All about body painting

Body painting is the most temporary, pain free, risk free and fun way of making your body look beautiful and different. It gives you a temporary change of looks. Whether you go for a theme party or you do body painting just for fun, body painting art is the most sought after form of body art these days. Today, we see body paintings being used in dance forms, theatres, pantomime presentations, painting galleries and even in some form of fake painted jewelry exhibits.

1. History

Body painting goes back to the primitive man and stone age periods. The aboriginal tribes used body painting as a method of supporting specific laws and religions. In New Guinea and amongst the Indians of North America, war paint on the face and body was very commonly used. You might very well remember the coloured, painted faces of clown that have been with us since our childhoods.

2. A form of expression

Today, body painting is considered as an art, a way of an artists expression of ideas. An artist today sees the human body as a canvas to transform his ideas into sensuous, sometimes erotic visuals. It depends on the model whether they want parts of their body painted or their full body to be the canvas for visual ideas of the artist. Some models who are not that comfortable in posing nude wear body suit to support the artists impression. Body painting has now become a famous and a serious career option for artists too. Detailed artwork and painting a full body take a lot of pain and hard work from the artists. Some artists do body painting as a hobby too. There is also a World Body Painting Association that holds Annual Body Painting festivals where body painters come from various parts of the world to showcase their talents.

3. Popular colors

Grease paint is the most common paint used on the body surface instead of just normal water colors which become cracked once they are dry, though they can be washed off easily. Grease paint help in providing the shine, smooth surface and it easily glides on the body surface. Large brushes, sponges and air brushes are used for body art. Most artists tend to use bold colors like gold or bronze to give their art a metallic finish and a bolder look.

4. Loopholes

Just like any other form of body art, body painting also has some disadvantages. Some people might be allergic to grease colors so they might have a reaction from body painting. Such paints can also cause trouble if they go inside a person’s eyes or nose. So basically, it is the artist who needs to take care of a lot of stuff and be extra cautious in giving the model a safe body art. The artist needs to see that the colors and make-up used are all approved by the FDA. The brushes used should be new with every model. Wet brushes from a previous body art of another model can transfer skin infections.


In India and many other Asian nations, henna as a form of body art color is extremely popular. It is the most harmless and totally herbal method of making a body color. Henna artists make different patterns of designs on the palms, hands, and legs of the model. Though the paste, after drying, leaves a dark reddish tinge for anyone who applies it, henna is the comparatively safer than any other chemical based body color. So the next time you want to have a body art, think about trying henna for a change or else just use some safe colors and have fun.

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