Monday, December 21, 2009

Outer Banks Body Paint 2009

My family spends every Thanksgiving in the Outerbanks of North Carolina. My sister and her family came from Hawaii, and I got to use her as a canvas while we were there!

It was a very cold day, yet she was a great sport to go out on the deck for the photo shoot with no complaints.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mayan Jaguar Warrior

The theme for the Body Painting Competition at Bodyssey in Toronto this year (April 2009) was "Mystery". I decided to translate that as the Mystery of the Ancient Maya, and came up with this Jaguar Warrior painting. We were given 4 and a 1/2 hours to paint, actually, the doors opened to the room at 4 1/2 hours before the end time, so our set up was included in that time period! That is NOT a lot of time to paint an entire body! But this short period did one thing for me.... I have never been more organized for a painting! I set up split cakes to deal with some of my shading and striated areas, and tried very very hard to stick to my time break downs.

My model was Jennifer Malo, a good friend of mine, who is also a painter, and she was very helpful in reminding me to paint faster! My paint area was positioned right next to Lucie Broulliard, who has won many many awards at the World Body Painting Competition, so it was pretty intimidating... I kept thinking, I have to paint faster, and I have to paint better!

There were a few things that I didn't get done on this painting: I wanted to do a little more to the gold accessories, make it more molten and more 3-D, I didn't get the shadows done that I wanted, and there was a detail that I had to leave out. But, I was super happy with the jade breast plates, the turquoise/jade necklace and belt, and the jaguar pelt!

The best part of this painting is that it garnered me 10th place in a competition full of Big Guns in the body paint world!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jamming with Mark Reid

For those of you not familiar with the who's who of Face and Body Painting, Mark Reid is one of the best. He's won or placed very highly in the World Body Painting Competition each time he's attended, and he's a sought after instructor at all of the conventions. He's also a great guy and a good friend of mine. He was in Columbus early this year for a class and we got together with a few other painters and had a "jam". I was thrilled with my body painting that day, and even happier when I saw this picture that he sent me of our two models together.

Mine has the red orchids and Mark's has the purple irises. Can you tell where the two women meet?

Art Gone Wild....

.....was the theme for the 2009 Face and Body Art International Convention, and therefore the Body Painting competition followed. I was unsure of what I was going to paint until the morning of, but with the help of my assistant Cindy Farslow, I was able to pull off this Keith Haring inspired painting.

The "Harings" are escaping from their painting into the world, they are "Art Gone Wild".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The World Body Painting Competition 2009 -My Second

Boy oh Boy! Was this year different! Remy and I had quite a trip.

Remy had been studying abroad in Prague (fiction writing) for 5 weeks, so he met me in Venice when that was done, to join me on a cruise where I was hired to be the onboard face painter. We had a marvelous time being together while cruising the Adriatic and Aegean. This is me in Dubrovnik Croatia, and Remy in Santorini Greece.

After the cruise we lugged our stuff through Northern Italy, staying a few days in Padua and Verona, and then into Austria. We were so excited to see all of our friends whom we'd met the year before!

But, this is when it got tense. I had decided to mail a package to Clarissa who was modeling for us again this year, and after hours and hours of dealing with Austrian import department, and paying them an exorbitant fee for my own belongings, I finally got my paints and headdress stuff the day before our competition! I want to thank Mehron and Wolfe FX for helping me out in my time of need!

On the day of the Semi-Pro competition, it was very cold and raining, and the festival grounds had lost power, so it was near impossible for many of the competitors to work, because the airbrush and special effects entrants needed power, and because that is cruel punishment for naked models! There was a lot of discussion going on about what to do, and our start time was delayed several times. In the end, the artist sharing a tent with me found a kerosene heater which helped us and our models immensely.

I had written out a big sheet of paper with a break down of what elements of the painting we were going to do in each half hour block of our 6 hour time frame..... when we got to the fifth hour, we found out that they had cut our time by an hour! We had never heard! Our neighbors knew because it had been announced in German, but not in English. Oh! How upsetting! We decided to plug on through, and finish our design and take our punches as they came for going over the alotted time.

The theme this year was poetry, and we settled on using Beatles Lyrics as our inspiration. Once again Clarissa really came through for us. Once she got back the use of her limbs (after standing still in the cold and wet for 6 hours she was a little stiff!) she was wonderful in the photography area, doing some wonderful movement and yoga poses to show off our painting. There was so much wonderful art this year, definitely steeper competition for us, and we placed as number 11 this year, much to our satisfaction.

