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Body Art With Liquid Latex

Jan 22, 2008
Body painting is as old as history itself. It has been practiced by cultures worldwide for centuries. It was used by many tribal communities during times of war to frighten enemies and has been used over the years as ways of enhancing one's appearances for performances on stage as well as in film.

In the past fifty years or so liquid latex has found it's way into the bags of makeup artists in order to create looks from sensual to sublime for film. The use of liquid latex today is commonplace with everyday people that practice the art of body painting. This fluid like material can be painted directly onto a model's skin. Complete outfits that can be worn in public can be produced with the use of liquid latex.

I've listed below a some tips to aid in using liquid latex for bodypainting.

Always consider allergies if you are going to use liquid latex. Rubber and latex allergies are not uncommon so it is important to make sure your model doesn't have an adverse reaction to it's use. Begin by putting a small amount of the liquid latex on a small patch of skin and allowing it to dry. After it dries remove the liquid latex patch and look for redness or skin irritation before moving forward. It is common for a model to have some slight itching sensations as the skin begins to breath under the latex coating but persistent irritation or itching is a sign that the model may have an allergy to the product.

Liquid latex will bond to almost anything so be sure it is kept away from any type of clothing or furniture surfaces you don't want painted also. A tarp or dropcloth is a good way to avoid any unwanted stains. It is also a good idea for the painter to wear old clothing.

Liquid latex contains a small amount of ammonia and sulfur so make sure your work area is well ventilated. A good practice also is to open the liquid latex container and let it breath for a short time before using it. As the liquid latex begins to dry it will make your model feel cold so a well heated work area is also a good idea.

Body hair can become a problem when painting someone with liquid latex. One way to avoid any problems with hair is to either shave or trim the hair before you begin. If trimming or shaving isn't an option then use a liberal amount of any type of skin lotion and allow it to saturate the skin before you begin. The use of the skin lotion will also aid in removal of the latex skin although this isn't necessary due to the loosening affect skin perspiration has on latex coating.

Applying liquid latex is much like applying any type of paint. A painter's brush can be used or a foam brush can be used. Apply the liquid latex in even coats over the area you intend to paint and then allow it to dry completely before applying another coat. Hair dryers can be used to aid in the drying process just be sure you don't dry out your brushes at the same time. 3 or more coats are best for full and complete coverage. Make sure also that any body parts painted with the liquid latex don't touch each other because the latex will stick to itself and when your model moves it will rip the latex coating.

Always consider safety when using liquid latex so follow these simple rules:

* Use the liquid latex in a well ventilated area
* Never apply liquid latex close to the eyes
* Keep out of the reach of children
* Do not use if the model has hypersensitive skin or is allergic to latex,rubber or sulfur
* Never apply liquid latex to any type of open wound
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