Posts from the ‘Body Paint’ Category
Body Painting in Ireland the story behind creating a Cyber Punk and Diesel Diva
PICTURES COMING SOON
Recently world renowned body painters Wolf Reicherter & Victoria Gugenheim travelled to Dublin in Ireland to take part in a photo shoot with Asian model sensation Piyanuch Chanphet, photographer Edina Valentova and steel artist RoboSteel. This is the story of the shoot told from the perspective of the Body painters, the photographer and the model.
The Body Painters Wolf Reicherter & Victoria Gugenheim
Wolf: “Early this year we were contacted by RoboSteel via Facebook. Victoria my partner (also a Bodypainter) had been friends with RoboSteel for some time. When I saw RoboSteel’s work I was blown away by their sculptures and quite honoured to hear that they are fans of my work too. Victoria and I gladly accepted the invitation to come to Ireland for a collaborative photo-shoot with RoboSteel and stunning model Piyanuch Chanphet. What an adventure!
I love to work with other artists and I love to see bodypaintings photographed in location. So this was an opportunity to have the cake, and eat it too. It was also the first opportunity for Victoria and I to work together as bodypainters. When you enter a relationship, things always become an adventure and a challenge. When two artists enter a relationship it becomes even more interesting. When you are both working in the same discipline… well, it is either asking for disaster or the beginning of something very special. When we boarded our flight to Ireland we were very excited and a bit apprehensive too about our first collaborative body paint. Sun and wind greeted us in Dublin.
You can always tell from the welcome you get how the shoot itself will turn out. And this one was going to be a really great one. After a really nice evening and a great breakfast the next morning, Victoria and I got ready to prepare our first joint bodypainting. We wanted the painting to include hints of the sculptures Robosteel creates, fuel and” VICTORIA: “biomechanical styling that hint at Giger and Predator to name a few influences. We also wanted to incorporate our own unique approach, something strong and stylish. The first shoot was something to compliment the RoboSteel bike, Wolf and I wanted to create a unique bio mechanical being with silver tones that were light and looked streamlined.
We achieved the looks with mostly Kryolan paints, including the liquid brilliance which can be quite challenging to work with. We tend to bodyscape first, laying out the basic lines of where we want to go, before filling in with colour and detailing. The detailing on the first concept was Wolf’s signature style.
Piyanuch was an incredible model to work with, not only a lovely person but really patient and dedicated when it came to the shoot, seeing it through to the end without any complaints. She’s a model we’d definitely want to work with again. We met with the Photographer Edina Valentova, again someone very professional. We were really blessed with this team as the synergy between us all was great. There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t committed and that’s priceless when trying to achieve a great piece of work.
We started shooting at the warehouse of Camara an Irish charity that recycles scrap PC’s, which are then sent to 3rd World Schools. After shooting there we decided to take it back to Edina’s studio, which is above a casino! It was pretty funny to see the reactions of the clients to a silver alien in a space blanket running past them! We also tried to take a few shots out on the street but were nearly arrested by the Garda (Irish Police), because the Queen was due to visit and security was extra tight in the Irish capital. The Garda chased us and after an aggressive and surly conversation with Edina and her assistant Tom Solden they made us delete the photos from the camera. Such are the times we live in!
Wolf and I expected to be finished after this, but much to our delight RoboSteel wanted us to stay to do another shoot, and both Wolf and I jumped at the chance. The next concept we did was darker and had a hybrid of regular and UV colours to make it stand out. This time Piyanuch looked more like an extension of the bike as opposed to a separate entity. The studio we shot at had some incredible props and we were fortunate enough to use some of these in the shoot including a smoke machine. The smoke turned out fantastic and really added to the atmosphere of the piece.
This body paint was much more labour intensive and I did most of the detailing this time. There was more highlight and shading and a darker silver mix. The UV back piece also took a lot of work, with around 5 or so layers of paint including highlights to achieve the look. Ultimately all the work was worth it, and we ended up with some amazing shots.
