I was once again invited to decorate the bar staff of Hustlers Croydon with quick USA-inspired glitter tattoos. These are cosmetic adhesive, coated with cosmetic glitters, and are tough and waterproof but can be removed with baby oil.
First I had pre-cut and pre-glued star or other shaped bra-inserts to suit the designs. Once they were attached we did super-fast red white and blue (or stardust-white) patterns according to some ideas they had and some things/ areas the ladies wanted covered or shapes they liked.
I managed to get the last train home but noticed how glittery my feet were as I was waiting!
I left for Bristol after a hot days painting at Bewilderwood, and as the A/C in my car can’t be fixed, got so hot I had to stop and buy some lighter clothes to drive in! After a night at my mum’s I met Laurence and we convoyed to Painswick Art Couture.
This year the body art side of things had been brilliantly organised (last year, their first time, was a bit scrambled). We were met in a beautiful building (and given cup cakes!!!!!) with areas roped off to paint in. Jill had everything sorted down to drink facilities and food runners…wow, and she was heavily pregnant too! Of course it was so scorchingly hot that we’d almost have been better off outside this year, trying to catch the breeze under the many (chilly last year in very different weather) gazebos. Huge thanks to Charlotte and the other runners who helped keep our models (and us) fed and watered.
The theme given was ‘Magic’ and a few weeks beforw I’d given Laurence the choice of something Celtic or Victorian, as I thought Voodoo etc was maybe a bit cheeky seeing as we’d be judged in a churchyard. He fancied Victorian, so Victorian Magic Man it was. I’d discovered whilst researching ‘magic’ that it was in that era that travelling shows started transforming into the stage magic more familiar to us now, especially with men inventing all sorts of mechanical tricks to wow their audiences and even electric lights being an amazing phenomenon.
Some people had ‘automatons’ that did all sorts of things, one could draw portraits of hundreds of celebrities. So, his front was my take on a steam-punk victorian robot, in a waistcoat and striped trousers and gloves with all sorts of exposed clockworks.
I’d turned up with some printed pics of lightbulbs, crows etc but hadn’t really sorted designs as is my usual way, although I’d had to send a detailed blurb in earlier for the judges! I used mainly Cameleon bodypaints, over a base (on the front upper) of Graftobian or Mehron gold powder and mixing liquid. The few bits of cog stencils were home-made, and a BAM one was used on the waistcoat.
Fab venue, beautiful stone windows open to let the music waft in from the street entertainments (and a great view of the Battle of Britain flypast later on). We were painting beside Nic who was attempting to use the airbrush we’d all clubbed together to get her as a wedding gift (early) on her fiancee Pete. Many of the usual crew were there doing their amazing stuff, including Brierly and the vast height difference of a team that is Mel Broom and Will Shave.
LL’s back showed the transition from ‘hedge’ magic involving animals and the moon, to electrically lit stage shows. I was really pleased with this, and the hat I had made (after tips from a really worth-while ‘Foam Headpiece’ workshop with Alex Hansen) seemed perfect.
We finished a little early so went down for photos then out into the cooler day – our building was packed with interested public and steaming! I only managed a few snaps/ quick film as we shuffled through the crowds on the quaint streets (packed with really interesting stalls selling all sorts of crafts I’m dying to see) the rest of the time LL and Pete were mobbed.
Tony Cook stopped us in the churchyard to get our emails and sent these 2 amazing shots he edited from a snap he took of my half-finished paint on Laurence last year.
It was so hot that this year all the models were glad to literally ‘chill’ inside the church whilst we waited for judging.
Then we were treated to a cocktail in another building before going back for the results. I loved the dress made from eggshells, and another from maps.
After hearing 3rd & 2nd place body winners announced I was just turning to LL to say, ah well, thank you it was great’ when we were announced as winners!
The top 3 – Laurence by me, Will by Mel Broom and Claire by Helen Eyre
Brilliant event, so many talented people, and huge thanks to the sponsors, Brewers Dolphin. I used their cheque to pay for the hotel rooms Laurence & I had booked for Nic & Petes wedding!
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 ran a short glitter tattoo workshop at Paintopia, introducing the bottles. Tips and glue I sell, using Facade Glitters. That seemed to go well and even those who were having their first go helped create artwork on the lovely practice models.
I’d asked if I could glitter David, who I was the first to paint months ago when he hired me to turn him into an Avatar Na’vi with body paint. He loved the experience so much that he volunteered for the extremely grueling 3 days of body modelling at Paintopia.
