Body painting: Representation of colorful art with bright acrylic colors

Body painting is one of the most fascinating art forms in the world. People love it and they are naturally drawn to it. Human bodies covered in paint intrigue us and catch our eyes.

Body painting: Representation of colorful art with bright acrylic colors

baroque-body-paint-violet_ (Photo- Google)

Every major society has had at least one body art tradition. There are so many ways to be human, and many different views of beauty. Sometimes, the marks of identity can be disturbing to others, but they have a very deep meaning.

Body painting is one of the most fascinating art forms in the world. People love it and they are naturally drawn to it. Human bodies covered in paint intrigue us and catch our eyes.

There is no official degree for body art, even though it is surely the oldest art form in the world. Where can you study it then? Private make-up schools organize body painting courses, international body painting festivals often organize workshops, and many artists give individual workshops. Then, of course, you can study and practice on your own or you can take a private class.


These incredible kinds of expression, performance, and belonging exist in two parallel worlds, one of old rituals and traditions that distinguish us as human, and the other of body art as a contemporary art form.

History of body painting:

How many unknown traditions are waiting to be discovered, or presented to a bigger audience?

Human civilization has been always dreaming to reach the stars, but we are not even aware of all the cultural treasures still hiding on our planet. Many of these magical traditions are disappearing. A few are already extinct. Some are beautiful, some otherworldly, others scary, but they all are inherently human cultural heritage. They are a very important part of our story in terms of art history, gender studies, ritual culture, social development, world view, even understanding of time and space. They need to be kept alive at the very least through preserving documentation.

In western cultures, there are very few rites of passage. In the tribal world initiation is a main part of the social structures.

Bella Volen has separated the visual development of Body Art and Body Painting into 3 parts.

Body painting with clay and other natural pigments existed in most if not all tribal cultures. Often worn during ceremonies, this ancient form of expression is still used among many indigenous people of the world today. (Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands, parts of Africa, India, Japan, and more.)

Other ritual-based art forms include tattoos, piercing, nose-ears-mouth plugs, Mehndi, henna, and scarification.

All types of body art hold great meaning in these cultures. Body art is a crucial part of social, spiritual, and personal expression.

Body painting is also a form of performance art. Artists often utilize their entire bodies as the object of the exhibition and can form incredible and beautiful results.

Like all art, body painting art (or body art), is performed to create critique or commentary on society. Sometimes, these pieces of art can be shocking, but very rarely are they considered boring or mundane. Body art as a form of visual art can be fringe, wildly popular, and sensational.

Body painting that is limited to the face is known as “face painting”. Body painting is also referred to as (a form of) “temporary tattoo“. Large scale or full-body painting is more commonly referred to as body painting, while smaller or more detailed work can sometimes be referred to as temporary tattoos.

How body art is done:

Body painting can be done with different types of techniques. The traditional way of painting is with brushes. … There are different kinds of paints (grease paints, alcohol colors, hybrid paints), but most often in body painting artists use water-activated paints that are intended for face and body painting.

Difference between body art and tattoo:

Tattoo parlors are the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the words “body art.” But body art is not all about tattoos. Body painting is a form of body art that allows you to express your creativity on your body without it being permanent or painful like tattoos. It includes applying colored clay, charcoal dyes, or henna tattoos on the body in different designs.

This creative art of painting the body is a striking example of various forms of art. In the case of body painting, the entire body is an artist’s canvas that can be turned into an incredible piece of art. If you are an art enthusiast and are looking to bathe your skin in a quirky design or an eye-catching landscape, here are some amazing body painting designs to inspire you.

Some Bodypainting Artists You Should Be Following On Instagram:

Mimi Choi

A quick scroll through Mimi Choi’s Instagram will leave you in a state of wonder and confusion. Born in China, the talented makeup artist made her way to Canada where she now shares her unique artistic style with students of Blanche Macdonald, in addition to leading master classes around the world.

Mimi draws inspiration from the patterns, shapes, and textures around her, surrealist paintings, and hallucinations she sees during bouts of sleep paralysis. Mimi prefers not to view the work of modern-day makeup artists in an effort to protect her creativity. Instead, she references past works to track her growth as an artist.

Alexa Meade

At first glance, Alexa Meade’s work looks like a beautiful, museum-worthy painting. Look a little closer, and you’ll notice she’s created something even more impressive. The visionary artist brings 2D and 3D together to create a living, breathing portraits.

Alexa has made a name for herself through art, completing hundreds of unbelievable projects around the globe. More recently, you may have noticed her work in the “God Is A Woman” music video. Alexa painted Ariana Grande’s body for the project.

Trina Merry

Bodypainter Trina Merry takes her unique, artistic interests (human form, architecture, landscapes) and fuses them together as inspiration for her work. Her work has been featured in locations all around the world, as well as notable publications like The New York TimesWall Street JournalTIME, and more.