How can I get prints of your work? You can obtain my work through Anacostia Fine Art or e-mail me to arrange a studio visit.
So what's the deal with all the painted people? At a family gathering when I was five or so, one of myaunts collected lipstick, eye shadow and liner from guests and painted the face, legs and arms of an attendee that had lots of leg and arm exposed. Everyone got their cameras out to snap photos as she posed for the crowd. Over the years, most photographs that made a lasting impression involved body art of some sort. During college, I dreaded figure painting and drawing classes because I wasn't very good at it and didn't have the patience to learn. I sat there thinking it would be more interesting to paint on the people instead of paper or canvas. Finally I've gotten around to trying it.
When did you start body painting? I decided to photograph painted people during the fall of 2000. The idea was to have three models painted by three artists. I would photograph all of them on the same generic white background with changes in lighting to capture the mood created by the art and model. I found a handful of models and artists willing to give it a whirl and commenced the project February 2001. One artist, the late Alex Mattison, was too ill to keep his paint dates so I filled in at the last moment. My initial efforts were rather bad but I had time to play with paints and figure out what I wanted by my third attempt. I've done a bit more painting, worked with more artists and experimented with different paints since then.
Where do you get artists and models? THE INTERNET!!! ... and sometimes I pick up people on the streets. I peruse artists' sites and model forums. I explain the concept to people I want to work with and sometimes they say OK. The artists decide what they want to paint and I find models. If you are looking for models, I suggest you approach artists, musicians, writers, people with tattoos, multiple piercings or hair dyed unusual colors. You will have a much better response rate from these individuals.
What paint do you use? I've used many things. Deviant Liquid Latex-Fun to use but OUCH!!! The first model I tried it on used lotion like the directions indicate. It was not enough. The second model used cocoa butter. She had a less painful removal experience but there were whimpers and squeals. Shaving longer hairs from all parts to be covered is best unless you enjoy pain. Use a sponge roller and apply with the person in the position they will be photographed. You get nasty drips and wrinkles otherwise. For painless removal, paint the areas to be covered with water based paint like the cheap stuff from Joann's, then paint over with Liquid Latex. When the latex comes off, the underlayer of paint is removed instead of skin and hair. (Somepeople actually like the sensation of latex ripped from their skin so yins can use it just like the packaging says. More power to ya!) Createx Multi Surface-I dilute tub paints with a little water and apply with sponge rollers and brushes. Two or three coats give even coverage. It is fast drying, flexible and easy to wash off. It looks better on hairless (or lesshairy) skin. Once dry, dust with a little powder in elbowand knee joints to delay peeling. I also love their airbrush paints in the squirt bottles. The opaques are great. Use a sponge roller instead of a regular sponge brush for large areas. The paint builds up and cracks easily when applied too thick. Cheap craft paint from Joann's & Wallmart-This stuff is great. I got a few bottles of the $0.99 paint and applied with a sponge roller. It doesn't go on as well as Createx air brush paint, but it is right decent. Also, the matte finish works better photographically. The expensive paints ($0.99 and up) are more opaque and come in more colors. but the cheap stuff is good for experimenting. Ben Nye - I tried Ben Nye Lumiere a while back and didn't like the results at all. It turns out the problem was mixing the paint with LiquiSet in the paint pot. I decided to give Ben Nye another try and got the Aqua Paint. If you mix it with a little water it works great. I tried several applicators and found cosmetic sponges work best for me. If you spray on a coating of Final Seal you can wear this stuff out on the town with no problem. Some folks say hair spray works too. Mehron has fantastic metallic powders and paints that can be mixed with water or LiquiSet. It's much better than Ben Nye stuff but not as many colors. I mix a little at a time with water and apply with a large brush. I'll try the rest of their stuff soon and post the results. Snazaroo makes pretty decent paints. Paul Roe got me hooked on this stuff. The paints are more opaque than Ben Nye's but harder to find. One supplier told me it's because the company makes it difficult to order their products. It goes on well with a brush or sponge. A single coat is pretty opaque if you're going to do a design on top of it. Two coats give really nice coverage. Once it dries, you can use another color on top without much bleeding and smudging. Even with water, it stays put way better than Ben Nye. Add Final Seal to your water for better wearability. Kinetic Artistry has an eight color sampler palate that's a real bargain.
What else to you do? I am a portrait photographer. I love photographing people. I photograph most people with clothes and without paint. I also photograph plants, animals and an occasional landscape. I have a long-standing love affair withs sculpture and pottery but I don't have the time and equipment to do much these days.
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How much do you pay models on your site? I only do TFP (Time for Print) for my artistic ventures. Models get websized proofs of the entire session, five nicely touched up signed 8x12 prints and a signed release form allowing use of the images for self promotion. Commercial use by the model is excluded. That means the photos can't be used on pay sites, be massed produced for cards, posters, etc., or sold in any way by the model unless certain use fees are purchased and specifically agreed to in writing.
Can I model for you? That depends on who I'm working with and what we need. My primary objective is to make a living so I'm not doing TFP photo sessions for everyone that wants to be painted. When there's a project in the pipeline, I go through all the folks that have volunteered and pick someone that fits the bill. If you want to model, please send a link to your website /online portfolio or e-mail a SMALL (less than 75 kb) photo of your face and body. Wear something that gives an idea of your size. Avoid baggy pants and bulky sweaters. I'm not confined to the narrowly defined conventional (commercial) concept of beauty, however, men have to be reasonably attractive, firm and lean. About 80% of people that want to model are male but I rarely sell photos of men so I don't do much male TFP. Attractive, well proportioned women of all girths are encouraged to model. I prefer working with dancers and folks that don't look like they're still in their early teens.
I'd like to be painted and/or photographed but I don't want anyone else to see the pictures. No problem! On the web, in galleries and in my portfolio, I only use photographs of persons that have agreed to the public display and sale of the images prior to the photo session. All models must sign a release form. Paying customers can rest assured that no one but me and my cats will see their photos. Click on Services for photo session prices.