Tag: body paint

Living Art America 2017 – 3rd Place at North American Bodypainting Championships

 

Heal the body, heal the world” was the theme for the 2017 North American Bodypainting Championships, hosted by Living Art America. On October 14, 2017, U.S. and international body painters converged on Greensboro, NC to present our interpretations of the theme. We had 6.5 hours to complete our pieces and this year I was assisted by my friend and body painting colleague, Anja Yamaji. I’m so pleased to share that we were awarded with 3rd place in the professional category!

In preparation for this piece, I spent hours researching and brainstorming and eventually, a personal story emerged.  The final result became an illustration of my experiences from the past year. During the presentation to the judges and audience, I gave the following explanation as our model, Emma Dubin, walked the runway:

“This piece is about the analogy of a seed for healing our bodies and healing the world.

“Individual seeds need nourishment and care. Last year, I was dealing with anxiety about climate change and the planet and my body and brain were suffering for it. Friends around me noticed, and encouraged me to go back to basics with nourishing foods for my body. Next, I reconnected with nature through gardening and rediscovered the childhood joys of watching a seed grow. Like a seed, my roots were developing and I found that there were others around me who were concerned about climate. I participated in marches and saw the phrase, ‘They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.’ We may feel buried by stressors, but we’re still growing. I joined an organization that empowers citizens to reach out to their representatives in Congress about climate. I went to Washington D.C. with them in June and I’ll never forget the moment when over a thousand of us walked in front of the U.S. Capitol building on our way to meetings with our members of Congress. We were like a swarm of seeds, coming together, and lifting each other up by reaching out and supporting those around us.

“While I was in D.C., I also learned about Our Children’s Trust (represented in the faces on the front of the torso). It’s a group of young people from across the United States who have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government to secure the legal right to a safe climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.  Their efforts send a message that the next generation of seeds is rising up, changing the landscape, and actively seeking to heal the world.”

Scroll down to my photo gallery for more images and a peek at my sketches. The Greensboro News & Record’s photo gallery captured some behind-the-scenes of the event too.

Thank you to the 2017 judges: Craig Tracy, Robin Slonina, Jinny Houle, and Alex Barendregt. And thank you to Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco for organizing such a wonderful event!

Connect with me on FacebookInstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

The caption with our names is incorrect. View the full photo gallery here: http://www.greensboro.com/gallery/all_galleries/bodypainting-championship/collection_587259b7-04f3-5600-9e36-873fd7c38db0.html#3

Living Art America 2016 – North American Bodypainting Championships

Living Art America 2016 - Bodypaint by Breanna CookeOn September 24th, I was one of many U.S. and international body painters who converged on Greensboro, NC for Living Art America’s 2016 North American Bodypainting Championships. This was my first time in the professional category and there were some phenomenal competitors. We had 6.5 hours to complete our pieces and many artists worked with an assistant (I’ll be looking for an assistant next time!). The theme for the event was “Face of Change” and my piece is about changing the face of climate change.

I care deeply about the environment and my initial research and design was focused on so many of the negative images of climate change. I was being dragged down into despair each time I worked on the piece. However, a week before Living Art America, I attended the National Drive Electric Week event in Dallas and my spirits were lifted. I met so many inspiring people who are passionate and vocal about renewable energy and promoting change. After attending that event, I revamped my design with only a few days left before heading to Living Art America. I turned the focus from the negative and focused on the positive scientific discoveries and renewable options that already exist. A friend shared a research study from the University of Illinois at Chicago about artificial leaves that can turn CO2 into fuel and I made that story the main focus of the design (Read the full article here). Keep in mind, my design is just my artistic interpretation of their research, it’s not what the artificial leaves look like.

Presentation to Judges

Below is the description that I presented to the judges of Living Art America:

Living Art America 2016 - Breanna Cooke

“Carbon dioxide, the invisible yet leading factor in global warming, has caused some of the most sensitive organisms on our planet to become the face of climate change. Events such as widespread coral bleaching from warming oceans (seen on her shoulders), have become the saddening images we associate with climate change. On her forearms and lower legs, we have bioluminescent plankton, that light up when they’re disturbed. Her hands and feet are covered in them to represent our human impact and disturbance of nature.

