If you want to express yourself through art dramatically, you can do so through body painting! But choosing the muse may paralyze you. That’s why I’ve gathered these easy body painting ideas for you!
You can transform someone into what he desires through body painting. You can be an animal, prince, or cyborg for a day.
Below you’ll find easy-to-replicate body painting ideas. I’ve also included cute, scary, face-painting ideas for kids and kids at heart!
Get more ideas with my other body art ideas list:
- 87 Adorable Pregnant Belly Painting Ideas for Boys and Girls
- 100 Scary Face & Body Painting For Halloween For Kids and Adults
Body Painting Supplies
Use alcohol-based paint as it lasts longer than water-based paint. Alcohol-based paints are harder to clean. But they won’t bleed when your model sweats and rubs off other people.
If you still prefer water-based paints, use a setting spray. A setting spray prevents your art from bleeding.
Invest in cosmetic-grade paints like Mehron. It’s more expensive but safer and true to its color.
As for the brush, the good old sponges and brushes come in handy for this art form.
Some professional body paint artists use airbrushes. They find Iwata airbrush gets the job done due to its versatility. Another brand of airbrush worth checking out is the Airbrush by Badger.
Lastly, paint the private parts first if you work with a completely naked model. A flat brush loaded with opaque paint quickly does the job.
Alternatively, you can use covering tape for the nipples.
Read more: Can You Put Acrylic Paint On Your Face & Body? 6 Safest Body Paint Included
Body Painting Ideas for Men
- Human Cactus
Original idea by Johannes Stötter
Do you want your canvas (in this case…a friend or a client) to stand out?
Paint him green to mimic the fleshy stems of a cactus.
Finish the look by adding spines.
- Captain America
by Skin City
There’s nothing wrong with channeling the inner Captain America fan in you. But add some twist for a change!
Body painting is challenging on its own. You have to deal with canvasses of various sizes, shapes, and curves.
But, if you dare to be bold, make a human body disappear into its surrounding, like the following:
- Human + Cello (Johannes Stötter)
- Can You Find Me? (Trina Merry)
- Chrome Angel
Grab your metallic paint and sponge or brush! And get ready to transform a naked skin into a chrome angel.
Tip: Choose an easy-to-wash and non-toxic metallic paint that you can apply to hair and skin.
Unlike traditional art, body painting lets you create a piece with more than a single dimension. And that’s what some artists like about body art.
A cyborg painting would not turn heads…but with a body as a canvas, it certainly can.
- Evil Clown
With an airbrush or bristles of a typical brush, you can amp up a boring, evil clown into one of the most creepstatic ideas…ever.
You can add other elements to your art, such as a wig to match your theme.
- Space-inspired Body Paint
Take your audience to outer space! Use black paint plus a splash of glow-in-the-dark colorful paints.
Find a Greek mythology fan and turn him into the Titan god of heavenly light for a day! You get to hone your skills and, at the same time, make someone happy! Now, that’s killing two birds with one stone.
- Gold Miner
Are you going for a sexy gold miner for a party? Paint the face, hair, and upper body with gold metallic paint.
Get a hard hat and pick axe to complete the look. If you’re up for it, paint the denim jeans as well.
Once painted, people usually act differently. Unleash the playfulness in your friend by making him a monkey for the night.
- Anatomy [Muscular System Edition]
Try your hand at anatomical body paintings. With willing friends and practice, you, too, can create a textbook-like muscular system.
by Johannes Stötter
Tired of being a sidekick to Batman, Robin struck out on his own and became Nightwing.
Get your paint and find a willing model who idolizes him. Carefully add tiny touches to make Nightwing come to life.
- Oil Spill
Amplify a cause to get you inspired to get into body painting if you haven’t started yet.
- Put a Shirt On
Do you see yourself making more painted clothing projects in the future? If yes, always check the paint’s opacity. You only need one coat if you’re using more opaque paints.
Also, a flat brush works well for quick coverage of private parts.
- That Suits You
This model looks like he’s ready for an interview any moment! You can create a set of painted business ensembles, add more details, or simply mimic this idea.