The World Body Painting Competition -My First

Every July, the little town of Seeboden, which is nestled against a lake in the Austrian Alps, is descended upon by thousands of body painters and appreciative gawkers for the World Body Painting Festival. In 2008, I decided to go. I had never painted a body before, only some limited exposure to face painting and theatrical makeup, but because of my henna business, and my art background, I was not unaccustomed to paint, or to working with the human body.

I entered into the Semi-Pro category, with my son, Remy, as my assistant. We met our model when we arrived the morning we were to paint, the lovely Clarissa, who is a student at Klagenfurt University, a nearby town to Seeboden. The theme was "Science: a World of Wonders", so we decided to paint the power of the earth, and did a Volcano/Tsunami scene, and transformed our model into Pele, the Hawaiian Volcano Goddess.

We were so excited with our painting, and with the wonderful feedback we got from everyone watching. Clarissa was so exuberant, and into her character of Pele, her energy was terrific! We ended up in 13th place, and with a marvelous experience. One that got me hooked on Body Painting!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spring has Sprung, Fall has Tripped

Its fall. I really felt it yesterday, it was colder and it was windier. Very windy. And today I'm thinking about how that wind is stripping the trees of their leaves, which were starting to have only a tentative hold on their branches. And that's sad for a few reasons, because I'll have more of them tracked into my house, but mainly because it means that stark, cold winter is close behind. You'd think that trees would need their leaves more in the winter, like a fur coat, they always look so cold and naked without them.

Now logically I know that each season starts on the 21st of its respective month, just like the signs of the zodiac end on the 20th and start on the 21st (I know, I KNOW, some years the alignments are different by enough minutes to make it the 22nd, but in general its the 21st), and just like the Zodiac signs, the seasons have a period of a cusp (my Dad is a cusper Taurus/Gemini), and every year I just pray that each cusp is long and comfortable.

In theory, I like every season, but in reality some truly shine above others. As fall is now upon me, I have fond memories of back to school, and kicking leaves, and snuggling into comfy sweaters and boots (I love boots), and the aromas of fall comfort food, but the absolute best thing about autumn is Halloween. I love everything about Halloween, the magic of the unknown, the mysteries of the ancients, the modern opportunity to escape your self and don another personna for one night of revelry and tequila shots. A night when its ok to be "bad". And, of course, Candy Corn and Smarties.

When the clocks turn back and the days are short and dark and cold, that is the day that the earth dies its winter death, and I pull my afghan over my head. The heaviness of a grey winter sky, the days of shoveling and shivering and depression are upon me. The first snow of giant, silent, white flakes, the happiness of Christmas and New Years and other reasons to drink Champagne may bring me around for a brief shining day or two, but its not enough to erase the memories of scraping an inch of ice off of a car while standing in a 2 foot snow drift at midnight. If it weren't for Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and my husband, who willingly sacrifices his body to warm my ice cold feet, I'd never make it.

Spring seems so fleeting that it hardly seems to count. This is one cusp that is never in my favor. Winter seems to hold on for dear life. Spring is supposed to begin on March 21st, but anyone who has a birthday in March, or even in April, or has spent a "Spring" Break at home, knows that that is seldom the case. There is always mud, thats for sure, and there is always rain. And often, just when the magnolia trees are really in bloom, if they escaped a last minute freeze that would have turned the flowers brown, then a heavy downpour with mighty winds will strip the blossoms off again, and lay the tree bare once more, dashing hopes of a fairytale spring.

But surely enough, when I've just given up, its here, and before I know it I don't have to wear socks, or jackets, or a fist full of tissues (except to the movie theaters). And I revel in that freedom, of having windows open, and bare legs, and sundresses. I already miss it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now Taking Halloween Appointments!

Our face paint is the way to a unique, exciting, and above all SAFE Halloween night. Bring your child or yourself to have your face painted before your Beggar's Night or your Halloween party and.....

Be transformed into a Devilish-Demon.....

Or a Creepy Monster......

Or a Deathly Skull-Mask.....

Or your favorite SuperHero.....

Or the Sweetest, Prettiest Kitty Princess.....

