Five quick facts about body painting

MumptyStyle Joanne Gair Pink and Gold

Last year I was lucky enough to do an interview with the world’s leading body paint artist, Joanne Gair.  Joanne (aka Kiwi Jo) is an amazing Kiwi woman at the pinnacle of her field as a trompe l’oeil and makeup artist – we did a two-part interview – read part one here and part two here.  She also does some incredible fine art – check out her Instagram details at the bottom of this post.

Anyway … I thought I would just highlight a few of things I learned about body painting in this edition of “five quick facts.”

1) Sports Illustrated is perhaps the most famous publicity vehicle for body painting – Joanne did her first campaign with Sports Illustrated in 1999 and has been working with them ever since.

MumptyStyle Joanne Gair bikini

2) A full body paint generally takes anywhere between 8 and 12 hours – leaning toward twelve, particularly if there’s hair and (face) makeup involved as well.

Body painting is also known as trompe l’oeil.

3)  M.A.C has a good aqua line that you can use for body painting – it’s available in pancake and liquid colours.  They also have a colourful grease stick and a silicon-based line you can airbrush to achieve different looks (try their Auckland store.) Kryolan also does some excellent products as well – they opened in Auckland last year as well.

MumptyStyle Joanne Gair flowers
© 2005 Joanne Gair/PQ Blackewell

4) Joanne says you don’t have to have all the expensive products to attempt body painting – essentially if you can use a product on your face, you can use it on your body – it’s all skin and there’s no right or wrong, particularly when you’re colouring in.  The most important feature of a product is its ability to mix and to stay on the skin without slipping or fading.

Fun fact: sometimes models get to sleep while they’re being painted! Initially, Joanne says they need to be standing vertically while she’s drawing the image up, but once she’s working on the fine detail, the model can often sleep for a couple of hours on a beanbag, or propped up in some way.  Considering most of her sessions start at 1.00am (to ensure the 12 hour window allows for models to be ready by the “magic light” time photographers need) that’s definitely a good thing!

Joanne Gair MumptyStyle
Joanne painting a model for a M.A.C event in Auckland.

5) Preparation for body painting?  The body is the canvas, and it simply cannot be slippery!  Hair follicles must be removed as best you can before a body paint; otherwise it will be done on the day.  Hair follicles show up when you start airbrushing – they stand up and they get coated with colour.  If you’re going to be body painted you need to be shaved or waxed and there can be no moisture on the body at all.  Also, if you’re getting a spray tan it needs to be a few days before you get painted as there can’t be any residue on the skin.   

MumptyStyle Joanne Gair Wallpaper
© 2005 Joanne Gair/PQ Blackewell

I love this disappearing models shot!  Sooo clever.

Visit Joanne at the following social media sites:

Instagram: joannegair
Twitter: @joannegair

Body-painting love …



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