“However, in order to slow the prevalence of these images and events, scientific discovery will be, and must be, the new face of climate change. In July this year, engineers created a new kind of artificial leaf (shown on her stomach) that efficiently converts atmospheric CO2 into a burnable fuel, and it only uses sunlight for energy (shown on her chest).  It is essentially doing photosynthesis, like plants. So instead of producing energy in an unsustainable one-way route from fossil fuels to greenhouse gas, we must reverse the process, remove excess CO2 and find ways to fuel greener, more sustainable cities (seen on her thighs).

Living Art America 2016 - Bodypaint by Breanna Cooke“But until we can implement new discoveries like this on a wide scale, we must actively cut our carbon emissions. This means embracing the renewable energy sources that already exist, such as energy from wind and solar (seen on her back and sides).

Our world has already changed with rising temperatures and sea levels (shown in the waves encroaching on our cities), but with science, we can go forward.”

Stage Presentation

After judging, the models have an opportunity to present the work on stage. I chose the song “Save Our Planet Earth” by Jimmy Cliff since it has a powerful yet upbeat message about protecting our planet.

Awards Gala

At the Living Art America Awards Gala, I received a Special Judges’ Award from judge Robin Slonina (Skin Wars’ Judge, Owner of Skin City Bodypaint), in recognition of the message and design I had chosen. I was absolutely thrilled by the award and left feeling inspired to keep sharing the message to #saveourplanet.

 

For more photos, connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

UPDATED: 10/19/2016 – Correction to “University of Illinois at Chicago,” instead of “University of Chicago”.

The Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey Team Up

 

When I made my Flying Monkey costume, I never dreamed that I would meet a Wicked Witch of the West! Chelphie Cosplay is the creator and wearer of this fantastic witch costume and she has a pretty spectacular cackle too — just ask! Our dynamic duo has been spotted at a few events and we even placed 2nd in the 2013 Dallas SciFi Expo Costume Contest. Check out some of the photos:

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey by Ken Pearson
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

 

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey costumes
Photo by Vodka Photos

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013 - Photo by Last Ryghtz
Photo by Last Ryghtz

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013
Photo by Alan Tijerina

Read my Flying Monkey Costume blog post to see more behind-the-scenes photos for my monkey costume.

Flying Monkey Costume from Wizard of Oz

Breanna Cooke Flying Monkey at Dallas Museum of Art Late Night

When the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a Wizard of Oz-themed Late Night event, I couldn’t resist making a Flying Monkey costume with my own twist! I already had the black feathered wings, so I just needed to make the outfit. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos of how I put it all together:

1. Hat

Flying Monkey Hat from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The hat is made from a Laughing Cow Cheese container, craft foam, and cotton fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t document it well while I was working on it. The side of the hat is craft foam covered in fabric. I used spray glue (Super 77) to glue the fabric to the craft foam. I drew the zigzag design on paper, then traced it on the red, white, and black fabric, and made each one slightly larger than the last. The zigzag pieces of fabric were also glued with spray glue. I also added a chin strap with thin elastic, like the elastic on party hats.

Materials:

  • Laughing Cow Cheese container (empty)
  • Craft foam
  • Cotton Fabric: light blue, red, white, black
  • Spray Glue (Super 77)

2. Wig

Flying Monkey Wig from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The wig started out as a weird Moses/Zeus wig from Party City. I didn’t have enough time to order anything online, so I used what I could buy locally. Armed with scissors, I slowly cut away at it to give it the signature widow’s peak of the monkeys (and most simians) in the 1939 edition of Wizard of Oz. I had my doubts at first but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Materials:

  • Grey wig
  • Scissors
  • Head form

3. Jacket

Flying Monkey Jacket from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

I created a paper pattern for the jacket based on reference photos and an existing fleece vest I own. Using plain cotton fabric in light blue, red, white, and black, I cut out all the layers to create the zigzag pattern and jacket base. I glued the zigzag layers together with spray glue (Super 77), attached it to the blue part of the jacket, and added interfacing to give the whole jacket the structured shape. I also added slits in the back of the jacket (not shown) for my wings to poke out.

Materials:

  • Cotton Fabric: Light blue, red, white, black – measure the amount you need based on your paper patterns and don’t forget about the hat!
  • Interfacing

4. Bodysuit

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Bodysuit - by Breanna Cooke

This costume, like my dragon costume, features a hand-dyed and painted bodysuit. I first tested the dye on a scrap of Lycra (1st image). I used Jacquard’s Dye-na-flow black, watered it down, added a few drops of Jacquard’s AirFix, and brushed the dye onto the bodysuit. Once it was dry, I painted on the fur with Jacquard’s Neopaque and Lumiere fabric paints.

