55+ Beautiful Body Paintings

Living on the verge of art, body paint has always been a provocative trait characteristic of either indigenous cultures or the fashion world. As time goes by, body painting is becoming increasingly popular and used in various commercial and mainstream activities. The art of body painting has diversified so much, as to have its own sub-categories, ranging over traditional, fashion, fine art body painting and even graffiti on body. The shared trait of all body painting styles is that they use body as canvas, emphasizing the transforming potential of the human skin.

Body painting has been around for centuries, typical for various cultures of Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. The Indian Mehndi is the traditional hand painting technique with henna, popular even in the western cultures today.

Since the 1960s, body painting has had a revival in the West, but it is still leading a battle to be recognized as a high-brow art form. Disputed by many art officials, body painting gathered an army of followers and aficionados.
Although usually associated with nudity, body painting does not necessarily imply the fully naked body, but can be executed on parts of skin, while the model is partially dressed.

The best places to enjoy body painting live are definitely body painting festivals. They are organized annually worldwide, bringing together star body painters and artists and the less known enthusiasts alike. The biggest body painting festival occurs in Austria, in the town of Portschach. Called the World Bodypainting Festival, it represents the largest event of the sort attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world. These events are not limited to any region and there are festivals in the Americas, Europe and Asia dedicated to body painting.

How to start body painting

While we admire the fantastic talent of some of the body painters, it’s no secret that anybody can get involved. If you prefer to create than to be painted on, here is how you can start applying body paint onto a model.

First of all, arm yourself with patience, as body painting takes a long time to complete. Six hours is considered fast for a full body work.

The basic equipment you will need are brushes, make-up sponges, regular sponges, rubbing alcohol, palettes, bottle of water and, of course – body paint. Body paint is sold in specialized stores and it is non-toxic and safe for the body.

Before starting any type of work on the body, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to paint. Perhaps it will be useful to create a few sketches as well.

Painting directly on a body may be a little intimidating at first, but if the atmosphere is good, both the artist and the model will get used to it quickly. The pressure onto the skin should be steady, but not too light, as this can tickle and make the model move. Make sure you advise your model on how to remove the paint afterwards. Check the paint for instructions, but one of the best ways to clean it in general is using the dishwashing liquid.

Finally, make sure all of your equipment, your studio and your hands are clean and sanitary, as you are about to touch somebody’s skin. Use floor covering and avoid any type of unsafe paint.

If you are in need of inspiration, here is a selection of 55+ beautiful body painting images, which may entice you to create something of the sort.

Captivating Human Body Painting By Chadwick And Spector

Landscape Body Art by Natalie Fletcher

For My Boys – Jenny Marquis bump belly paint

Hand body painting by Ray Massey

Body Art Snake

The resemblance to the real snake is astounding, but these are only human arms.


One of the most famous body painters today, Johannes Stötter, created this tropical frog by painting on five people.


Another masterpiece by Johannes Stötter.

Urban graffiti on body

An illusion is common in body painting, as seen in this clever setup at a green market.

Graffiti on girls – a whole different world of body painting.

World Bodypainting Festival 2013

A work from the festival, a double painting and a true work of art.

Girl – Flower

Another photo from the last year’s World Bodypainting Festival, depicting a flower concept on a model.

Photo by Federico Rossi

A wonderful example of expressive body painting.

1Body painting show

Body painting can be used in theatre, or create its own show.


Some of the best Halloween costumes are made with body paint.

Starry night body painting

Fine art on body – a clever turn on body painting and Van Gogh.

Camouflage body painting

Body painting can be a wonderful play with camouflage, bringing series of great photographs.

Henna hand painting

The traditional technique in India and some Middle Eastern countries, usually painted on brides.

Tribal body painting in Africa

Children of the Ethiopian tribe of Surma, showing off their traditional body paint.

Incredible Make-up

Make-up is the form of body paint, and it can create incredible forms and effects on a face or a body.

Lotus by Trina Merry

Beautiful floral composition by an artist Trina Merry.

Body painting – hand

Sometimes the body paint can be applied so perfectly that in combination with an ideally taken photo, it is hard to distinguish the real from the fake.


Body painting – Sagittarius

Body painting by Tim Engle

Body painting by JZino

Body painting by john vargas

Body painting by Gesine Marwedel

Body painting by Emma Hack

Body painting by Craig Tracy

Body painting by Gesine Marwedel

Body painting by Chery Lipstreu

Body painting by Alexa Meade



Body painting by Craig Tracy

Venom body paint by Georgette

Utopia body painting by Craig Tracy

Typography-Body-Paint- Anastasia Durasova


Realistic baby

Puzzling body art

Million ming vase by Emma Hack 

Metamorphisis by trina merry


Innovation Body Painting1

Human-Motorcycle-Body-Painting-by Trina Merry

Hand painting by Guido Daniele










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