Looks like this Superman is caught in the act of transforming from a suit-and-tie person to a supe! Like the idea? Do it.
- Merged with a Van Gogh Painting
Sometimes a painting draws you in, so you want to dive into it. Well, now you can (or your victim can). Choose a painting you love. Then, get to work.
You need a sponge, brush, and paint to create this frightening zombie art. Get a flesh tone, gray, black, and red to create this look!
19.Abstract Black and White
Men often say that they aren’t creative. Fine! You don’t need to come up with something special, you can do an abstract body painting using only two colors 🙂
For pride supporters this can be a perfect and easy body painting idea!
Skeleton is quite easy and fun to paint, you only ned to make sure you know, at least approximately, where and what bones are.
[Image Credit: Eva Rinaldi]
Tiger or animalistic body painting ideas are not that hard to do, if your goal is not to be realistic. You can paint your whole body or parts of it orange and then make black stripes – done!
23. Hellboy / Devil
Body Painting Ideas for Women
Are you a fan of abstract art rather than painted-on clothing? If yes, this idea’s for you.
Add your artistic touch to this piece to make it more like you.
by Lynn Schockmel
With body painting and a little prosthetic work, you can pull off a Na’vi ready-to-venture Pandora.
Add nose, brows, ears, and upper lip prosthetics to level up the transformation.
- Bathing Suit
Faux clothing is a fantastic piece of art when done well. Is the woman wearing a bathing suit, or are your eyes playing tricks on you?
- Captain America
by Lynn Schockmel
Who says only boys can play hero? Create this suit with a bit of red, blue, white, and black. Surely, when done, your model couldn’t help but strike a pose!
Still stuck with the question, “what should you paint?”. Perhaps nature can help. Take a walk. Observe the color of flowers. And try to recreate them in your next project.
Use your painting skills to play with the concept of animal mimicry:
- I’m Here (Emma Hack)
- Blend with the Snowy Mountain (Johannes Stötter)
- Find Me in the Sea of Petals (Johannes Stötter)
- Sea (Johannes Stötter)
- One with the Forest (Johannes Stötter)
- Glow in the Dark
by Olaf Breuning
Tap into your other interests and make them an inspiration in creating otherworldly creations. The artist behind these glow-in-the-dark floral patterns is indeed inspired.
- Feelin’ Sexy
Don’t you love to see people’s reactions when they realize that your model is wearing almost nothing but paint?
And painting lingerie is a terrific idea to elicit a reaction from your friends.
by Johannes Stötter
- Half -Pumpkin
Traditional pumpkins are scary…but staring at this human pumpkin is both sexy and scary!
Take inspiration from an owl. Play with it and make the canvas unusual and exotic.
- Woman Superman
13. Painting clothes
We’ve seen the painted suit and tie for men, bathing suit, and even lingerie! Why not explore casual painted clothing looks?
Practice painting a reptile by starting with a snake!
- Aren’t You Sporty
Create a sketch of this sports attire in advance. But always make room for changes as you roll.
By: Gesine Marwedel
Challenge yourself to create an accurate picture of a seahorse with your twist of illusion, body paint and a pose.
Show your love for your country with this US flag-inspired body paint. You can choose another country flag!
[Image Credit: Eva Rinaldi]
You can dress up and paint your zodiac sign on your body. Very spiritual experience!
One word that describes this piece? Extraterrestrial.
- The Wicked Witch of the West
Unleash the terror brought by the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz by painting her to life!
21. Full body Flowers
Flowers are always great to present anything. So if you’re looking for body paint ideas, this is one of the easiest options for you.
22. Hnd Marks
Note: It will look better if you paint your body with white paint first and then start painting the flowers. As white background looks cool.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time then Hand Marks is a great idea for you. To do this first you have to color your body with a particular paint as a background.
Then the rest I think you know what to do. You can ask someone to put their hands in different colors and mark on your body.
Generally, people all around the world are fascinated by animals. Some of them are just amazing in size and features.
A painting of a cheetah on your body can be something you would want to try for a change. If you want to stand out and show off your bold style, this is a perfect idea.