Materials:

  • 1 white Bal Togs body suit
  • 1 bottle Jacquard Dye-na-flow black
  • 1 bottle Jacquard AirFix
  • Jacquard Fabric Paints: Black and White (Neopaque), Pewter and Pearlescent Blue (Lumiere)
  • Paint brushes

5. Feet

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Feet - by Breanna Cooke

I wanted to look like I was barefoot without actually being barefoot! Using some white socks (synthetic fabric), I stuffed them with polyfill, then dyed and painted them with fabric paints (same as used on bodysuit). I applied Zombie Skin (a creamy latex) to the toes to reinforce the toe area. I pulled the stuffing out of the socks, added some foam insoles, then cut out holes for each my toes. When I wear the costume, I paint my toes with same blue bodypaint I use for the face (see #7).

Materials:

  • White Socks (synthetic fabric, like liner socks)
  • Zombie Skin (latex)
  • Polyfill (or rags to stuff inside)
  • Fabric paints and dyes (see #4 Bodysuit)

6. Wings

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - wings - by Breanna Cooke

I made these wings a few years ago for my Harpy costume but they worked well for my monkey costume too. The frame was commissioned from Danielle Hurley and she does amazing work! I used chicken wire as the frame for the wings and hot-glued it to black canvas. I hot-glued approximately 350 black turkey feathers for the wings and used down from a black feather boa for the top. Needless to say, these wings are a tad heavy but they are definitely sturdy!

Materials (for the wings, not the frame):

  • Black canvas fabric
  • Chicken wire
  • Gloves and wire cutters
  • Black turkey feathers
  • Black feather boa

7. Face

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - face - by Breanna Cooke

I followed reference photos from the movie so I could capture the big smirk of the monkeys. Since I wasn’t using any prosthetics, I also needed to give the illusion of monkey features with makeup. I painted my nostrils black to make them look wider and added accent lines to widen my nose and mouth. I used professional water-based bodypaint to paint my face, hands, and toes and red lipstick on my lips.

Bodypaints (all water-activated cakes):

  • light blue (Kryolan)
  • light grey (Kryolan)
  • storm grey (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • red (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • white (WolfeFx)
  • black (WolfeFX)

And there you have it!

Flying Monkey - Photo by Ken Pearson Photography
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

I’ve also been known to hang around with a certain Wicked Witch of the West (Chelphie Cosplay) at various events. Have a look at photos of our dynamic Oz duo.

Get Your Tickets – Living Art America’s Bodypainting Events in Atlanta Oct 2-4

BodyArtBall

If you live in Atlanta, you’ve got 3 amazing opportunities to see beautiful body painting this week!! Be sure to buy your tickets in advance, tickets will not be sold at the door.

Thursday, October 2nd 
Fluoro Show – UV/blacklight body painting feat. performers from Atlanta Ballet
INFO: http://www.livingartamerica.com/flouro-show
TICKETS: http://living-art-america.ticketleap.com/ultra-violet-fluoro-bodypainting-show-in-3d/

Friday, October 3rd
Body Art BallA vaudeville style art exhibition of entertainers and circus performers that will act as living canvases.
INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/550736555048907/
TICKETS: http://living-art-america.ticketleap.com/body-art-ball/

Saturday, October 4th
North American Bodypainting Championships – Bodies As Works of Art (This is when I’ll be painting!) –  Come for a fantastical runway show and see the final works of art by the competitors.
INFO: http://www.livingartamerica.com/
TICKETS: http://living-art-america.ticketleap.com/bodies-as-a-work-of-art-the-north-american-bodypainting-champio/

See you there!

LAA2014artistpromo-BCooke01

Avatar Costume: Dr. Grace Augustine with Body Paint

Dr. Grace Augustine costume with body paint

Who could resist dressing up when going to “Avatar: The Exhibition“! Since it was December, dressing up as Dr. Grace Augustine (Na’vi version) seemed like a more practical option in order to stay warm.  Here are some tips for doing this costume:

Paints used:

I used the paints that come in the Silly Farm Pandora kit.

