Bodies in Color, #1: Miss Sativa Gets Spots

January 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

One of my goals this year is to do a bodypainting project at least once a month (hence the "Bodies in Color" moniker, which is the result of two seconds' thought and I reserve the right to change at any point). I've been doing bodypainting for years, but mostly it's just been an occasional hobby, maybe once or twice a year. This year I'd like to do it more frequently, to build up my portfolio and my skill-- both as a bodypainter and a photographer.

Drawing and painting have never been a strong skillset of mine-- until recently, I considered my primary creative domain to be the written word. Heck, even when I first got into photography, it was as a supplement to my writing.

But now that my photography has become more of its own thing, the dormant visual artist in me has woken up a bit. Bodypainting is a slightly more unusual art, and very much a collaboration between model, painter, and photographer-- I want to improve my skill in both those latter roles.

This Sunday, I got a good start to the year by doing a bodypainting shoot with Miss Sativa. I wanted to do something a little more interesting than the solid-color designs I've done in the past, but at the same time, I wanted something that wouldn't be too difficult given my still-limited skills with the airbrush. I settled on a spotted cat pattern.

As far as color, my first thought was to go with blue as a main color, to do something a little less reality-based and more fantastical. But while testing some colors, I really liked the way the yellow looked on skin-- bold and well-covering-- so I went with yellow and black.

My girlfriend Lisa, who was a steadfast partner through my Journeys Around Seattle project last year, was also willing to be a partner for this shoot, and came along as a much-needed assistant. Miss Sativa was a wonderful model, and extremely patient-- the painting job took about three hours, though I think I can improve this in the future-- and in the end, I'm really happy with what we produced.

If you're a model and interested in being painted sometime this year, contact me! Whether you're pro or amateur, and whether you're comfortable with full nudity or not, there's room to work. (Speaking of which, the slideshow below does contain full nudity, so I'd suggest not clicking through it if that's a problem, or if you're at work.)

With each "Bodies in Color" entry, I also want to list some of the technical specs. So here goes, for Entry #1: The painting was done with a double-action Iwata airbrush. The yellow, black, and white bodypaint is all water-based liquid paint by Mehron, thinned at a 1:1 ratio with Ben Nye Final Seal so that it flows better through the airbrush. The black on the face is Kryolan water-based Aquacolor from a palette, applied with a regular ol' paintbrush.

Without further ado, here are some of the results:


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