Survival Guide

Hey, it’s rough out there! We all know this! So, it’s time to gear up to get your game on!


  • There is a vast temperature difference between the artist and model, even though they are inches away from each other. The artist will be sweating and hot, the model will be chilly and cold. Models you must learn to anticipate this and to plan ahead of time to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!
  • Bodypainting is physical. We have some participants who literally train as if they are about to enter an athletic event.
  • Footwear – please discuss with your models what shoes she will be wearing for the judging, photos and for stage. We advocate heels as they give a nice line to the entire figure. Perhaps she might bring more than one pair so as to have a choice that might suit the artwork best. She should also bring sandals or slippers for running around during the day.

For Artists

  • Lights in work area – You are welcome to consider bringing a portable worklight, such as the Utilitech Pro 1-Light 15-Watt LED Portable Work Light. This light is light-weight and only $20. For detail work, you might even consider an LED headlamp like this one for about $7.
  • Silent or very quiet air compressors ONLY, please
  • Extension cords, power strips
  • Plastic wrap, plastic bags (you might need this for clean up at the end of the night)
  • Old towels/rags for spills
  • Extra paper towels for quick clean-up
  • WARM WATER Your model doesn’t want to feel cold wet brushstrokes all day. For airbrush artists, your model will be blasted with cold, moist air for hours. Do your best to make her comfortable.
  •  Electric hair dryer, to warm up your model. Much better than a space heater!
  • Nicer clothes to change into for the evening show, Hey, why not? You’ll be on stage!

  • Artists: it is your job to discuss certain things with you model before the competition. Footwear, panties, costume elements, hair, and many other items should be discussed well in advance of the event. PLAN AHEAD!

For Models

  • Yoga mats ease the stress of standing for many hours! Yes, it’s going to get paint on it.
  • Straws for drinking (and not smearing your lip color)
  • Electric hair dryers. Think of it as a portable space heater…
  • Capes, ponchos or wraps that keep the heat in
  • Hand warmer packets (these cost less than a dollar at the drugstore)
  • Mittens, yes, mittens! And a winter hat!!
  • Warm, thick socks
  • leg warmers (works well for forearms, too)
  • A loose-fitting robe or wrap. You might need to go out to your car or down the hall to the restroom and it will be good to have a quick robe to cover yourself that won’t mess up the paint underneath.
  • WARM WATER You don’t want to feel cold wet brushstrokes all day! Ask for warm, clean water. Volunteers are on hand to change the water out. For airbrush artists, models will be blasted with cold, moist air for hours. PLAN AHEAD!
  • Pasties (or some kind of nipple cover) The law mandates that models MUST wear these!
  • Underwear options. G-strings/C-strings are acceptable
  • Sandals, flip-flops or some kind of footwear while being painted
  • Footwear options for stage
  • Old baggy clothes to drive home in. You don’t want to get paint all over your car seat. You can also lay a towel or an old sheet over your car seat.

Models – How to Avoid Passing Out!

  • Drinking Water! Stay hydrated!
  • Snacks! Eat a little all during the day to keep your blood sugar stable!
  • Do not lock your knees! Everyone has been told this, but they still do it anyway.
  • Stretch before starting!
  • If you’re feeling unsteady, hold on to someone’s shoulder or another object while being painted. A broomstick handle works well for this, but it can be anything that helps stabilize the model.
  • DO NOT tough it out!!! If you start to feel light-headed, sit down NOW!!!