Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

My latest Body Painting

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Well… I did not win the competition (congrats to the winner!  hope to see photos soon of the winning entry) but here are photos of the body painting I did for the UK Face & Body Painting Photo competition.

The theme was “Over the Rainbow” and not wanting to go the obvious route I did a little research and found an Iroquois legend:

The Legend of Rainbow Path

Legends state that the Iroquois people believed that the sky was a land of its own, a lush and bountiful terrain where animal and man thrived. They viewed the Sun and the Moon as man and wife, a married couple who descended to the earth through an aperture in the sky and returned back through another hole to a better land at night.

Heng, the Thunder God, grew angry at the Sun as he viewed the Moon growing thinner and thinner and finally fading away. He believed that the Sun was mistreating his beautiful bride and so cast a giant black cloud across the shining face of the Sun. The heat from the Sun’s face melted the cloud, the result being a beautiful, big rainbow.

When the animals saw the glorious rainbow and all its colors, they thought it a bridge to the land in the sky. They went to their king, Old Turtle, and pleaded with him to let them ascend the path. Old Turtle warned them of the possible danger in doing this however the animals in their excitement ignored him. They didn’t realize that once the rain stopped the rainbow would disappear and they would be left in the sky with no way down.

The Iroquois legends claimed the gods outlined the animals’ bodies in stars and some of our constellations are still known for the animal shapes they represent.

All of these photos I took myself on my Sony Cybershot – unfortunately the mohawk in her hair doesn’t really show except in the one shot which we were goofing around for…

First is a full front view

Then some detail shots of the rainbow – the rainbow was done in Snazaroo Sparkles for those who care about those things…they worked really REALLY well for that. 

The animals are running up the rainbow to the sky.  And then the constellations – on the back are Leo (the Lion) and Cygnus (the Swan).

Detail of the Sun – doing this reminded me that placement of the elements of a design are really important, particularly if the purpose is for photography… the camera can only get a two-dimensional shot that doesn’t capture the curve around the leg aspect!

Here is an angle on her feet – a waterfall and mountains.

Here is the only shot I got that shows off the mohawk – silly pose and expression, but also shows the detail on the chest which is Ursa Major (the Big Bear) whose tail is the Big Dipper.

Linda, my model, is a co-worker at my day job and was a great model.  It was a very long day – she arrived around 11:30 a.m. and left around 8:30 p.m. after the photographer finished. 

I did her hair first, then painted her… then we waited for the photographer to arrive which is when I took my photos.  I wish I had thought to take some against a different background – all I would have had to do was hang a light coloured sheet on the black backdrop, then all the hair work would have shown.

I was VERY happy with the painting – it turned out much as I planned and better in some aspects.  The animals running up the rainbow were decided at the last-minute – I’d printed off dozens of different animals running from Google images and only chose which animals to use once I had the rainbow painted.

The rainbow, as I mentioned, is done in Snazaroo Sparkle colours which are very nice, the sky blue is Fardel, the sun, moon and clouds are Fardel, the black is Tim Gratton Body Paint, the white detail work is Wolfe, and there is a bit of other stuff in there too, on the feet mainly (the greens and blues etc. in the small scenes.)


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