Body Painting

Major subjects related to body painting for the World Naked Bike Ride Chicago.

Body Painting Examples

Examples from past WNBR Chicago body painting combining simplicity and coverage. Specifically cover nipples, and think broad, organic, elegant, and fast. Leaves and vines and big flowers are especially reality tolerant.
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)

ALSO SEE: WNBR's main body painting ideas and hints page.

Body Painting Basics

Introductory face painting tips for the experienced artist. Andrew Bedno - 2008.09.24

These hints presume you can already paint with acrylics and render most any form on demand, such as flowers, planets, buildings...

  1. Be hygienic! Use hand sanitizer liberally and frequently. Refuse people having unhappy skin, sores, scabs, acne. Sanitize brushes between subjects to prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Get good paints, water based only. For example a Snazaroo wheel kit, 14 colors on a palette. Or Wolfe Brothers or Mehron assortments. Good costume shops such as Fantasy HQ sell them. Any expense will pay for itself many-fold later.
  3. Get some good theatrical glitter, finest grain mica (as opposed to microplastic). Kids demand it.
  4. Good brushes matter. I use synthetics, pointed, in the 1-6 range.
  5. Always stock wet wipes and hand-sanitizer.
  6. Get one or more books with the basic forms: cat, bunny, dog, butterfly, clown, spiderman, etc. Some books do everything full-face, like with a white base coat, I've never bothered.
  7. Use a tiny mister for wetting paints just before use.
  8. Paint layers from light to dark to minimize bleed through.
  9. Color areas first, then apply outlines, shadows and highlights.
  10. Avoid mouth and eyes. Especially with kids use arms and cheeks.
  11. Use red sparingly, as it is the color most likely to stain skin and clothes.
  12. Add to your tools eventually: colored liners, sponges, makeup, ...
  13. Balance complexity and waiting time. Have sets you can do in under two minutes. Details the artist sees at a few inches disappear at a few feet anyway.
  14. Practice on some friends AND take portfolio shots. Halloween's a perfect opportunity.

Body Painting Supplies

Artists planning to paint themselves or others should spend a few dozen dollars on a professional quality water based set from a major manufacturer such as Wolfe Brothers or Snazaroo or Mehron, available at good costume shops such as Fantasy HQ or on Amazon:
DO-IT-YOURSELF BODYPAINTING AREA archival notes:
To reduce costs and complexity, WNBRC has increasingly been crowdsourcing body painting, where able artists are encouraged to bring their own kits, and professionals may accepts tips. Therefore the following notes should be considered archival and for reference.
  • To create a a painting area set out paints and brushes. Sometimes cheap tarps where necessary, but for best results paint where everything including tables chairs and ground may get splashed. Add stacks of paper cups, some plates, rolls of paper towel, and some water bottles.
  • Chicago settled on mostly foam brushes, from 0.5" to 3". These work well enough for broad and high volume and DIY. Altering angle with these can give any stroke width. Plus a selection of inexpensive conventional synthetic fine paintbrushes (#2-6), but good ones, not dollar store. Artists should bring their own.
  • To handle high volume, assign leaders, and define specific recommended artwork (as opposed to anything anyone wants). Hold back refill quantities of all supplies, rather than setting everything out at first.
  • In 2016 we restocked with "Handy Art Face Paint" brand which comes in in 8oz bottles available on Amazon.
  • Buying criteria: Oz per painter = Number of hours * number of paintings per hour / paintings per Oz = ( 2 hours * less than 20 paintings per hour ) / more than 10 paints per Oz = less than 4 Oz per painter.
  • In earlier years WNBRC used inexpensive "Palmers" face and body paints, formerly sold by Brody's in 2oz bottles for under $2, but they seems to be discontinued.