Blue Alien UV Dancer Bodypaints for Gilgamesh, London Jan 2010

Jan 2010

After a beautiful but generally cold and snowy winter month in the Scottish Highlands, I got a last minute booking from a London agent.

Bibi Freeman (world champion face & body painter, paint shop owner & general guru-god of mine) and I were hired to paint 5 dancers blue in an Avatar/ Mystique style as part of a dream-sequence themed show in a Camden nightclub. I did giggle that the client insisted only blue girls were sexy, not green…current trend, I think, am sure Captain Kirk made green girls sexy:)

Anyway we quoted for 2 hrs per body as they wanted detail as well as colour; that was cut to 1.5 hrs each for our 1st 2 (4 in total) bodies and an hour together on the last, more detailed ‘queen/ shamen’ alien body. Who was to be nude, in a large plastic bubble….which had a ‘technical hitch’ during testing which meant the organiser was trapped in it for a while:)

Due to the last minute booking, the funky feather wigs they wanted wouldn’t arrive in time, so I rushed down to London a few hours early and after a tip from Paul of Facade Glitter Art, found some long aqua wigs in a shop that the agent approved of. The venue, Gilgamesh, was in the middle of the Camden Stable Markets and was STUNNING, 3+ floors of intricately carved walls and ceilings, even bathrooms, in the Babylonian style.

Bibi and  I  set up in a room overlooking one of the dance floors (bit loud!) with another team of bodypainters decorating girls with stripes and simple ‘sports tops’ for an unrelated private party in the same venue. Sammm from Torture Gardens was doing amazing zombie faces and all the other asstd characters on other actors in ‘our’ event. We waited…. and an hour later than expected finally had our alien ladies back from rehearsal to start painting.

Gilgamesh alien snack time bpc

We were using Diamond FX metallic blue & purple, as the client had showed the agent a photo of my Spirit Shamen in Wales and loved those shades.

Spirit Shamen Welsh fest face side lick_MG_5051 bpc

 To save time (luckily, it turned out!) I had had big reptilian stencils and also hand-cut a few smaller reptilian stencils with my hot pen stencil cutter. Once we had coloured all 5 girls, Bibi began on faces as I did scale patches on each girl in turn, in the hope if we ran out of time they would all be at the same level – ie all got 1 arm, chest, leg done, then all got the other, then all got the back etc.

Gilgamesh Bibi UVs Queen front bpc

Just when we were starting to relax, thinking we had nearly 1.5 hrs to do the final faces and blend in the ‘squares’ of stencilling, we were told they wanted the girls early! PANIC!

 Gilgamesh touching up feet bpc

Bibi whipped fast but stunning UV patterns onto the ‘queen’ and I stencilled and freehanded very basic faces onto the other 3 whilst also attempting a bit of glitter and blending of stencil edges.

Gilgamesh aliens after show me 2 bpc

What did make me laugh was the hairspray I used to stick the glitter onto also attracted the trimming sfrom the overlong aqua blue wig fringes so we had truly wierd alien effects!

Gilgamesh aliens chill bpc

As it turned out the call time was wrong and the girls had to push through heaving admiring crowds several times before actually going onstage.

Gilgamesh alien queen 3-4 bpc

The lighting wasn’t perfect for my taste – the UV glowed but it was too dark to really see the luscious metallic colours….Still, the audience stopped disappearing, whipped out cameras and paid more attention than they had for the previous few acts we saw!

Gilgamesh alien Queen in bubble bpc

The idea was the alien queen rolled out in her bubble, and her 4 ladies were all curious and touchy-feely of it and jealous of her UV pattern-marking-jewellery. Then got a bit touchy-feely with each other whilst being alien en pointe ballet shoes etc…

Gilgamesh stage show bubbles bpc



Wizard of OZ Mash-Up Bodypaint

I thought I’d missed the deadline for the UK Face & Body Convention Body comp (postal entry) but they extended it and as I finally have stopped face-painting EVERY day I wanted to try.