Whatever Your Dark Side Desires

Desdemona's Designs is taking individual appointments at our location on the East side of Columbus for Full-Face character Face Paintings for all of Your Halloween Party and Beggar's Night needs. Face Paintings start at $20.

Email Deborah Brommer for more information and to set up your appointment.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Face Paint on Kids!

I don't post alot of my face paint on little kids, just because I don't usually have the time to take their pictures, and because they don't want to wait around for me to take their picture, they want to jump down and growl or meow or be spiderman too much! But here is a little sampling:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Black and Pink Corset

I painted this bodice with Jennifer Del Campo at the LA Fete Body Art Expo in March. We used some shimmer powder ontop of the black paint to give it a bit of a satinny sheen. Jennifer did the silver of the grommets and I did the lace around the edges.

Our model is my long time friend Erika.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Henna Stains Darken

When Henna paste first comes off the resulting stain is quite faint, a light orange color, then as the first few days pass, the color deepens and becomes a darker, richer brown.

Here is an example of how the color darkens in a few days time.

Photos: Paul Djupe

Friday, March 6, 2009

Henna on Dark Skin

So many people email me asking about how well henna will show up on dark skin. I've seen some very dark skinned people with the most beautiful mahogany/black cherry colored henna stains.

On some pale people there is a higher contrast of color between the stain and the skin color, so it is more obvious from a distance. But, on the other hand, some people with pale skin don't stain very well, and their stains blend in with their freckles from a distance!
Henna has been used by North Africans for thousands of years, and not just light skinned Arabs from Morocco and Algeria, but also dark skinned people from Somalia with beautiful results.

Here are some pictures of a stunning girl from the Ohio State Fair's Cox Fine Arts Building who's shoulder I hennaed. She has very dark skin, and got wonderful results from her henna.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baby Gust Henna

I had a wonderful appointment for maternity henna with a beautiful artsy couple here in Columbus. I knew from the time I knocked on the door that I would like these people, since they had a "support the arts--Columbus Museum of Art" sticker on their storm door. The dad had his photographs all over the house and the mom is a gourmet chef, so we had a great time talking food and art while I was there. I loved hearing about their "geurilla" style wedding at the Chicago Institute of Art.

The dad-to-be took pictures while I was working, and was kind enough to send them to me that very night.
Aren't they wonderful!?

Photo credits: Paul Djupe

Monday, February 23, 2009

Double Hearts Henna

These girls have been best friends since birth, but one of them lives in Virginia now and they don't get to see each other as much as they used to. As a surprise to her friend she flew into Columbus, and after she was picked up at the airport the two girls came to my house for matching henna designs! They wanted the Double Heart design (that's popular in contemporary jewelry) surrounded by vines and flowers and this is what I did for them.
Unfortunately, it was a cold day and the wind was blowing snow, and these girls had to leave their shoulders exposed so their henna wouldn't be disturbed. I hope they had a great week together.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Random Hearts Party

On Valentine's Day, Bob and I went to a "Random Hearts" Party. I decided to take my paints along and do some body and face painting. I just took one of my palettes, and filled it with pinks, reds, plum, gold and silver, and black and white-- Valentine colors. Sue started out getting just a little bit of a heart over her heart to peek through her shirt, but as I got going she kept giving me access to more and more skin, so I just kept painting.... It looked terrific on her, and her husband liked it too.
It was a real hit with the revellers, it was fun to see everyone walking around with pink and purple swirlies and hearts all over them. I picked a great spot to work too, at the end of the kitchen counter/island, right where Tammy was mixing chocolate martinis and wedding cake martinis.... like I said, great spot! What a great night, fun, friends, painting, and I during it all I had my Valentine with me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Turbulent Skies

Last year I decided to enter the World Body Painting competition, but, I had never painted a body before! I've painted faces, I've painted paintings, I've painted rooms, but never bodies. I knew I'd be comfortable with the nudity, because I've hennaed my share of breasts, bellies, and booties, but I needed to do some actual body paint, because I needed a picture to submit. So, one afternoon, I pulled out my paints and sat Bob down, and painted him up. I had no idea where I was going with this, I just started swirling colors around, and this is what I ended up with. And even though its only a partial body I was really quite pleased, and very excited about the prospect of breaking into body painting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Hennaed Bride

I had an appointment with a beautiful bride who married an Indian man. They were having two ceremonies, one traditional western and one traditional Indian. She wanted me to henna her palms, but leave the backs of her hands clear for the western ceremony, and she also wanted her feet hennaed. She picked out a few different designs that she liked and I fused them together to come up with a beautiful design for her wedding henna.
She took very good care of her henna that night, as you can see from how dark and unsmudged the design is, thus showing her mother-in-law how much patience she will have as a wife. And I'm awfully proud of the dark, rich color of the henna too!

