Heinlein Starship Troopers Bodypainting at Phoenix ComiCon Phoenix ComiCon 2011 Bodypainting

Lady Death at Phoenix ComiCon



Wow, the 2012 Phoenix ComiCon grew by leaps and bounds this year as it moved into the newer part of the Phoenix Convention Center. They officially said that attendance was 23,001 which is up from 13,988 last year. I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of this event and take in all of the sites and entertainment. I brought my family along this time and we stayed at the Hyatt Hotel along with hundreds of other fans of the sci-fi, fantasy, comic world.

My main bodypainting panel was held on Friday night at 9pm and the theme was the classic cover of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The panel description was as follows:

Artist Mark Greenawalt transforms a live model into a character from the works of Rober A. Heinlein using bodypaints. Greenawalt appears in support of the Heinlein Society and the Blood Drive, a cause that was very important to the late Heinlein"

I have considered Heinlein to be one of my favorite authors of all time. He was a staunch supporter of blood drives at sci-fi conventions and the Heinlein Society continues this effort today with blood drives all over the world. I had previously did a bodypainting for the cover of I Will Fear No Evil at the 2006 LepreCon convention.

I Will Fear No Evil Book Cover Heinlein Society Body painting cover

This year I chose a slightly more challenging cover of Starship Troopers, mostly because the cover features a gruff male soldier in a huge blue/purple space armor outfit and I would be painting this on the beautiful and petit model Lessa Randall. There was a lot of work that went into the preproduction of this project. The background was painted on two 8'X2' theater flats to match the original painting by illustrator James Warhola, the nephew of pop artist Andy Warhol.

Robert A. Heinlein cover for Starship TroopersJames Warhola illustration for Starship Troopers

Next effort was to make the helmut and gun. The helmut was made with the adjustable headgear from a construction hat and then attached to two plastic popcorn bowls glued together and then painted. I used two guns on the project. One of them was made from an old childrens metal detector, a CD case, furniture floor pads, and some liquid tight flexible conduit. The other gun was borrowed from the AZ 501st Stormtrooper Legion.

I downloaded the soundtrack from the Starship Troopers movie and brought a PA system to the panel to play this music while I painted. Most of the paint was sponged on using Diamond FX and Wolfe Brothers paints with addtional shadowing with a Badger Airbrush and Mehron liquid makeup. Here are two images from the final photoshoot taken with a Canon 5D camera and Alien Bees lighting.

Lessa body paint at Phoenix ComiCon as Starship Trooper Cover

Mark Greenawalt bodypainting at Phoenix ComiCon for Heinlein blood drive

On Saturday afternoon, I was thrilled to be joining the multitalented Brian Pulido in his convention booth to body paint model Alex Hayes as Lady Death. Here is a picture of the flyer that was distributed at the convention:

Alex Hayes is Lady Death at Phoenix ComiCon

I used Diamond FX metallic white paint which gave a fantastic shimmering white color, but did need at least two coats over her whole body. The biggest challenge was painting the white on her while she was wearing the black outfit. Since we were painting in the midst of everyone, we had to keep her covered so we used paper towels to try to protect the outfit. Once all of the white was complete, I concocted a bluish black to paint on some airbrushed make up and add a little muscle tone to Alex's already perfect physique. The finishing touch was painting the dead white eyes and eyelashes on her eyelid to give that vacant white stare.

Here is a shot of Alex with LeeAnna Vamp in the Lady Death booth.

LeeAnna Vamp with Lady Death in Brian Pulido booth

Here is a shot of Creator Brian Puldio and his wife Francisca Pulido with Lady Death.

Brian and Francesca Pulido with Alex Hayes as Lady Death

Here is one of the shots that I though was really hot so I doctored it up just a little bit in Photoshop for fun.

Illustration of Lady Death with Painter and Photoshop


And lastly, here is a picture that really made my day. One of my photos of Alex Hayes, bodypainted as Lady Death, became the cover of an extremely limited edition Lady Death Comic Book Cover. Wow, what a cool honor!

Mark Greenawalt Bodypainting Cover of Lady Death


There were a lot of other parts of ComiCon that were really fantastic and I hope to be a part of it again in 2012..




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