Face Paint Part 1

For this Keys-Works project we had some fun with body paint. The initial goal was to paint our models' upper bodies in a color that complemented their eyes, but throughout the shoot we discovered that, as always, not everything works out the way we planned. Read on for more...

Our make-up artist Eline started off painting our model and location owner Linda, while I put up two backgrounds (which required help that I got from the ladies).
Two 1.5 by 2.5 meter strips of plain black and white fabric functioned as the backgrounds. Note that painting someone's entire upper body takes quite some time; the rough work alone took at least half an hour, so if you ever attempt this, take that into account. We used Mehron Paradise make-up in Basic White for Linda and Nuance Foxy (orange) for Eline. The make-up comes in small cakes of 40 grams. It didn't take a lot to cover a large area, so the make-up can probably be re-used many times before it runs out.

We started Linda off at the white background and lit the shot with the Metz Mecablitz 52 off to the right. Linda was positioned off the background as to not cast distracting shadows. Above are some of the first pictures almost straight out of camera (some adjusting in Lightroom). The results were quite impressive right off the bat, so we kept on shooting for a bit, trying different poses. Eline also brought red lipstick and nail polish as an add-on for later, but we stuck with all white at first (adding lipstick is easier than removing it).
After a while we figured we ought to try the black background to see if that worked.

The black background seemed to work less well than the white one, so after a few not very impressive shots we went back to the first background. We did some motion shots with the flash, but none came close to the first shots, the still poses were simply stronger. Eline was almost finishing up with painting herself orange, so it was time to add some contrast with the lipstick and nail polish.

This is when the images really started to pop. I took the two on the right into Photoshop, so you could see those as final images. I was quite satisfied with how they turned out, so we were ready to finish up and move on to the next model, but before we moved on we quickly grabbed some props that Linda had lying around, as we couldn't re-apply the make-up after taking it off (limited time and such).

The feather's colors were a pretty cool addition, but I preferred the simplicity of just the model, so the images above have only been through Lightroom. Check out part 2 for the other half of the shoot!