I only had a few spare days though, so luckily had a very kind friend (Kate) volunteer to model, and Mich to take photos. Then at short notice hubby (aka babysitter) went to sail a boat back from Germany, so I was baby-sitter less. Kate didn’t mind Finley being around, but I’m never doing a paint with him unaccompanied again. I locked him in the dining room with us and he proceeded to destroy it – toys and food everywhere – paying no attention to his books, music, even a dvd!

He finally settled down a bit when we ‘let’ him help the paint. Kate reckons it’s a free-form expression of the tornado that takes Dorothy to Oz!

Kates eye view of Fin over the rainbow paint 2 Kates eye view of Fin over the rainbow paintlook

So not an ideal situation; not much time and a distracting toddler around! Think we did it in 3 hours as Kate had to go to work (after a shower!).

Oz mashup torso IMG_9998.CR2 bpc Wiz of Oz mashp face n back tin man bpc

As said, thanks to Kate for lending her body for 3 hours, and Michelle Workman for the pics.

Note the beautiful free-form chaos of the below-knee work by 2 month old Finley:) So was supposed to be Dorothy (dress & hair), tin man/ lion (1/2face & arm each), Emerald City (front), wicked witch (stripey sock with her creepy shadow of nose and hands).

The black & white start of the film on the farm with the tornado (other leg) and the rainbow in the tutu.

Wiz of Oz mashup  kneel bpc Wiz of Oz mashup knelt close.CR2 bpc Wiz of Oz mashup Mac lick bpc

As you can see Mac, my MIL’s dog, decided to make a guest aappearance as Toto. 

Welsh Face Body Paint Festival Finals – my Spirit Shamen

On Wednesday, the night before the Welsh body finals day, I hadn’t got a model sorted and not much of an idea either.

Just before I went to bed (we had a cosy yurt for the night after our tent started leaking in torrential rain and my toddler developed a hideous cough) I found the lovely Stacey who was a wee bit sad, as she’d been booked to paint by some body-painting gurus, who’d left instead. Luckily I was acceptable so she became ‘my’ model for the day.

Stacey had one request; to be ‘dark’. Not my usual at all, but cool.
The theme was ‘Wild Things’; I thought a lot of people would do animals, etc, and wanted to be outside the box. So, I decided the wildest things of all were inside people’s heads, and how to get them out? Wild ‘drugs’.

So the purple outer layer was liquid opium & wine, the blue layer was spotty for hallucinogens derived from frogs & toads, the green layer had stencilled plant leaves to be ‘herbal highs’ and the yellow core was painted with grains to represent alcoholic spirits.


I wanted the idea of layers…didn’t quite get there (no time to shade it) but did manage a few ‘holes’ with sort of ‘god rays’ shining light out from the inner mind/ body.

Also we chose a peacock to be her spirit guide, especially on her feet to be guiding her steps.


Whack on some peacocky dreads and a rooster tail boa I had from an earlier costume I made, and ta-dah! A Spirit Shamen. With a fabby REAL tanned toad to lick (a purse I’d picked up when we sailed our catamaran through the Philippines).

Spirit Shamen Welsh fest face side lick_MG_5051 bpc

Talk about dedication – when being judged (and all during the photo shoot!) Stacey actually LICKED Toady, shocking 1 of the judges who asked to see him and wasn’t expecting a soggy amphibian.



As well as Nick Parry,  the official photographer, the amazing Adrian of Frames Photography  came down for the competition days to document my (and others!) artwork especially against outside scenery – thanks so much!


I came 2nd in body painting, just below the amazing team who did the Wild Sports on Rob, made up of Zoe and Heather, who deservedly won.

Spirit Shamen Welsh Fest Thurs26 crawl with rob bpc

Anyway, thanks to all models, painters, organisers – fab event, check out for more pics too.