Thursday, March 4, 2010

Body Painting: Alice in Wonderland

In my last post, I showed a bit of the body painting I did on Toni at Wicked Faire. Well, yesterday I received a CD of photos from one of the professional photographers, and my biggest problem has been figuring out which ones to post because they're all so great!

All photos in this post were taken by Phillip Makselan.

Toni met me in the Green Room with her bra cups already on, and while we were waiting to be called to the stage, I laid down the blue base and the glitter spray.  The blue is Fantasy Worldwide cream; it's really easy to wear and I knew she'd be comfortable in it.  Last year, as we found out, the chocolate I used on her corset tightened as it dried and pinched her.  No issues like that with the creams!  The glitter spray is also skin-safe, made by Mehron, a theater makeup company.

This photo (above) was right after we got on stage.  You can't tell, I don't think, but I was already exhausted. I spent the entire day and night in Renaissance Faire garb, and that corset is tight!  I started "work" at noon.  Plus, I had the surprise full-body painting earlier in the day, and other paintings throughout, so by 8:15 p.m. when this photo was taken, I was ready to lie down (and the day ended at 2 a.m.!).  

Thing is, when I'm painting, I wake back up.  It's just too fun and makes me too happy.  Plus, having an audience is always a good thing.  :D

I started with the Cheshire cat's face because it was the very first element I thought of when I knew I wanted to do this design.  What's Wonderland without the cat?  Once I blocked out that shape, though, I was all over the place, painting everywhere at once.

We had a pretty good audience.  It was smallish, but constant as some people went to see other shows, and then come back, and others passing in the hall poked their heads in to see what was up and ended up either coming in to sit down, or hanging out in the doorway.

On the fly, I realized the teapot really should have red flowers, even though it wouldn't quite be a "set" with the teacup.


Body painting is really physical, for both the artist and the model.  I kept asking her to turn, raise and lower her arms, and take different positions.  At the same time, I was often bending over and around her.

Or even crouching down to paint upwards.

I did mostly stick to the front first.

At this point, I was actually down on my knees to paint, just to make it easier.

For the back, I was all about the mushrooms and caterpillar.  Together with the Cheshire cat, the caterpillar is my other favorite character of Wonderland.

And what's the caterpillar without his hookah?

Once all the big colors were blocked in, I was able to add details and outlining, since I was going for a cartoonish sort of look.

To tie the back and front together, I used a vine that traveled over Toni's shoulder.  The funny thing about that vine... for Valentine's Day, my husband bought me a 2010 leatherbound edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories, in hot pink, to inspire me for this painting.  Around the outside of the cover is a trellis of black vines that - last minute, did inspire me.

This is the finished back.

The finished front.

And a few nifty detail shots for you.

And all done in just about an hour!


  1. I don't even know what to say except wow! Beautiful work and it looks like you had do much fun!

  2. Way cute! I love the pictures and seeing the process.

    What kind of Bra Cups did you use?

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. They're the ones from Victoria's Secret. I'd purchased pasties for the event, becasue those are enough to be legal in NJ, but then we found out the hotel had a more restrictive dress code. So Toni, dedicated model that she is, actually ran out to the mall and ordered - with overnight delivery! - these cups and a bandeau from Macy's in case they didn't permit these. They came with some sort of body glue so she could affix them to herself.

  4. Larissa, fantastic artwork! If you are ever in Colorado or I make it out to NJ I want to get dolled up! I love being a human canvas! hehe

    There are several adhesives you can use depending on the placement and time you want things attached a few that I've had great results with are: eyelash glue for small items like bindis & rhinestones (water soluable too!); spirit gum for a longer waterproof wear but sure to test on your skin and don't pull it off! Use the remover; lastly liquid latex although it is much more of a short term item unless you spend an extended amount of time applying it in multiple layers.

  5. I prefer the Bloody Mary water-based spirit gum, which doesn't stink and only requires soap & water for removal. I try not to torture my models with harsher stuff. I"m well versed in all the methods. ;-)

    These cups, though, came with some sort of adhesive and my model had them attached long before I was in the room with her.

  6. Gotcha! I was wondering about those types of temporary bras the other day in Sears (of all places!).

    Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Awesome job, Larissa! Absolutely gorgeous!!



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