Tigers are furious and are really one of those very animals that we stand back to encounter. Their actual beauty lies in the skills of hunting, as no one can beat them in it.
There is a trend of painting fruits on your body as a way to stand out from the crowd. You can turn yourself into a work of art with this creative idea.
Whether you want to impress your friends or just have fun, you will always get a lot of positive comments on how creative your art is.
In most cultures, butterflies are considered the sign of beauty, elegance, change, good omen, creativity, and rebirth.
It’s one of the most ancient and psychologically potent motifs in Western painting. The butterfly is a creature that starts out so small but grows to fill one’s world with wonderment and color.
27. Starry Night
You can try to recreate one of the famous painting like this Van Gogh Starry Night on your body.
28. Wings for Back
No time for a full body painting? No worries, you can paint cute wings on your back and act like an angel (and you are!).
The golden touch is something that is considered lucky. Have you also seen these men on the streets pretending like they are statues? This body painting idea makes me think of that.
30. Multicolored Lines
If someone asks you the most boring shape, they may say a line, but all the shapes originated from this very shape.
You can paint rainbow stripes, black and white, or any colors you wish.
I love candies and cakes! Who doesn’t?! If you are looking for some fun, positive, easy to paint on body ideas, you should definitely consider candies 🙂
Body Painting Ideas for Pregnant Women
- Angel on My Belly
by Lynn Schockmel
Babies are considered angels sent by heaven. So, it’s fitting to paint an adorable angel to a belly.
by Lynn Schockmel
Redundant? Maybe. Improve this art by making it hyper-realistic.
- Koi Fish
by Lynn Schockmel
Koi fish symbolizes everything good; luck, prosperity, love, and even friendship. And some people believe painting it on a pregnant belly will attract good luck to the child.
- Part of the Universe
The universe expands daily, and so does a pregnant woman’s body. And both are magical.
- Pooh and Friends
Encourage a preggy friend to enjoy her journey! Paint a thing she loves on her belly every month.
- Floral-designed Belly
by Trina Merry
Decorate a bump with flowers! Make them pop by adding a black background.
Turn a belly into a canvas for a…watermelon (?) Why not? You can still be yourself but with a bump.
For more inspiring pregnant belly painting ideas, check out my 80+ Adorable Pregnant Belly Painting Ideas for Boys and Girls!
Superheroes Body Painting Ideas For Men and Women
#1 Captain America
If there’s any true leader in the marvel cinematic universe then it’s Captain America. He’s fierce, strong, a good friend, a great leader, and handsome also.
If you live up to the value of your favorite superhero then painting your body in a Captain America costume would be a great idea.
It would be a great honor to be your favorite superhero and a way to express that you miss him as he’s no longer alive in MCU.
#2 Wonder Woman Body Painting for Halloween
Jason Momoa is one of the most popular characters and crowd favorites. His character Aquaman is a cool idea for Halloween. You need golden or yellow-orange and green paint.
#4 The Flash
To do Flash body painting for Halloween you need red and golden metallic colors. It is best to make a full-body painting. You can make flashes from cardboard and paint them golden too.
#5 Green Lantern
Get green, black, and white paint, and would be awesome if you can make or buy a lantern!
#6 Martian Manhunter
To create a Martian Manhunter costume for Halloween you can paint yourself green, wear blue underwear, high boots, and a mantle, and either paint or make a red crossed belt with a top.
#7 Hawkman and Hawkgirl
Can you imagine I didn’t find anyone who made this body painting! But it is so easy and straightforward: you paint yellow stripes across your chest, red underwear, and green legs. Wear a mantle or make real huge wings! That’s it!
#8 The Atom
You need blue and red paint to create the Atom body painting for Halloween and it will probably look like this:
To create the Firestorm body painting (and I didn’t find any references, but it is easy to do for sure!) you need red and yellow (or golden), and white paints. You can make a full-body painting or just paint the torso and wear pants.