The Photographer Edina Valentova:
Edina: “I met Piya (Piyanuch Chanphet) few years ago on the street and since our very first shoot together she became one of my favourite models. Piya is so versatile in looks, amazingly creative at posing and of course stunningly beautiful with very unique features which are so hard to find in Ireland. Therefore I was really delighted when she asked me to cooperate on this fantastic project with the super cool Alien Bike from RoboSteel and striking body paint from world calibre painters Wolf Reicherter and Victoria Gugenheim. The whole setup took a couple of weeks to prepare, starting from putting together the whole idea, theme and online cooperation with the painters as they were coming to Ireland just for this shoot. Another thing was to find the right location to fit a 700kg heavy RoboSteel Alien Bike. On the day of the shoot, Piya was getting her paint done since early morning which altogether took 10 hours to finish and even from the original sketch it looked really complex, especially that we wanted to achieve 2 different looks from each body paint.
I was preparing the scene and playing around with lights and reflectors to get the exposure of the bike I was looking for as well as testing the UV lights for the 2nd part of the shoot. I spend about 5 hours setting everything up to make sure that when the model arrives (already tired after 10 hours of constant standing with spread arms being painted) everything would be ready to go.
Lighting itself consisted of 1 main light with body length softbox and grid to give an atmospheric feel and 3 other spotlights to show off the bike + two reflectors to fill unwanted shadows. We also used really a powerful smoke machine as a final touch to give it more realistic look. For the second part we used 3 UV tubes and just one spotlight as I wanted other features to be visible too instead of just seeing the fluorescent paint.
We did some warm up test shots after which Piya totally transformed into her character and nailed the shoot giving me a good variety of different poses. Then we switched to UV lights to get a completely different feel of the scene. The shoot ended at 2:30am in the morning and it was heart breaking to know that Piya would go home to wash that amazing body paint off. I could have definitely spent much longer playing around with this theme but we got the results we were looking for and all the effort and hard work paid off.
The Model: Piyanuch Chanphet
Modelling for full body paint is very different to most type of modelling I have done. For one the time involved from starting as a blank living canvas until when the painting is finished can take up to 10 hours and after this you have to go and pose for the shoot! Full body paint has always been an ambition for me and I had been waiting for the right opportunity to fulfil this modelling goal. When the opportunity came up to work as part of the team with Victoria, Wolf and Edina I was delighted.
Elaborate alien creations can be difficult to style in the traditional sense and it can be difficult for designers to make clothes that transfer the wearer into credible ScFi creatures. However, with body paint anything is possible and fantastic ideas can become reality. In fact when using body paints anything you can imagine can become real.
During the painting you need to be very still and make only small movements until the fixing spray is applied. During this time I found it useful to think about the concepts and become the character that was been created. The first shoot was robotic in nature so I imagine been a beautiful sophisticated female fembot. However, while we were looking for a sexy look we didn’t want a dumb and obeying character, so I thought of Number 6 from Battlestar Galactica and Cameron from the terminator series. The second shoot with the RoboSteel motorbike was tribal and this time Wolf and Victoria painted with some UV paints so we could get two looks from the same paint.
I wanted to go beyond the typical images you see doing the rounds in magazines and on Facebook. I have worked many times with photographer Edina Valentova and it didn’t take us long to connect and start producing images we could all be proud of. It’s always a pleasure to work with talented and creative makeup artists and photographers and it was a real pleasure to do my first body paint with Wolf Reicherter and Victoria Gugenheim. Looking forward to the next one I think I am hooked on the magic of body paint.
Photographer: Edina Valentova
Model: Piyanuch Chanphet (Piya)
Body Painters: Wolf Reicherter & Victoria Gugenheim
Assistants: Tom Solden and Maik Sinkovec
Concepts: Wolf Reicherter, Victoria Gugenheim & RoboSteel