Tips for Models



No matter your experience level, here are some tips helpful to bodypaint models throughout the course of a competition day. These suggestions are organized in an order that will also give you an idea of how the timeline will progress throughout our particular competition day. When in doubt, direct specific questions to your artist.



The Painting Portion of the Day

  • Most artists prefer that you arrive with clean, bare skin. Using moisturizer at bedtime the night before is fine, but skip moisturizing on the morning of the competition.
  • Bring microfiber g-strings in solid, neutral colors (black/white/beige) and ask your artist to choose, before you change. This is also a good practice to observe for high-heeled shoes for judging and stage – bring neutral choices and let the artist decide. It is a good practice to communicate with your artist ahead of time and find out what kind of shoes will go best with the planned bodypainting design.
  • Plan to arrive having eaten a light breakfast and properly hydrated. It is a good idea to sip water throughout the day, to avoid frequent bathroom breaks. Practice self-reliance when packing for the day… if you have any favorite light snacks (fruit or veggies, nuts, protein bars, etc), bring enough to keep your energy at a good level.
  • Please understand that you will be standing still, nearly nude for many hours of the day. Try not to lock your knees while standing. If you feel close to fainting, tell your artist immediately.
  • It is ALWAYS a good idea to stretch your muscles before the artist begins. It is also a good idea to stretch your limbs lightly when the artist has paused to clean brushes, switch paint colors, etc. Move your body when you have the opportunity, but always use caution with areas of still-drying paint.
  • If you do feel a muscle beginning to cramp (or just stiff/achy) or need to move for ANY reason, tell your artist so they can pause their work immediately.
  • Bring loose, comfortable clothing and comfy sandals for standing if you prefer not to stand barefoot. Some models also carry a robe to throw on during breaks. Please make sure that these are items you won’t mind if paint drips or rubs off on them (should come out in regular wash cycle).
  • You would be well advised to have thick, warm socks and mittens with you, just in case. Even a warm day can turn chilly when you’re wearing mostly paint and warm hands and feet can make a surprising difference in your comfort level.

For the Jury Area

  • Your appearance before the judges is a big part of the day. It is your job to showcase your artist’s work to it’s best advantage. Make sure you are aware of the “story” of the art that decorates every part of you and if the artist has “talking points”, be sure you have an idea of where  on your body they are located. You will want to turn, twist or move to show those parts off to judges.
  • Check in with the artist about the expression they expect from you. You may need to portray a fierce, wild creature… or appear serene and smiling… or anything in-between. This is the time to consider the character you are creating for the day. Your artist can tell you what they feel is most appropriate.
  • Stay alert to the jury members, as they may ask you questions. Follow any instructions they give you, such as moving closer or turning slowly, to allow them to see more detail in your painting.

For the Photographer’s Area

  • In the Photo Area, you will move through several backdrop situations for a variety of photographers.
  • This a great time to shine, emphasize your character and have FUN!
  • Even if you are experienced with beauty and fashion modeling for photography, bodypaint modeling affords you the chance to “go big”. Suddenly, you have a supernatural, larger-than-life appearance and it’s the perfect time to emote, exaggerate and experiment. Dancing, leaping, laughing, screaming, tumbling and body contortions or gymnastics (if you already have these skills!) often translate very well in bodypaint photography.
  • This is an opportunity for you to potentially create some of the most unique images that have ever been taken of you. Make sure you have business cards with your contact info, to network with any photographers you connect with during this time.

For the Stage Presentation

  • The stage presentation is the big show of the night. You will line up with your artist team in numerical order for the stage.
  • Here you are the star and it’s your time to shine! Keep in mind there is an audience vote being cast, so play to the crowd. You will have one minute on the catwalk to show the work to the audience, in whatever way you have prearranged with your artist.
  • In addition to music playing, there may a voice-over read by the stage emcee that summarizes the art you are presenting.
  • The music will fade and your announcer will cue you to leave the stage.

After Stage Presentation

  • Models can mingle in the audience, and enjoy the festivities.
  • If you are new to the world of bodypaint modeling, this is the time to enjoy the “rock star” treatment, pose for photos with your new “fans” and let people tell you how gorgeous and amazing you are!
  • We ask that models do not change back into street clothes, until after the conclusion of the event, which will be some time after midnight.

After the Event

  • Most bodypaint washes off easily with soap and water.
  • You may want to bring an old towel to put on your car seat for the ride home.
  • A robe, loose-fitting clothes and some sandals would come in handy too.

Other Links for Bodypainting Models 

These tips for bodypainting models are taken from the book
Bringing Bodypainting to Life” by Karala B. Wallace.

These tips are designed for models working at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria but can be useful to all bodypainting models.

Here is the LivingBrush Model Prep Page.