Body painting art photographed by Inner Spirit Photography Studio Calgary's Mark Laurie.

Unlike a Boudoir, Nude, or Glamour session, a fully painted body can be confusing to categorize. After all, the whole purpose of Body Painting is to turn the body into a canvas for expressive art.

Usually, at least in my studio, we start with the nude, if it’s a full body art piece. It does not take long for the nude to disappear under the artist’s vision. Sometimes we are doing lingerie fake clothes, transforming the figure into a Boudoir style outfit.  The glamour of a sports jersey or unique dress is another that blurs the line of nude or dressed.  Some of our clients have gone to nightclubs or walked the street “dressed” like that and no one notices.

At one event we had two models painted in 1950’s clothing, during photography, the guy did a dance move that brought the other model into his arms. She exclaimed that she had forgotten she was nude until that moment.

When you go for a full abstract, like an entwining flower arrangement, or just an incredible design, like what Lucie Brouillard does so well, the body nearly disappears. The sense of nude completely vanishes.

In some cases nipple pasties and G-strings are used. Unexpectedly, they actually draw more attention to those areas because the surface is different than the skin so the eye goes to it, making the viewer more aware of the body.

When we get into Photoshop, we push the art even further, with backgrounds being added in, enriching the vibrancy of the art, even adding texture and special effects.

Often the client is so transformed by the painted art, you would not even recognize either them or that they are not dressed.

Body painted art is a magical experience; it’s exciting to watch your body disappear into a finished art piece.  It is one of the joys of being photographed at Inner Spirit Photography.

To answer the original question, I guess it’s a matter of perspective. If the paint does not cover the private parts, then it would be a nude showcased by the painting. If the painting becomes a covering – even though thin – it could be considered “dressed”.

What do you think? Is an art painted body nude or covered?

Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.