Professional Beauty London 2015 – WARPAINT bodypainting competition

1st place winner Brierley Thorpe - Warpaint body paint comp - Professional Beauty 2015 So thrilled to have placed first in my first solo artist competition!

Yesterday I took part in the Warpaint body painting competition at Professional Beauty London at the Excel Centre. A friend drew my attention to the competition just four days before the competition date, and despite the lack of time to prepare I decided to go for it. Most UK body painting competitions are a distance away from me in London (Paintopia in Norwich, Painswick in the Cotswolds, Body Factory in Cornwall, Fizzog in Kent…) or abroad, so I felt I just had to do this one.

I got straight on the phone to my model friend Laura J Draycon who has modelled for me several times before (not in competition, but for my own portfolio pieces) as I know I can completely depend on her to be relaxed, flexible and good company during the paint and still have the vivacity and confidence to bring the design to life in front of the photographers, and engage with the public, after a long day’s endurance.

Jorogumo body paint by Brierley Thorpe  Jorogumo face - body art by Brierley Thorpe


The competition theme was Mythical Creatures. I decided to look at Japanese myths and folklore and the first story that captivated me was the legend of Jorogumo, a Spider-Geisha who lures Samurai and other men to a waterfall with her mesmeric beauty and lute playing, then binds them up in her web to eat him. Deliciously dark!

After researching the Japanese Nephila and Argiope spiders that the legend features, I chose to use bold simple spider motifs and Geisha imagery, rather than creating a literal representation of the spider or geisha herself.




Brierley Thorpe inspiration board - Warpaint comp 2015   photo (16)


The inspiration boards were also considered during the judging process.

Brierley Thorpe - designs for Warpaint bodypaint competition - Professional Beauty 2015 - 1st place I chose contrasting colours with a grey base to suggest a murky or sinister element. The reds, oranges and yellow pop against this grey foil. I mostly used paints by Cameleon Bodypaint (Fifty, Orange Juice, Banana, Almond, Blood Red, Blood Rain, White, Gothic Black, Strong Black, Thistle, Leeloo, Wicked, Toxic Yellow, Bollywood, Olivia), plus Superstar Graphite, Old Red, and Sleek powders.

I made the headpiece in its entirety, from the hair buns to the tassels. Its simple silhouette and form was deceptively tricky to create. I pretty much kept to my design intentions once the paint was underway. Certain details were sacrificed to time restriction – I had not competed without an assistant before and 5 hours is just a bit more of a squeeze than the usual 6 hours in body painting competitions.

photo 2  photo (18)

The competition was well organised, the judging process seemed very thorough but still friendly, and we met some lovely people during the day. I would have loved to have time to look at the work in progress of the other body artists more closely, and to see more of the amazing hair and makeup creations from the competitions which were happening in parallel with ours. I will be going back next year for sure, and will make a point of going on the other day of the expo as well, to buy some of the makeup and beauty products from the vast array on sale and to learn from some of the demonstrations and seminars.

Did you go to the event? Did you see my Jorogumo?


3 thoughts on “Professional Beauty London 2015 – WARPAINT bodypainting competition

  1. Wish I could have seen it live, but California is really far away. Thank you for posting this! I especially enjoy seeing the design boards – the creative planning.

  2. Woow I haven’t seen the other artists’ entries but this is amazing! Plumeau for your design and that in such a short time. Well deserved winner!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s