We were supposed to create a new Harry potter style creature, so he was my Woad Toad warrior, me using the cosmetic glue and glitter tattoo bottles and tips that I sell over a slight paint base.
His girlfriend and friends came to watch as this was on the public day, and thought he was mad:)
This was a stunning idea Jennie had for Paintopia – lots of professional (and non!) face painters never tried a body paint as they were too shy/ nervous/ unsure of how to set one up. (Not me – I just went ahead and did it!). She designed a competition – more like a set-time workshop really – where she teamed up experienced body artists randomly with newbies. We had a few weeks to talk on email etc, some even meeting up to practice together.
The very sweet Italian Teresa Antinoro from Milan had been paired with me for this. TBH she is a great painter already and I don’t think she really needed help, but it was nice to chat as we worked. She went on to do well in some EU bodypaint comps that summer!
It was a genius idea of Jennie’s; put a novice painter with someone much more experienced to give them the confidence to have a go at body art. Sadly Italian is one of the languages I know nothing of (German, French, and Dutch I’m OK at and I even have a smattering of Cantonese and Spanish).
We’d chatted a bit on email and had a few ideas, so I’d made a giant paper-feather bird head mask with the smashed out bottoms of the plastic LED lit pint mugs I’d got from the HK Rugbys 7s as eyes. Elisabeth, who I’d painted for the My Bloody Valentine shoot, was our model.
I used sculpted foam-latex breats covers from BodyFX NZ again, love them! 1-stroke cakes were just getting popular so I’d bought a new one ( Iusually made my own), showed her vaguely how to do feathery patterns with the flamey colours, and we ‘feathered’ Liz then drew a flaming pheonix on her tummy.
A lot of pinning and fiddling fixed on the bird head, and a tutu/ bustle I love which I had got from Fairylove years ago (and no longer felt brae enough to wear).
A bit of glitter tattoo was added with the freehand glitter tattoo bottles and tips I sell, and off Liz went. We didn’t win but it was nice experience and I LOVE all the different shots the photographers took!
These 3 photos by the IsnapEvents Photographers who set up a green-screen shoot in the painting marquee on Sunday, which was Paintopia’s public open day.
I think Liz quite liked this paint as she stayed in it until the last possible moment!
My fab buddy Jennie had never been to any of the big face/ body paint conferences, as they are usually from Norfolk (she has 2 daughters and a day job), and cost lots. She arranged a ‘jam’, a day where local (ish) painters come and try stuff, play with paints etc, and that whet her appetite. So, she decided to create Paintopia, (partially helped by her friend Kerry), a body art festival in Norfolk!
The aim was to raise the profile of good face & body art and let us all have some fun too. Even though it was its first year, she attracted entrants from all over Europe and even further as well as UK!
This first year Jennie chose a magical theme, loosely based on Harry potter, partially because we were hosted at the historic Dunston Hall.
Unlike many events, painters were able to set up on their own tables in the wedding marquee, and leave their kit there the whole weekend.
Many retailers were set up in a room in the hotel, and official photographers were in another. The first day, Saturday, we were creating mystical creatures in the main body paint event. Hotel staff were really helpful and intrigued (highly unusual compared to many events I have been to) bt did warn us that a famous football team and a lavish wedding were sharing the hotel, and could we be cautious.
I had designed a Patronus Pixie on the amazing Stephanie, in my favourite teal and blue shades.
I added prosthetic horns, and tried to draw Harry Potter casting the spell beside the lake on her leg, so his stag Patronus rose up her front, surrounded by wispy Dementors.
Voldemort on the back I was not happy with, but I finished in time and managed to fix the giant fibre-optic-and-fused fibre headpiece I had made to her wig.
A few wedding guests noticed what was going on and asked to come in; by the afternoon we had most of the wedding in watching us work.
Whilst queuing to be judged, and photographed, th footballers (Aston Villa!) spotted the models and started papping them!
The wedding couple also sent their official photographer to ask if the models would pose, so the whole crew grinned behind the happy couple with me trying to remind them all NOT to hug the bride!
Helen won for her unusual brown and cream flowery creation, lovely. We came 2nd ! Woohoo!!!!!
The party that night was beautifully set up to look all magical and potter-esque, with the Isnap guys offering green-screen shots of us in various famous locations from the films. I’m afraid that like many I was knackered and still needed to clean kit and set up hings for the next day, so I went back to bed fairly soon after eating. I had to abandon poor Laurence (whi was wearing my leafy home-made tiara) to the female hordes:)