Welcome to the "LepreCon 28" bodypainting webpage.  This bodypainting was part of LepreCon 28, Arizona's annual art-oriented science fiction and fantasy convention featuring the largest SF/F art show in the Southwest!  This year's event was held at the Embassy Suites on May 17-19th and my live bodypainting demonstration took place on Saturday night starting at 11:30 p.m. 

I had searched extensively for just the right model for this project and when I found Tawnya Gentleman's on-line portfolio, I knew that she would be perfect for the part.  Tawnya specializes in fantasy character modeling, but her website at www.tawnyagentleman.com shows her versatility that even extends into her acting abilities.

I've learned to never underestimate the contribution of a great make-up artist for bodypainting images.  I am honored to have Phoenix's top make-up artist as a friend and her name is Dori Randall and her website is www.dorirandall.com .  Dori arrived early to apply Tawnya's make-up before the audience was shuffled in to the room and as always did a fantastic job...Thanks Dori!

I brought my digital camera to the event, but more importantly I brought professional photographer Don Crossland too.  Don is a total pro and was able to set up an on-location studio using strobe lights and medium format film.  I was pretty happy with a lot of my digital shots, but when I saw Don's images I was blown away at how they popped off the page.  The shots that you see here on the internet don't do justice to how "real" the photos actually look.  Don, your a weapon!  

Most people don't realize how much planning and coordinating goes in to doing a bodypainting session.  For this project I had to book the show itself with the people running LepreCon 28 and then I had to confirm the time and availability with the model, the make-up artist, and the photographer.  One of the next things that I normally do is a rough-draft version of what I plan to paint.  For this project I took an image from Tawnya's website and then, using Photoshop, I painted on the proposed outfit.  This helps to give the model an idea of what to expect from the session.

Now on to the session itself.  Before the audience was ushered in, Tawnya was given a "modesty cover" of paint so that she wouldn't be completely nude when the demonstration began.  The onlookers were comprised of approximately 50 convention attendees and we were all piled into a two-bedroom suite at the north Phoenix resort.  As I explained my bodypainting techniques step-by-step, the atmosphere remained jovial and fun.  Throughout the hour and a half ordeal, a few people had questions for Tawnya and I, while others were silently watching, and one fellow was helping to entertain the crowd by telling (bad) jokes.  Overall, a good time was had by all.

The main paint used for this project was Deviant brand liquid latex applied with a sponge brush.  To give the cuffs and pants an extra shiny sheen, the latex was sprayed with Deviant's Slick which is similar to Pam cooking spray effectively.  The gold and bronze areas were also first painted with black liquid latex and then dusted with Ben-Nye make-up dusts.  The accessories that topped off the image were a headress that I bought at the convention, a black cape modified to have a gold ringed tie, a couple of swords, and Tawnya's belly-button ring and boots.  Other than that, it's nothing but paint!  Unfortunately I was not able to take many progress pictures of this session, however, the entire session was digitally video taped and portions will most likely be made available in the near future on-line.

The storm troopers that were integrated into the photoshoot are a part of an organization called 501st Dune Sea Garrison.  Their mission (a very noble one I might add) is to to bring smiles to the faces of children, of all ages, by appearing around the Valley.  Talon is transformed into the imperial queen with storm troopers by her side.  She is the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia and therefore the grand daughter of Darth Vader in episode 7.

If you are interested in ordering a print from this photoshoot or would like additional information on bodypainting, please feel free to contact mark@futureclassx.com and visit my website at www.futureclassx.com .  Please browse through the additional images from the show below.  Thanks for visiting!


Click on the images below to enlarge.  These photos are by photographer Don Crossland.

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Unless noted otherwise, Photography and Artwork by Mark Greenawalt c2002

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