Advice for body painting models

So you’ve been hired to work with a body painting artist, but you are wondering… how should I prepare? What should I expect? What should I bring?

Its important to me that collaborating with other professionals should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So here are a few tips which will help prepare models for their first body painting assignment:  

  • Firstly DO chat with your artist so you can get to know each other and liaise so both of you have a good idea of what you are hoping to achieve creatively and also have a fun day.
  • Please arrive well hydrated and well fed. If you starve yourself you won’t have enough energy to get through what will likely be a very long day; and if you are dehydrated you are likely to pass out or lose vital energy before you even hit the stage or shoot. Check if you need to bring your own lunch or if its provided and bring a few nibbles just to keep your energy up.
  • Avoid lotions, oils or any tanning products for a day or two before your shoot. These put a barrier on your skin that can really interfere with getting nice coverage.
  • No deodorant or anti-perspirant the day of the shoot. Bring some with you if you are concerned, but again this could create a coverage problem.
  • Basically arrive with clean skin and hair. No makeup products unless otherwise directed.                If you are doing a “glamour style” body paint that leaves your face exposed you should ask whether a Makeup Artist and/or hairstylist will be available. To be extra prepared, bring your own small kit if you have one.
  • Bring a nice LIGHT robe that fits loosely, for if you need to leave the painting area before your design is done.
  • An old and comfy pair of flip-flops will save your legs and feet if you need to stand while you are painted. Don’t bring anything that might be ruined if you get paint on them. Trust me on this one, you will thank me!
  • Bring hair rubber bands or other method to get your hair up and out of the way during the painting process, unless you have prearranged a hair-up or head piece to be fitted.
  • Bringing your own flesh coloured thong and/or ask me about pasties/nipple shields, just in case modesty or legal issues come up.

Realize that good body painting is a very time consuming and tiring process. If you are posing in a large space or outside, you will likely get cold. The good thing is, you will be basking in the glow of all the attention!

During the painting process there are a few things to remember:

  • Try to hold still, dancing and gesturing with your arms can make things difficult for your painter, even moving your head can affect the way your legs are painted but I encourage my models to change position regularly then I paint a different area so they and I can flex and stretch occasionally.
  • DON’T LOCK YOUR KNEES. Standing rigidly is a great way to eventually pass out.
  • PLEASE DO let your painter know if you need a stretch or break. Very often we are concentrating on our work and don't realise you may be getting cramp or about to sneeze! I often ask if my models are ok, would rather ask too much than not at all as consideration for my model's comfort and dignity are paramount.
  • Also, let your painter know if anything they are doing is making you uncomfortable. They may or may not be aware, but if you feel that something inappropriate is going on, it is your right and responsibility to SPEAK UP!

So, finally you are finished and ready to go, there are a couple last things to make your experience better.

  • Bring some loose fitting old clothes to put on for your trip home. If no shower is provided you will want to protect your car seat with an old towel.
  • If you have some baby shampoo handy, this often works very well for removing water based makeup from your face and hair without irritating your skin and eyes alternatively a bar of pure vegetable soap is good for removing paint.
  • If your painter used a long lasting temporary tattoo makeup, you will need to remove it using rubbing alcohol. Do this in a WELL VENTILATED AREA!
  • Keep some good hydrating lotion handy for afterwards, do look after your lovely skin.
  • Whatever the shoot is for, please find out about the character you are portraying or the concept for the design as it will allow you to characterise for your shoot which makes all the difference to final shots.
  • Above all please ENJOY the day, its yours as well as your artists and she/he would not be able to create a living artwork without you.