  • 1 Kryolan Light Blue
  • 1 Silly Farm Avatar Rainbow Cake
  • 1 Wolfe White
  • Fixative Spray

Clothes:

  • Maroon or red tank top
  • Tan safari shirt
  • Tan Cargo Shorts
  • Brown hiking boots
  • Dark calf height socks
  • hemp necklace
  • Headband (long strip of light colored fabric)

Steps:

1. Get dressed in your tank top and pants. If you’re planning to wear shorts and paint your legs, leave your shorts off and just carefully pull them on at the end.

2. Paint a layer of light blue all over the exposed areas. Don’t paint your hands yet.

3. Using the dark blue side of the combo cake, paint stripes on your face and arms. Allow the stripes to be a bit uneven and jagged, they’ll look more realistic this way.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_001

4. Using the light blue side of the combo cake, paint a thin stripe down the center of each dark blue stripe. This will help give it more dimension and depth.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_002

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_004

5. Using the white cake, paint small white dots while following the edges of the blue stripes.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_003

6. Put on your wig, necklaces, and remaining clothes.

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_005

7. Paint your hands. Then spray yourself with fixative spray to help seal in the paint.

8. Have fun!!

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_007

BCooke_Avatar_12-2012_006

Fiery Phoenix Costume

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_10022

My Halloween costume was a mythological phoenix, the colorful red and gold bird that bursts into flames and is reborn from its own ashes. This costume consumed all my free time in September and October, but I’m really pleased with the result! I’ve posted these instructions on Instructables.com too!

Bodysuit:

– 1 white full body unitard (Bal Togs brand)
– Jaquard brand fabric paints – 2.25fl oz size
– Lumiere line (2 crimson, 2 gold, 2 burgundy, 1 burnt orange)
– Neopaque line (2 yellow, 2 gold yellow, 2 red, 1 black)
– paint brushes
– 1 iron (for heat setting)
– 1 mannequin to hold your bodysuit’s shape

How-to Paint the Body Suit:

Plan out your design, then start painting! This design took me at least 40 hours to complete. Having a mannequin is crucial for holding the body suit in the stretched position. The body suit is made primarily from nylon, so I chose Jaquard paints because they were one of the few that list nylon as a suitable base. If your body suit is made from a different fabric, you may want to investigate a different brand of paint or do a test sample. After the body suit is dry, flip it all inside out and iron it with the correct setting for the fabric. I placed towels in the legs and arms so the designs weren’t pressed together under the heat.

Bird Feet Boots:


– 1 pair of boots
– 1 inch thick green high-density foam (sold a fabric stores for seat cushions)
– white craft glue
– scissors
– 6 fake bear claws
– black or brown acrylic paint
– 16oz liquid latex
– foam brushes
– fabric paints for painting the boots to match (leftover from body suit)
– paint brushes
– Hot glue and gun OR Liquid Nails perfect glue

How-to Create Bird Feet Boots:

Using craft glue, stick together pieces of foam so that they are wide enough for a toe (about 3 inches wide). Shape the foam with scissors so that it is rounded and toe-like (repeat 5 more times). Cut out an insert for the claw, but don’t glue the claw in yet. Paint the green foam with acrylic paint so it matches the boots. Using the foam brushes, paint the toes and boots with liquid latex. Be sure to follow the instructions on the liquid latex. Once the latex is dry, glue in the claws. Then paint the boots to match your costume. I used fabric paints since they would match the body suit even though they’re not the perfect paint for sticking to latex (and I’m not sure what is).

Headpiece:


– 2 4’x4′ pieces of polyethylene foam
– hot glue and gun
– 1 red and 1 gold spray paint
– 2-3 sheets of kids thin craft foam
– acrylic and fabric paints (leftover from body suit)
– paint brushes

How to Create Foam Headpiece:

Create paper patterns of each spiral piece and cut them out of polyethylene foam. Glue the pieces together with hot glue so that the flat sides are together and there’s a space for your head. It’s almost like making a helmet. Cut out pieces of the thin craft foam for the beak and side “feathers” and glue on with hot glue. Give the entire headpiece a base coat with spray paint, then add accents of color with acrylic paint and any leftover fabric paint.

Wings:

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_04018

– 1 pair of Isis belly dance wings (available online)

Face:

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_07020
– Face and body paint – Paradise, FAB, and Kryolan water-based cakes
– paint brushes

How-to:

With water-based face/body paints, dip your brush in water and rub it on the surface of the dry cake until the paint is a smooth and creamy consistency. Now paint your face however you wish! I don’t have any process photos of this part, so you get to be creative!

