Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Welcome to Behind the Scenes! Here I share with you my artist process, discussing the intention of each photo shoot, along with inspiration and challenges I've faced. I hope these posts bring you closer to understanding and interpreting art, while simultaneously getting to know me and my work.
Black Light body painting photo shoot
Modelling by Kealy Heeg. Photography & body painting by Kas Rea Visual Arts. Creative Team Jay Scott, Gerald Murray, Julia Aden.
Creating the Design
As a body painter, it's important to sketch before you paint! Model Kealy Heeg wanted the theme of water, so in the sketch, I included a waterfall, the night sky and galaxies. It's also important to make any props beforehand, so I made a glow-stick crown.
When painting in black light, if any skin is left bare, it will appear bright and light purple, which distracts from the other colours. To avoid this issue, I covered Kealy's skin with a dark purple paint. Clothing is difficult to paint, and it’s colours can also be distracting. Kealy wore a beige bodysuit, which is easier to paint over and also gives the impression that she is nude. This approach emphasizes the vibrant colours of the UV paint and causes the skin to almost disappear against a dark backdrop. The overall effect is bold, eye-catching and beautiful.
When using body paint, I never cover the bottom of soles of the feet, since this would leave footprints everywhere. I have models stand or sit on covered surfaces. Bodypaint is non-toxic, yet if left for a while on surfaces or fabrics it can stain. It's also helpful to work in regular lighting and then switching to UV light to see how the colours are looking.
Photoshoots are naturally collaborative. Each photographer has their own visions, the models strike poses and it is an amazing experience of being in "the flow state". This is when creative expression flows easily and whole-heartedly, which is what happened with this shoot. Our creative team worked exceptionally well together as we played with different backdrops, lighting effects, poses and props. The end results were fantastic.
Image editing can be an art in itself. I emphasize this because editing software allows the photographer to creatively explore endless possibilities to how their images will look. For some photos I put Kealy in the cosmos, adding a starry background, with light purple and pink filters, and I pumped up the vibrancy in certain colours. For processes such as this, I use Adobe Photoshop CC, combined with Adobe Lightroom. I've used these software's for a few years now and recommend it for more serious photographers. For more recommend artistic products, check out my blog here.
Black Light marks a huge milestone in my body painting journey. This was the first time I worked with black lights and it opened a door to new possibilities and expanded my knowledge of body painting. Overall, Black Light was an empowering and fun experience. I enjoyed working with new paints, new lighting and had a blast collaborating with a supportive creative team. This shoot was an amazing experience and a lot of fun!
That's it for now! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, I'm so glad you're here.