This year for LepreCon 33, I had two presentations planned. The theme for both projects was Star Wars since the author guest of honor was Karen Traviss who has written a handful of very well received novels on the Star Wars extended universe. My first panel was a live bodypainting demonstration on Friday night. As I researched ideas for my bodypainting, I first looked at the covers of Karen's novels to see if there was an opportunity for a character that could be bodypainted. At first I was disappointed to see that most of her covers showed stormtroopers in full armor costumes. But then the inspiration struck and I thought it might be a really cool challenge to paint a stormtrooper costume on a nearly nude model. I don't think that anyone has done this before, at least not to my knowledge. So the plan was roughed out.
My model for the project was Jill Valdisar who had worked with me at a previous CopperCon event for the back painting of the Moon of Pern. The force was with me, so to speak, when I had the assistance of the Arizona 501st Stormtrooper Legion at my disposal for props and technical details. I especially need to thank Mark for the use of his helmet, gun, and holster. More importantly, he had his stormtrooper armor on-hand so that I could refer to it for reference. I once again had the opportunity to shoot the picture in front of the Death Star wall that the 501st let me use for the Mara Jade bodypainting at CopperCon 22.
My second panel for this convention took place early on Saturday morning. I had been waiting a long time for the "right time" to don a Darth Sideous costume. I had been dabbling in prosthetic make-up application and I was looking for a foam latex version of the Sideous face when I happened upon one. Nick Wolfe, one of the famous twins behind the successful Wolfe FX and bodypaints, had sculpted this Darth Sideous prosthetic and I was able to coerce him into making a copy for me. For several months I gathered up more of the elements of this costume including the yellow eye contacts and the tooth paint. I started sewing my own blood red robe and had been searching for a high quality light saber replica, but these two items were not completed before this event. The robe, although not accurate to the movie, looked at least original and paid homage to the original.
Most of my bodypainting demonstrations are done on models, like the stormtrooper above, but this time I was applying the prosthetic make-up to myself. I brought a mirror and set up on stage so that I could see my face and I was still facing the audience. The prosthetic appliances were applied using Prosaide for the adhesive. The face paint used was by Wolfe Brothers of course and the tooth paint was by Mehron.
I am not used to contacts so I thought that it would be best to apply the make-up without wearing them so they were put in after I applied the make-up. I wouldn't recommend this order of events for future reference since I had also painted my hands and kept getting make-up in my eyes trying to get the contacts in place (live and learn).
Once the make-up was on, contacts in place, teeth painted, and robe adorned it was time for the photoshoot. I had my camera there, but no one to take my picture. I asked several people, but it seemed that everyone had somewhere else to be. Then as fate would have it, Sylvana Anderson-Gish walked by. I knew that she was woman of many talents, but I wasn't aware that she was an acomplished photographer. She took the photos that you see here of me as the Sith Lord.
I had initially wanted to do this panel early in the morning so that I could hang out all day in costume. I especially wanted to hit the masquerade party and take in a few panels, but I guess I wimped out. My hat is off to the people of the 501st who stay in costume for long hours at a time. The contacts started itching my eyes, I felt a little claustrophopic in the prosthetics, and wearing black clothes under a heavy black robe when it's about 115 degrees in Arizona was the straw that broke the camels back. I was home and out of costume by about noon.
I was glad that I did get to meet up with Karen Traviss before I left and someone out there has a picture of the two of us together. I'll post it once I find it.
Here are some additional pictures from the event:
Please feel free to also visit the bodypainting web pages from my previous three live demonstrations at LepreCon 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 at the links below:
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