10 Facts About Body Painting You Need Know

Body painting is one the most fascinating art forms in the world. People love it and they are naturally drawn to it. Human bodies covered in paint intrigue us and catch our eyes. Yet there are many things people don’t know about body paint. So here are 10 facts about body painting I think you should know – this fantastic living art!

Commercial body painting by Riina Laine

1. You can’t study body painting in a university or college.

There  is no official degree for body art, even though it is surely the oldest art form in the world. Where can you study it then? Private make-up schools organize body painting courses, international body painting festivals often organise workshops, and many artists give individual workshops. Then, of course, you can study and practise on your own or  you can take a private class. 

Body paints and glitters (copyright Riina Laine)

2. There are different types of techniques and body paints.

Body  painting can be done with different types of techniques. The traditional way of painting is with brushes. Sponges are also used. Some artists use airbrushing. There are different kinds of paints (grease paints, alcohol colors, hybrid paints), but most often in body painting artists use water-activated paints that are intended for face and body painting. They are classified as make-up and cosmetics, so they are safe to use on skin. In addition, many of these paints are fragrance-free and also vegan. The same paints are used for children’s face painting so they are suitable for sensitive skin too and are easy to wash away. 

With paints you can combine prosthetics  and special effects make-up, and of course glue on gems and glitters. These are all meant for skin so remember, no hot glue or house paint!

3. Anyone can be body painted.

One of the most important body painting facts is this: anyone can be painted.  If you have a body, you can be painted. There isn’t just one body type that is suitable for body painting. The painting is created to fit your shape, no matter how old you are, what size you are or what you look like. So anyone’s body with all it’s curves is a perfect canvas for this art!

Empowering body painting by Riina Laine. | www.riinalaineartist.com
Body painting for show wrestler - Artist Riina Laine

4. 99% of people would like to get painted again.

99%  of people who have been body painted once, would like to experience it again. Most of them feel that being body painted is natural and empowering. When you’re being painted, you can do nothing else but be. So you have time to relax, be in your thoughts, just feel the brush strokes on your skin and observe your body. Most of the people wouldn’t  want to wash the painting away, but just keep on looking at themselves on the mirror and admiring what they look like.

5. Body painting is used for numerous purposes and occasions.

What  is body painting used for? The fact is there are so many possibilities. For example, Body painting is perfect for commercial use because it  always attracts attention. It’s used in PR events, trade shows, advertising & marketing, music videos, artist portraits, fashion shows, festivals. Combined with other art forms such as dance and acrobatics, you can create amazing performances both live and for video. Body painting also works as independent art in installations and painting performances.

Multi-body painting illusion for a commercial. Artist: Riina Laine
Body painting by Riina Laine | Minna Parikka & Janine Rewell collaboration
No smoking campaign with body painting. Artist Riina Laine.

6. Body painting is also fit for private clients.

Body painting is not only good for businesses but also private clients like you! Belly painting is a beautiful way to celebrate pregnancy and getting painted for a costume party guarantees you the prize for the best dress! Body painting is also a relaxing, liberating and empowering experience for anyone. You get an amazing photo of yourself and we can even design the end result to be a special canvas print that’s suits your home decor.

7. Full body painting can take up to 12 hours.

Painting  a full body usually take around 4-6 hours. However, I have experience from 2 hours to 12 hours. So it really depends on the project, the  concept and what kind of painting it is, and of course how many models you are painting. But you can’t really take too long, because very often the painting is photographed or filmed which takes time as well.  Therefore in bigger and more complicated projects there are often more  than one artist and assistants helping.

And it’s not like normal canvas work, you really need to finish in one day – you can’t tell the model to wait until next day so that you can continue!

Camouflage body painting - Artist Riina Laine
World bodypainting champion - Artist Riina Laine

8. Body painting unites people.

Body painting is a universal art form that connects people and artists together. It doesn’t matter where you are from, if you are into it, you are in it. The passion is the same and there are no international boundaries. The community is warm and tight, many of us know each other in some way. Body painting is an art form that people are naturally drawn to and we all understand it. That is what makes it extra special. 

Body painting is also international in a way that we get booked for jobs abroad. I’ve been teaching and judging competitions around the world, creating commercial body painting for PR event and for example being a guest in a Swedish live talk show painting and talking about my art. PS: I’d love to travel more for work, so any project or campaign you have anywhere in the world and you need some exceptional art for it, I’m the artist for you. 

9. The World Bodypainting Festival is the biggest body painting event in the world.

Every year hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors from around the world get together in Austria. The week is full of workshops, exhibitions, artists talks and of course the prestigious World Bodypainting Championships. Both professionals and amateurs compete in different techniques and the visitors get to see the most amazing artworks. If you are interested in body painting, you have to go this fantastic festival. 

10. You don’t have to be fully naked to be body painted.

You  don’t have to be fully naked to be body painted. Only part of the body can be painted, face painting is body painting as well. The painting can be combined with accessories and partial clothing. However, depending on the look we’re going for, sometimes the clothing can actually distract the painting. So for a full body painting, it is often the best  choice to not wear anything else but a seamless thong or a g string and  nipple covers for women if needed

PS. +1 more fact…

Body  painting is the best thing in the world.  It’s the most natural, yet the most intriguing and magical form of art. If you haven’t looked into  it yet  or experienced it, do it now. You won’t regret it! 
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