#10 Black Canary
12. Dr. Manhattan
13. Silk Spectre
14. Spider Man
Spiderman story really reveals the power of a creature such as spider. The marvel studios always thought of spiderman to be a hero that is hidden behind a mask (as it can be anyone).
15. Venom Body Painting
Even though Venom is a parasite from outer space, it adapts to the people on Earth. The movie is fun and dramatic and Venom body painting will definitely draw attention on Halloween or other shows!
Body Painting Ideas for Kids
1. Various Flowers
3. Brick Wall
Face Painting Ideas for Kids and Adults
Face painting is a cheaper dressing-up option for any occasion! Use water-based face paint for easier cleanup.
1) Friendly Faces
Are you in the mood for a fun and friendly face? Check out some ideas below you’ll surely love:
- Angel (Fun Face Painting for Kids)
- Princess (Extreme Face Painting Wolfe, Brian)
- Baseball (Fun Face Painting for Kids)
2) Scary Faces
Some kids and adults love to dress up as scary monsters. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
- Skull (Credit)
- Valak (Lara- The Kind Madness)
- Dia de Muertos-inspired Face Paint (Source)
- Spider web (Unknown)
Grab your animal-inspired face-painting ideas below!
- Shark (Fun Face Painting for Kids 40 Step-by-Step Demos (Brian Wolfe, Nick Wolfe))
- Bat (Fun Face Painting for Kids 40 Step-by-Step Demos (Brian Wolfe, Nick Wolfe))
- Bunny (Fun Face Painting for Kids 40 Step-by-Step Demos (Brian Wolfe, Nick Wolfe))
- Gorilla (Fun Face Painting for Kids 40 Step-by-Step Demos (Brian Wolfe, Nick Wolfe))
- Wild Cat
- Cow on a cheek
4. Marks inspired by Old Tribes
6. Art on face
7. Sad Face
More face painting ideas for Halloween are here: 100 Scary Face & Body Painting For Halloween For Kids and Adults
Back Painting Ideas for Beginners
Back is the best canvas on our body but you will need someone’s help to paint it and fully trust that this person knows what to do haha!
1. Simple Quotes
Quotations are just sentences and expressions put in lines with the best meaning. It depends on oneself on how they understand it.
Here I’ve collected some awesome art & painting quotes which you should check if you’re going to post on Instagram.
2. Night Scene
3. Sunrise or Sunset
[Image Credit: Kushina Ungureanu]
4. The Sun
[Image Credit: charlottegrippo]
6. Yin Yang and Petals, Mandalas
[Image Credit: Eilish]
[Image Credit: Emma Behnke]
Legs Painting Ideas for Beginners
3. Ocean Waves
Guidelines for Body Painting: How to Safely Paint Your Body
How to Prepare Your Skin Before Body Painting?
Follow the steps below to prepare your canvas before body painting:
- Instruct your model to take a long shower. This step will ensure her/his skin is free from dirt or makeup. Plus, the paint adheres easily to less oily skin.
- Apply a setting spray or baby powder. Both help creates a barrier between the skin and paints to prevent allergic reactions. The spray/powder also prevents the oil produced by the skin from interacting with the paint.
How to Apply Body Paint?
To apply body paint, follow the steps below:
- Have a sketch ready.
- Grab the materials you need, such as safe body paint, sponges, brushes, airbrush, distilled water, etc.
- Create a simple outline.
- Start painting with your choice of brush, sponge, or airbrush.
- Allow the paint to dry.
- Apply a setting spray to prevent it from bleeding due to sweat or rain.
How to Remove Body Paint?
Water-based paints are the easiest to clean after all the fun. Instruct your model to take a long shower.
As for the alcohol-based paints, apply a bit of baby oil first to loosen up the paint. Then, take a long shower to remove any traces of paint completely.
Body painting is an art. Art represents oneself, and also creates a good space among our lives. This simply signifies the nature of bringing out some messages that are not available through a matter of words or action.
Body paint also gives a gesture that simplifies our call on something more matured. As the time passes, the message becomes deep.
Body paint can be a perspective to people as they look at it. This also shows that a quality of life is needed and anyone can do their best through it.