Black Light Body Painting Take 1
I have always wanted to try black light body painting. Over the summer, I had the privilege to intern under another artist who created magnificent works of art that I was really impressed with. It stayed with me, and the next thing I knew I was planning my own body painting shoot. I wanted to do a landscape, to try and figure out how to bring the world onto a human skin.
Some things worked, some things didn’t.
Black Light Body Painting
First things first, I have an airbrush that I haven’t used much yet. This was the perfect excuse for me to really put that medium to the test and see what I could do with it.
I’m lucky enough to also have a photographer on stand by, who managed to get a black backdrop, black lights, and camera set up in no time at all. So while I was painting, he was setting up the area to take the photos in our very small studio apartment. But a ton of space isn’t really needed for photos like this.
I got my model, I grabbed the airbrush, and without really any practice I just dug in.
Here we have my poison of choice. I tried out three different paints, because I wanted to see what I liked and disliked about each.
The black is actually technically tattoo body paint (I’m still unsure what the difference is). I got it from Tribal Ink, and was kind of expecting an okay result. It was cheaper than the other paints, it’s not specifically body paint, but cheap is good.
I’m so happy that I bought this paint, it’s really awesome. The black goes on smoothly, it didn’t clog my airbrush, it was easy to clean, and it didn’t stain her skin at all. The only thing I didn’t like was that it seemed kind of thick, and had a bit of shininess that I didn’t want to powder to get rid of.
Overall impression: B+
The white is Pro Aiir Hybrid paint. I saw this suggested on another forum for body painting, and again this one I wasn’t expecting to be amazing. It’s middle of the line price wise, maybe a little more than I wanted to spend for 2 oz, but I figured let’s try it.
Again, very very pleased with the result. It was easy to take off, really easy to put on, and easy to take off. It had a surprising amount of coverage for white as well.
Overall impression: A+
The pink is Endura Flourescent. I expected a lot from this paint since it’s constantly talked about on Face Off and was kind of disappointed. This is partly my fault, because I read flourescent as meaning it would stand out in blacklight. Which it didn’t. But it also stained her skin a little bit, and was hard to get off. I wasn’t a fan of that.
But it was fantastic to use with an airbrush, and probably was the best out of all of them for quality airbrush wise. Also the most expensive. If you have the money, I’d definitely suggest this stuff. A little bit goes a long way, so the 2 oz will last longer than the other two.
Overall impression: B-
Since I’m not very familiar with body painting, I took the time to airbrush her body black while learning some techniques I might use on the rest of the picture that I was doing. It was a quick job, probably one that needed a bit more attention to detail, but hey it’s the first time.
So black base, and then I sketched over everything with white. I actually really liked this stage of the makeup, and almost wanted to stop here. But the white isn’t really black light paint, and we wanted black light. I only had the pink, so I forged ahead and kept going, and then covered everything with pink. I was super excited to turn on the black light on and see what happened and then….
Yeah not much really.
So that was a disappointment. Our entire apartment was glowing, but the paint wasn’t as stunning as I was expecting the paint to be. Crap.
Shooting the Picture
We weren’t going to let that stop us though, so we continued on to shoot the photo. For those of you who are interested, we set up a black backdrop in front of her and then wrapped a white blanket around her waist.
We had two black lights, one long tube that we ordered off of amazon for 20 bucks on the table at her hips, and one spotlight black light that we shined mostly from above. In some of the photos you can see that there appears to be a spotlight on her. That would be the flashlight black light.
Camera settings were f/2.8, shot on a Nikon D7000.
Taking it off
The final question is always, but how do I get this paint off. Since I used alcohol paints, this will not come off with water. In fact, she could have taken a shower and it wouldn’t have changed the paint at all. So what did we use? Rubbing alcohol. I had 70% that I got for 3 dollars at Hannaford, but I’d suggest trying to find 99% if you can. Always a little sad to see 4 hours worth of work get wiped away, but the pictures were pretty awesome in the end.