Get stuck into body painting this festival season

150 150 Vanity Van

Body painting top tips…


  1. Get creativeCome up with a theme and research it online and experiment – practice makes perfect. Confidence in brush strokes comes with experience. 
  2. Copy and practice – Find other peoples pics online and copy them until your picture perfect then start being imaginative and let your creativity go wild.
  3. Use the right tools – Use the correct brushes for the job. Good quality vinyl brushes are the best. You can pick up these up in most arts and crafts shops like the Range or Hobby craft.
  4. Try different techniques – Play around with lace, fish net, powders, feathers, diamantes, make up such as eyeliners, liquid eyeliners, stick on shapes – the world is your oyster. Eyelash glue is great for attaching things to skin in a safe way.
  5. Try different types of application for your base – Bases can be created with dusts, powders, sponging on, stippling with kabuki brushes, mixing liquid combined with powder, make up etc..
  6. Consistency of paint – Use a spray bottle on the paint to get the right wetness and consistency – it’s vital that the sponge is not too wet and that brushes have the right consistency of paint so you can brush with confidence in one stroke. Spray the paint and lather the paint onto the brush – always test on the back of your hand for consistency and use the back of hand to help make sure the brush fibres are pointed and ready to brush.
  7.  Hold your brush correctly – Turn your brushes as you work to fit the purpose, hold it like a pen and change direction to suit the design. Use fingers as balance for a steady hand.
  8. Correcting mistakes – always have baby wipes, cotton buds to correct things and tissues to dry things to hand.
  9. Fixing – use a makeup fixing spray or hair spray to give staying power to your designs
  10. Hygiene – change your brush water frequently, clean your hands and use anti-bacterial gel.
  11. Bindi application – put a little cream or Vaseline on the skin and on the bindi and dip it in the powder. Add extra details and colours using cocktail sticks and get creative with diamantes and similar. Fix with spray for lasting hold.

Essential tools:

  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Sponges
  • Glitter
  • Water spray
  • Water pot
  • Tissues
  • Baby wipes

 Product tips

  • Sponges can be picked up cheaply from supermarkets – baby sponges are great for the right density for application and are very cheap
  • Mehron and Snazaroo are the main paint patty providers. Mehron also do a fantastic range of metallic powders which can be applied dry or with mixing powder for background and finishing effects. Charles Fox also have a great range.
  • Stargazer do an amazing range of thick UV neon paints & glitter dusts. Wolfe do neon palettes.
  • Look for fine glitters if the glitter is the wrong size it will show up too much on the design and not give the right shimmer. Although larger flake glitters are great to create their own effects.

Leopard print

Vanity van body art leopard

  • Create a base either using paint and allowing to dry a little or a metallic dust or powder
  • Using a brown paint create random sized splodges
  • Using a black paint and a medium / small sized brush draw two uneven C shapes around the brown splodge
  • Use a white and a small brush to highlight 
  • Dust with glitter 
  • You can use a stencil for this


Vanity van body paint tribal

  • Create a base either using paint and allowing to dry a little or a metallic dust or powder
  • Spray water onto paint and sponge. 
  • Using a flat headed straight brush to create thick bold and straight black edged lines and patterns. 
  • Dust with glitter 
Tips for using stencils
  • Always ensure your base colour if there is one is dry
  • You must get the consistency of the sponge / paint right – too wet a sponge and runny paint and you will end up with a bleed of colour
  • Hold the stencil carefully in place use medical tape to stop it moving
  • Stipple with light movements
  • Finish off with glitter really makes the design pop!
  • Clean the stencil thoroughly with baby wipes after use


Vanity van Body art flowers

  • Using a petal brush – which is one with a full middle and pointed tip, dip into water, dry off a little then soak in the main colour.
  • Make the end slightly wet and pointed and dip the end of brush in water and into a different complimenting colour.  This will give two tone effect
  • Create petals by placing onto the skin in a flower formation
  • Use nib of brush and paint  to create the stigma (middle of flower )
  • Use a small detail brush to create  vines and leaves 
  • Dust with glitter 

Vanity van body art experiment

  • Play with products!
  • Use paints and powders to create different looks – this was created by painting black paint and sponging on a metallic powder over the top
  • Flake glitter can create some amazing effects
  • Use colour body sprays and lace, fish net tights or similar to create some insane patterns and scale like effects
  • Characters – recreate your favourite characters from film, cartoon or books. Super heros, wildlife, fantasy, horror the possibilities are endless…