As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier blog, for a successful career as a commercial body artist versatility is key! You have to be confident that you can paint in any style that your client requires, whether it be logos, tattoos or camouflage body painting. And although very well known for my camouflage work, one of my particular favourites is painting 3 dimensional and illusion designs. I love the way that you can create something so different from the norm and really trick the eye using only body paint.
3 Dimensional Body Painting at Olympia Beauty London
In 2014 I represented Mistair at the Olympia Beauty show which is one of the UK’s best trade events in the beauty industry. Held annually at Olympia in London the show attracts salon and spa owners, make-up artists, nail technicians and students. There are numerous demonstrations taking place during the event including several student competitions. I painted model Laurence Caird with a 3-dimensional design inspired by the work of tattoo artist Jesse Rix. I also gave a talk during the show about ‘Commercial Body Painting as a Career’ and one of the prizes awarded by Mistair in the student body painting competition was an industry day with yours truly! The finished design on Laurence is one of my all-time favourites and was a huge hit on my Instagram page, where it’s racked up more than 1,000 ‘likes’.
Biffy Clyro ‘Machines’ 3 Dimensional Body Painting
I’ve done quite a bit of body painting over the years for the late great Storm Thorgerson, the artistic genius behind numerous iconic album covers including Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. One of the designs that I really enjoyed working on was back in 2007 and was for the 4th single from the album ‘Puzzle’ which was entitled ‘Machines’ by the Scottish rock band ‘Biffy Clyro’. There were a series of body painted images for the album and subsequent singles. For ‘Machines’ I painted the model with Storm’s design of a metallic torso showing beneath the model’s shirt. The photography is by Storm Studios photographer Rupert Truman.
Terminator Style Hand Painting
Another real favourite of mine is the hand that I painted with an illusional terminator style. Last year I started my own Youtube channel and made several time lapse videos featuring 3 dimensional body paintings, superheroes and various other designs. For this time lapse I painted my own hand and I think it worked out particularly well. I really like the end of the video where my hand takes on a creepy life of its own! This image has also been a big hit on my Instagram page with more than 800 ‘likes’.
3 Dimensional Chains Body Painting
Another body painting that I designed for my Youtube channel was a 3 dimensional chain link that I painted on my friend and model Liam Boyle. I made a time lapse video that demonstrated the use of highlighting and shadows that really makes the chains stand out and look as if they’re literally hanging down the front of Liam’s torso. This was another Instagram favourite with more than a 1000 ‘likes’. I’m really looking forward to putting together more time lapse videos, but I’ve been so busy with commercial work recently that my filming fun has had to take a bit of a back seat for now.
Metallic Neck Illusion Body Painting
Way back in 2007 I was asked to submit some images for an article on my body painting that ‘Illusion’ (the face and body art magazine) was putting together. They requested previously unpublished photos. Most of my work is commercial and has already been shown in either newspapers or magazines, or on bill boards around London. So I got together with my photographer friend Joseph Sinclair and designed some new images especially for the magazine. One of the new designs was the metallic neck effect that I painted on model Stephan D’Bart. This was my first illusional body painting and I think it worked out really well.
3 Dimensional Face Painting
Another design that I created back in 2007 for Illusion magazine was a 3 dimensional face painting. This was originally inspired by a piece of work that I found in one of my art books by the Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger. I made tiny shapes from liquid latex and attached them to the model Sam’s face with spirit gum. Then I painted him with black face paint before finally adding a touch of gold paint to bring out the detail on the latex pieces. The photography was by Hass Idriss.
3 Dimensional Body Painting at IMATS London
I also painted an illusional design at IMATS (International Make-up Artists Trade Show) held at Olympia Exhibition Centre in London in June. I was delighted to be commissioned to paint on the Screenface London stand. Screenface is an amazing supplier of all things make-up and body art related, and Screenface products have been used in numerous films over the last 30 years including Monty Python, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. For the demonstration I painted my great model Kyle James, again using lots of highlights and shadows in my design to show metallic parts and torn flesh. Kyle had to step in at the last minute, but I think you’ll agree that he proved to be a marvellous living canvas for my design. You can read more about IMATS in general, in one of my earlier blogs.