I was able to attend the annual Paradise Wildlife Face Painting Jam, which this year had a ‘Once Upon A time’ theme. Organiser Juliet Eve asked if I’d do a freehand glitter tattoo demo, and I decided the demo could be part of a bodypaint I did there. AND there was a head-piece competition so I thought I’d enter that at the same time.
I always like to push myself to try new things, and immediately thought; story books – writing on skin! I hated graphics (the lettering side) when I was at college and have rarely seen well-executed wording on faces so tried to work out how to do that. I didn’t have the time or skills as yet (I really need to do a hairdressing course!) so was also trying to think what I could put on my models’ hair to go with the theme. Then I suddenly thought – a paper wig!
The last #paperwig I made was in 2014 for the Paintopia Professor’s Apprentice Competition in which Nicky Gardener & I placed 2nd. That theme was Vintage Children’s books – not dissimilar – and we chose Treasure Island. I’d designed a wig made from paper quilling strips, which on the day it turned out we had to slice open, as our model was sick and she was replaced by the much larger James. Who rocked it and completed our awesome team!
Anyway, I decided this time vintage paper would look best, and bought some post-war story books from a charity shop. Lots of slicing later I had a sort of Rapunzel wig. I made lots of paper flowers to adorn it, a bit like the Tangled Princess look.
I’m now designing and making stencils (and can do custom stencils too) which Jennie planned to launch as #CutByCat at the Jam as part of her Paintopia Face & Body Painting Supplies shop. So, I made a bunch of custom stencils of fairytale phrases and also cut them out of glitter card to form part of the wig, and a crown on Izabella.
Izabella was free to be my model, and kindly said she’d meet us there Monday morning. My mum agreed to wrangle my 2 boys at the Paradise Wildlife Park (a zoo that hosts the event) so we drove down through snowy gales the night before to meet up with Paintopia Jenn in nearby hotel. I did try to start assembling my wig before bed, but luckily realised I actually had to have it bare so I could firmly attach it to Iz’s hair before I assembled all the other bits! Euan refused to let Jennie leave our room, so with that and loud music from other rooms it was a loooong night…
The snow had stopped but we collected a very chilly Iz from the station before arriving at the bright but freezing marquee that always contains the Jam. After greeting lots of familiar faces, I set up and started getting the paper wig onto Izabela. It was shallower than my previous attempt (I’d built up the bouffant bit of the ships figurehead wig with plastic bags which I guess we just ripped out to fit James’ head). Luckily, all the paper flowers I had made to decorate the Rapunzel paper plait filled in the forhead space perfectly.
Arranging and attaching all the glittery words took a lot longer than I expected, plus I was chatting and answering questions, so by the time the judging for the headpiece competition started I’d only managed a hint of colour over the white base on Izabella. We were really happy to place 2nd and win some fantastic brushes from the Bodycraft Festival team, thanks so much!
Suzanna Forrister-Beer had the most amazing prosthetic Special FX horns on her husband and came first, just beautiful. Also lovely was the kids entertainment, my youngest was boogying on down…
I continued adding mainly Cameleon Bodypaint from the Paintopia shop, layering lettering and stencils and blending with Kryolan powders. I stuck to white, blues and black as I wanted an almost monochrome book-like feel to it.
Last of all I added some quick hand painted swirls, then some freehand glitter tattoos using the waterbased Mouldlife Aquafix in the bottles with fine tips I sell. Finishing touches were flat backed pearls and tiny accent flowers.
These 4 photos by www.apheadshotphotgraphy.co.uk
And finally the image in my head of Izabella peerg throught the ‘O’ on Once Upon A time was out in reality.
Huge thanks to all involved, the organisers and everyone who came to talk to me or shop with Paintopia. I had a great time chatting (not much as I was full of cold) and my family loved the zoo and entertainment as usual!
Several months ago I started seeing more and more about painters creating ‘face bling’.
This is clusters of sequins, gems, feathers etc, arranged into shapes like intricate bindis and usually stuck together on a base of pet-grade silicone. This cluster can be dried and added to face paints with cosmetic adhesive.
Back when I first started painting (2004? or earlier) I added dyed craft feathers, sequins etc to my work with spirit gum. I soon learnt that many of those either have layers that detach (leaving a clear plastic disc behind whilst the brighter metallic sequin layer falls off) or the dye leaked out onto the skin from the damp object. I stopped using them and haven’t been impressed with the pre-sticky gems available since (although Kryolan launched a nice range recently) – many either don’t adhere to skin or paint well, or won’t peel off the paper backing they come on.
I’d been sent a few samples of flat-backed acrylic gems when I ordered some cabuchons for bodypaint projects last year (in cream, pearl and black AB – I use them SO MUCH!) and had meant to look into it. I paid for some more samples to be sent from China and picked my favourites to order in bulk.
(I haven’t as yet got a good cabuchon supplier but will add them when I do – I use them for bubbles, rivets, buttons, jewellery, eyeballs….)
Due to language problems (they spoke English well enough to take my money but now have none to reply when I ask why I only got 100 not 1000 of a range of gems I paid for!!) I’ve had to change suppliers, but I finally have a good selection in stock on this shop page.
I don’t have time (new baby, kid, moving house etc) to sit and make bling clusters myself, so I chose gems which are much more striking than the usual ones available in the UK, and can be used alone OR added to clusters.
I will get time to paint & photo them in use soon, most of my recent bookings have been massive speed-painting events in Malls & I don’t get a chance to get my camera out. I only have these 2 from a street party event last week and my camera was not behaving 😦
Green snowflake heart (camera acting up so not great shot sorry)
As a centrepiece to crowns, an accent at the outer corner of an eye, etc, they are fabulous. I tend to do most of my paint, add a blob of the cosmetic adhesive (which I sell here on my freehand glitter tattoo page) and then finish off adding white or whatever final details whilst the blob dries. the finale is adding the gem and a poof of aurora glitter (from Funtime Faces). it always gets a huge wow and the lovely best bit is, the kids then have something to ‘keep’ (aside from any photos) of their facepaint.
The range I sell in my shop on here are all lightweight flat-back acrylic gems.
They include (click teal coloured words for video link):
Snowflakes with irridescent shades overlaid with silver metallic patterns – helloooo all you Christmas/ Frozen type designs
Shells – finely detailed in unusual AB mixed colours for all sorts of mermaid, flower and abstract designs
Hearts – princesses, abstracts, butterfly etc designs
small faceted AB hearts (in glitter or plain AB in mixed shades)
slightly larger aurora hearts with pyramid/dot textured AB surface
‘Sugar’ glittery hearts in mixed colours
large ‘crystal’ hearts with the same textured AB surface as the smaller aurora hearts but in mixed colours
Small clear faceted teardops in mixed colours
Medium bling drops in the same surface pattern/ AB as the crystal hearts, mixed colours
Large bling drops in the same surface pattern/ AB as the crystal hearts, mixed colours
I have seen people doing Pay-Per-Face at events charge extra for add-ons such as gems and these will definitely add value to your work.
I’ve already had parents and adult clients commenting on these and of course anything that makes your work stand out and be memorable is good!
Enjoy and do please tag me/ send in any designs you do with them.
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
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.
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
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).
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
Mehron metallic powder and mixing liquid (alcohol based). To 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.
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.
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.
My Red Nose Day photos by Michelle Workman, Models Carla Finlayson & Rachel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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