BCooke_10-2012_BreannaThePhoenix_01015

How To Seal Water-Based Body Paint

One of the common questions with body paint is: Will it rub off?  

And in general, the answer is: Yes, it will eventually rub off.  BUT, that said, there are some products available to help seal on your paint and make it last longer.

Products to Seal Water-Based Body Paints

Below are some of the products I use. There are other products out there, these are just ones that I have experience with. All are available at SillyFarm.com:

Ben Nye LiquiSet – Use it instead of water to activate the paints and it will help seal on the paint. I’ve found this to be slightly sticky/tacky when it’s dry…which I guess is why it helps “stick” the paint on.

Ben Nye Final Set – Put it in a spritzing bottle and spray yourself when you’re all done painting. Let it dry before you touch it!!

Kryolan Fixer Spray – Looks like a bottle of hairspray and it essentially works the same way. Just spray all over the paint when you’re done.

Some Lessons I’ve Learned…

  1. Once the paint is dry and sealed, you can touch it with dry hands.  It’s not the kind of thing where it will come off as soon as you touch it; it requires some friction.
  2. Don’t sit directly on someone else’s fabric furniture. Sitting on furniture won’t rub off the paint completely, but you’ll likely leave mark. Even though the paints are water-based, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Use an old sheet to cover things you sit on. I often have to drive while painted, so I cover my seat and seat belt with sheets and towels.
  4. If you sweat a lot (especially on your face) consider using grease paint instead of water-based body paints.
  5. If someone touches you with wet hands, it will smear the paint.  Sometimes at parties, people just can’t resist touching you, so be prepared for your creation to get a little messed up.

Happy Painting!

Egyptian and Mehndi-Inspired Body Painting

I had my paints out at an “Arabian Nights”-themed party and painted the night away! I painted 22 people over the course of the evening, but as usual, I started forgetting to snap photos of each one. I’m glad I created the boards of design options, it really helped give people direction. All of the designs done with brush and sponge.

Design Board. Offering limited options is a great way to manage your time with a large group of people.
Design Board (I added more options after taking this photo).

Neytiri from Avatar Costume with Body Paint

Apparently blue is my color!

This year’s costume was Neytiri from Avatar.  I decided to use body paint instead of liquid latex like my Mystique costume last year.   I did the majority of painting myself, though I needed help with my back.  Here is the final result, but keep scrolling down if you’d like to see more photos of the process.  The professional photos are courtesy of T.J. Hall Photography.

Breanna Cooke as Neytiri from Avatar with full body paint. Photo by TJ Hall
Photo by TJ Hall Photography
Full body paint costume for Neytiri from Avatar. Photo from T.J. Hall Photography | www.tjhallphotography.com
Neytiri from Avatar with body paint
Backside of body paint.

Body Paint

I purchased a “Pandora Kit” from SillyFarm.com.  The kit included all the blues I needed, and it worked perfectly for painting a full body.  I also purchased some glow-in-the-dark body paint so that the white dots would glow.

1. Apply the light blue all over your body with a sponge. 

Starting out the painting

2. Use the 2-blue combo cake (it should be shimmery) for the stripes. Start by painting stripes with the dark blue, then add a highlight with the light blue right on top of the dark one.

Painting Progress

3. Use white is for adding the dots, then go over them again with glow paint (optional).

Closeup of arm details.

UPDATE 10/10/2012: Check out my tips on how to seal water-based body paint.  This will help prevent your paint from rubbing off on everything.

Costume

I made the beaded arm bands by painting Mardi Gras beads and sewing them onto  elastic bands.

Painting Mardi Gras beads with acrylic paint
Closeup of arm bands.

I purchased the wig online.  If you search for “Deluxe Neytiri wig with ears” you’ll find the same wig from various vendors.  I also glued some feathers into the braids to make it fuller and match Neytiri.

Feathers added to the braids of the wig.

I made the outfit from scraps of fabric and a bikini bra top from the fabric store.  I made the straps by braiding fabric and I stitched fabric on to the front of the bra cups by hand.  The loincloth (not pictured) was  two rectangles of fabric sewn on to a pair of black underwear.

Bra top from fabric store.
Straps made of braided fabric.
Top with fabric attached.