I was fortunate enough to get these images from her photographer, Jim Sanders. Aren't they rich and gorgeous?! These photos were taken during the Indian ceremony, while the bride is wearing her Indian style wedding Sari and colorful bangles. If you're interested in Jim's photographic services he can be reached via .

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Through the Looking Glass

I was watching "Memoirs of a Geisha" the other day, and I was amazed while watching the daily ablutions of the geisha, that she would apply the white makeup with the sharp dart shapes, that were left open revealing her skin color, to the back of her neck. This seemed so impossible looking in a mirror that reflected into a mirror behind her and using a large (3" flat?) brush to apply it! Thats some talent.

One year at our annual Day of the Dead party I painted myself as a Corpse Bride where I continued the paint from my face down my throat and onto my chest. My chest was painted with my ribs showing, and behind my ribs was showing my heart. While I was painting myself by looking in the mirror, my mother was watching me, and all night she talked about how incredible she thought it was that I could do that in the mirror. (I don't have a picture of myself from that night... so here's a different Day of the Dead party picture of Bob and me!)

I have also hennaed myself in a mirror. My friend Lily had hennaed herself with her non-dominant hand while looking in a mirror to see her upper arm, so I used that idea as one of the monthly challenges on the Henna Page Forum. That was really a challenge!

The problem with trying to do Body Art on yourself is not in the reaching, but in the seeing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Illusion Magazine Article

I was so proud to be interviewed for Illusion Magazine. They are based in the UK and are THE leading body art publication. The article turned out really well, mostly in interview format, and the pictures of my henna body art that I submitted to them looked wonderful. It was a thrill to see them on the glossy stock.

I also submitted a step-by-step henna design from "Aloha" one of my henna design books. Here is the final step picture. The model is my friend Jennifer Malo, who is a Clown, Face Painter, and now a Henna Artist too, in Montreal.

Deborah Brommer

Henna - Face & Body Paint - MakeUp

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bikini in Body Paint

So I left frigid, snowy, icy, Columbus Ohio and winged it over to my sister's house on the Big Island Hawai'i for a week this January. I decided that while I was there I would take the opportunity to get a Bikini Body Paint Photo Shoot in while I had access to warmth and beautiful beaches. I've been wanting to do this for a while, and was really inspired by the Joanne Gair book I got for Christmas from my sister. Joanne Gair's Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue shots are just incredible, and really got me wanting to give it a try.

I found myself a beautiful local model, Domini Molina, and an incredible photographer, Hanson Tsang to take the pictures. I met up with Domini at Hanson's studio in Hilo where I did the painting. I decided to go with a patterned bikini instead of a solid color, which I hoped would give it a little more realism. Domini was a wonderful model and incredibly patient with the painting process. After the bikini was done we took some pictures in the studio, and then headed out to a fairly private beach in Hilo. The few people who were there had NO idea that she wasn't wearing a suit. It really looked beautiful with the black lava rock, the crashing waves, and the Hilo Bay in the background. It was about 4:00 when we started the shoot, so the light was perfect, and we really got lucky because it had been rainy for the last several days, so all of my finger crossing really worked!

I used Wolfe paints for the green and black and white, Mehron's Paradise paint for the red, and for the grey and orchid shadowing. Thanks to Nick Herrera for loaning me some tape, and fix-it spray, as well as being such a generous sounding board for information.
Deborah Brommer
Desdemona's Designs
Henna - Face & Body Painting - MakeUp

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desdemona's Designs

People often ask me how I came up with my business name, Desdemona's Designs. Desdemona is a character in Shakespeare's play "Othello", and I just happened to have played this part. I didn't choose this name because the play was wonderful, in fact, it was probably the worst production I've ever been involved in, but, I love the play itself regardless. Desdemona was in love with Othello, who was a Moor, my body art business started with my henna work, and I learned about henna in Morocco, so I look at henna as MY Moor. I also like the alliteration with my name: Desdemona / Deborah.

Deborah Brommer

Desdemona's Designs

Henna . Face & Body Paint . Make Up