costumes to raise money for charity. Mark also runs the successful NOR-CON event, which sees fans, collectors and cosplayers come from all over the UK, to Norwich. Writers, actors and props from a range of cult films and series are invited to give talks and signings. He agreed as always to let us advertise Paintopia if we did some artwork people could watch, and collected for the charity they were supporting, Nelson’s Journey. Jennie had attended painting on her own last year (and met my hero Robert Llewellyn who love the artwork in a cheeky fashion) and enjoyed it, and as I’m a sci-fi fan I leapt at the chance.
Jennie & Vince decided to attempt a Star Trek Borg queen, but I was feeling a bit different. All the men in my family wanted me to do Star War’s Princess Leia in her slave bikini, but as I pointed out the only paintwork there would be on the bits I covered with underwear which is very hard to paint on.
So, I went for a combination of one of the more colourful aliens – the fltting Turuk beast ridden in the Avatar films. The gorgeous Penny, who had been a demo model at my Paintopia glitter workshop, offered to come and be the body. I bodged up a quick bikini using a cheap set of underwear and an old cloak!
We were busy from the start, with lots of questions and Kerry being the PR person for Paintopia. Jennie was learning a lot as Vince had made all the Borg prosthetics, and they needed a lot of gluing on. Steph, my stunning Patronus Pixie, was being their evil queen.
I did a colourful base with black stripes based on the Turuk patterning, and outlined the stripes in glitter tattoo using the equipment I sell, as well as Facade cosmetic glitters.
Highlights for me:
– filling a charity collection box by asking for donations whenever people wanted photos of the models
When I was contacted by this club, I had expected to be decorating the dancers. After a long trip down there, I was ushered into the changing rooms and met the bar staff, many of whom were not used to baring quite so much and were understandably nervous although all gorgeous.
We did not have much time for each lady, and I had prepared special breast covers for each one that I glued on (safer than bikini tops – can’t be untied or slip off!) before sketching in designs with paint.
The theme, of course, was the Stars & Stripes. Using large flake glitter on top of the cosmetic glue (as it was not near the face) as well as some finer Facade cosmetic glitters, variations on the theme were completed following discussions with each lady about what she did or didn’t want exposed.
It all looked amazing when I left, and I hope they had a good night. The advantage of glitter tattoo tops (although I had to ‘glue’ larger areas than I like as it would be harder for the girls to remove with oil afterwards) is that as they worked serving drinks, any spillages would just run off – its all waterproof!
I have created several leotards for Symone of Pole Paradise HK in the past, as she needs to have fabric protecting her limbs when she is doing hoop acrobatic shows and wanted unique costumes.
She contacted me when I was at home in the UK and asked me to do two, one for her and one for her husband for an upcoming show.
I started Jose’s red tribal flame design with the leotard stretched over my trust shop dummy, but found that awkward to move about and hard to paint on.
I use the bottles and applicators I sell here. Videos of me waffling in so you can literally watch the glue dry…
I then managed to find an inflatable shop dummy to do Symone’s watery design blue leotard on, as of course she was in HK, so couldn’t fill out the leotards as I worked.
It usually takes several layers of glue, dried in between, to create a design sticky enough for the glitter to adhere too. Fabric glue does not work well – it dries too stiff- so I stick to my normal prosthetic adhesive which I knew does NOT wash out if you get it inot clothes, no matter how I try!
Luckily this time the leotards ‘took’ the glue well and I was able to complete them within a week.
I delivered them to Symone when I was over to face paint at the Rugby 7’s.
We met up near the (in?)Famous Hong Kong Lady’s Market (it does have an ‘interesting’ range of men’s underwear!) as I’d had a request from my brother in Barbados for a few knock-off items.
I don’t think I’d ever bought any fakes when I was living in HK, and typically, visiting for a short period so rushing round this time, it turned out there had been a huge police crack-down on fakes and there were few to be found!
The show looks like it went well and as the leotards can be hand-washed (I cool-machine-wash some of my glittered shirts) they can be used many times.
Either side of the Hong Kong Rugby 7’s booking and all the prep/ tidy up for HK Y.A.F., I had a free day.
The 1st morning my ‘old’ colleague Pat who I often painted before I left HK (and did my 1st ever solo attempt at a 1/2 body paint on) called round to my hotel.
A dancer and hockey player, she has started working as a yoga instructor and fancied a glittery something to show off her moves. The colours & pattern were inspired by the Rock Fitness Yoga business she is joining.
Sorry about the iffy photos, it was just me snapping her in the little garden square between high-rises beside the hotel.
These are all over the city, and people play, read, smoke, eat and practice Tai-chi in them so they were not quite sure what to make of us!
For the second time I had the interesting booking at Gilgamesh, decorating dancers for the annual party/ show hosted by some online internet gambling sites.
As usual Gilgamesh is a stunning venue in London’s Camden Locks, several floors of luxurious carved extravagant exotica. This year the theme was a sort of evolution for the show, starting with special effects MUA Sammm‘s slimed clay man bursting out of a bubble/ egg latex thing and culminating in my snake dancers.
My brief, again an interesting one, was for ‘sexy snake dancers with Voldemort heads’. Hmm! Samm had created some latex facial bits and we wrapped their long hair in tape to make it look strange too.
All sorts of chaos was going on around us and some of the props looked… interesting…:) His expression cracks me up!
I used mainly Grimas and Diamond FX body paints, with home-made and machine-made-shop-bought flexible stencils.
There were real live snakes dancing with angels too.
There was a hiccup when the show had to be moved from the main stage to downstairs, to a more public stage. This meant dozens of topless acts got sent back up to get on some sort of pasties (nipple covers) as the police/ public passing by could now see in. Luckily Sammm had some spare bits of scaly latex we glued (using the glitter tattoo glue I sell) on to our ladies.
I even had to paint big more obvious pants onto them as G-strings were deemed too skimpy! First time I’ve had to paint knickers on – I usually work on models already IN big pants.