People with Fluorescence Body Paint

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Now that Summer is here and you have a house full of kids clamoring that they are bored or you just want to keep them doing interesting things and keeping their minds occupied.

Here is an arts & crafts photographic project which should prove to be just as much fun for them as it probably is for you. It won't take much in either time or money and you can showcase their finished productions in your photographs.

Now there are two ways of going about the project: one is to buy glow in the dark or neon paint or you can very easily make your own using some simple ingredients found in many kitchens.

I usually mix 4 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of vinegar (white is better) and just add neon food coloring or neon tempera powdered paint until the mixture is the desired shade or hue, Then store the mixture in an airtight container until use.

The best thing is that this method is quite cheap and the paint is washable. A better alternative would be to buy glow in the dark paint which may or may not be fully washable but comes out better in photography. Besides, half the fun is allowing kids to paint your selected subjects. Another solution is to buy some glow in the dark powder also known a pigments or crystals and a clear painting medium. However this is the least expensive of all the methods but does provide the best results and the paint is more durable.

Once you have taken care of the paint making or have bought it, then choose whatever articles you wish your kids to destroy...I mean to paint. Have them paint them outside and make sure to let the articles fully dry.

Note: do not use on skin, especially around the facial areas as it can often be an irritant so an adult should supervise the entire operation since kids will often do what they are told not to do...at least I always did. Painting clothing that you do not intend on using ever again is feasible but it should be done on the cloth itself without a kid inside it. This may sound redundant or common sense but you will be surprised at how many adults overlook this tip.

If you still want to use glow in the dark paint for the skin, then buy only those paints that explicitly say that they are to be used or safe to use on human skin. Wash promptly after use.

This can really take your project to the next level but you should be creative in how you use it and what designs you create. Simply randomly painting someone is not enough.

Get a black light, a dark room and you photographic gear in place and proceed to start shooting. Do not use flash or the effect is completely ruined. Keep in mind to brush up on your night photography skills before you try to do the shoot. remember that you will more than likely need to set up your camera on a tripod to avoid camera movement due to the long exposure times required to do the technique well.

There is a difference between glow in the dark paint and neon paint. Glow in the dark painted subjects just need to be exposed to a light source for around 20 minutes and a black light is not required. Neon painted subjects will need a black light to highlight the effects and the paint should be towards the lighter hues instead of towards the darker ones.

Worth noting is that colors under the normal light spectrum may show up differently under black light. See the image labeled as such to see the changes.

"Fluorescent paint reacts to long-wave ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly known as black light. Through the mechanism of fluorescence, UV-sensitivepigments present in the paint absorb black light and give off visible light in return.There are two basic kinds of fluorescent paint: visible and invisible. Visible fluorescent paint can appear any bright color under white light, and glows brilliantly under black light. Invisible fluorescent paint appears white or clear under white light, but glows a particular color—depending on the pigment used—under black light." Wikipedia

Try to use glow in the dark neon colors as this heightens the effects more than just regular neon paint and creates more stunning images. Also showcase your creations whether they are neon or glow in the dark against a dark background such as a black non glossy piece of construction paper or a surface which has been painted in non glossy black paint.

The idea is to show the subjects as if they were suspended in mid air. For a much cheaper experience buy disposable plastic cups, glasses, forks and other party favorites at most party supply stores and which can also be found at many arts & crafts shops.

You may want to use more elaborate articles but keep in mind that you will need to thoroughly wash them after use if you do not want them to get ruined and that some paint may not be fully washable. Experiment first to see which paints suits you best.

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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 5 comments

susiebrown48 profile image

susiebrown48 4 years ago from Clearwater, FL

Never thought to do this, but wow it sounds like fun. My teenagers are going to love it!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

susiebrown48: Thank you. Hope they have fun


Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

Very cool and not something I'd think of either.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Thanks Lynn. How is your to do list?


Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

LOL! As soon as I cross something out -a new one takes it places. I do like the learning curve though.

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