Thursday, 7 August 2014

Skin Wars Season 1 Episode 1: Review

There is a new show on The Game Show Network called Skin Wars. 


It's all about body painting and making it into a reality TV show competition much in the same formula as Project Runway, and Face Off. I love seeing the art and skill in these shows and seeing idea's come to life so I tend to enjoy them. Also being into face and body painting myself I really enjoy seeing this type of art in the main stream.


Each week I will blog about each episode, it's highlights, artistic challenges, and what I would have done if given the same challenge.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

Season 1 Episode 1
Opening:
Of course having actress Rebecca Romijn be the host is interesting. She's pretty well known as playing the role of Mystique in the first X-Men films and for displaying her full figure in head to toe FX makeup and body paint much to the delight of lonely geek boys everywhere.

Never heard of RuPaul until now, sorry. I live under a rock. But of course I have heard of Craig Tracy because of his amazing work, and I've heard of Robin Slonina but not really familiar with her work as well as i am familiar with Mr. Tracy's.

I have seen Felle's work before, Natalies, Shanon's and  Dutch's. Mainly around the internet as I actively seek out body painting art. And I have actually met Dutch in real life.

I met Dutch first when he was doing a short presentation at my college that i went to for special FX makeup. I had already graduated but was invited back to take part in this. The college really hyped it up as being about airbrush, but he really showed technique with a paint brush. AND he was using FACE PAINTS, which my classmates at laughed at me for. So i just loved this! He is also a childrens face painter! And afterwards we got to talk shop a bit about face painting, it was great. Really nice guy.

The 2nd time I met him was again at the college and he was teaching the airbrush class. I was again invited back (being a former star student) to take part in this 'advanced' class. I soon found out how much my first class with the school sucked! Dutch was able to teach more then 2 days then i learnt in 2 weeks while in school. And such a funny guy! He was always wise cracking, and making snide comments all in good fun. His personality really shone and was a great guy the short time i knew him for.

The Makeup Room:
Love how they showed lots of products I'm familiar with. Mehron, Vibe, Wolfe etc. Even caught a glimpse of the same glitter pallet by glimmer that I have. Makes me wonder if they are limited to the tools in the shop. I know I have my favourite paint brushes, and my favourite airbrushes and I wonder if they are allowed to bring their own at all. My brand is TAG, and i didn't see it there at all but the closest would be Wolfe Bros.

Mini Challenge: 
Paint one side of the torso of a model to represent Hollywood.

Felle: 
Great colors, love the nightlife, cameras, the Hollywood sign, the red carpet, and most of all the boom camera up top. Wonderfully painted.

Gear: 
This one really said Holly wood to me, and he would tell he grew up there. The 'feel' of it was right. I felt inside the city. The sunset was very nice too. The star walk, the perspective just everything was great!

Natalie: 
Didn't really get a good look at hers. Buildings, sunset, palm trees. Not sure about the sign on the face. It looked like your average Hollywood street.

Nicole: 
This one hurt my eyes. The design itself was ok, but why all the glitter? Less is more, and i felt this entire thing was just too much. Felt more circus then Hollywood. To me glitter should be used to embellish, but it shouldn't be your main material

Shannon: 
Great perspective with the glass, and the gypsy looked crazy! I would have wanted her to read my future for sure. So crisp! This one really popped! Hollywood is where the magic happens!

Mythica: 
I know i didn't get to see hers very well, but what i did see felt cheesy with the cut out stars and blue and yellow color pallet. It seemed a bit arts and crafts stick and paste diorama day. :( Sorry, just wasn't feeling it.

Angela: 
This was a good painting, but i'm not sure it said 'Hollywood'. To me is felt more like a Vegas stage show. Decent work though, I wish they showed more of it.

Sean: 
Again I didn't get to see a lot of this one, it went by so fast. Looked like a building or something? I almost thought it was a suit of armor. Common, Canada, you can do better then that! *tear*

Dutch:
 Wow. Just wow. So much detail, it looked like he needed more space. Mad skills as an illustrator certainly showed here. Each panel had a color too, and he used black in the middle as a camera centrepiece. Also to me that's what Hollywood is all about, the movies! Excellent choice to put western genre on top too because that's where it really began.

Alan: Super simple. Boring. I felt his was mostly desert. There was a road leading to the Emmy or what ever in the middle and some palm trees... but it was pretty blank over all. The the prospective of the road felt wrong

My Idea:
Being honest I had a very similar idea to Dutch to start with. To me Hollywood is about the movies, and I would have liked to paint a bit of each genre. Though I think I would have liked to paint them interacting with each other. But thinking more on my idea I think it would have been pretty messy looking. I would have also liked to incorporate some type of film reel in there, so maybe breaking up all the genres of movies and using wiggly winding filmstrip to separate them on the torso.

Judges Results:
Winner: - Dutch
Prize: - 30min of additional time for the main challenge

My Top 3
1st - Dutch - He hit it out of the park. Movies man! it's about the movies! I've never been interested in red carpets, buildings and streets. Hollywood is about film first and foremost

2nd - Gear - Perfect mood. I felt there.

3rd - Felle - Everything else you need to know about Hollywood is in this painting.

My Bottom 3:
8th - Alan - sorry dude, it was a bit dry.
(See what i did there? I made an observational joke based on his desert painting, just like the Skin Wars facebook page would do..... ok remind me never to do that again.)

7th - Sean - Gotta show more then a building style.

6th - Mythica - Too stick and paste crafty looking.

Note: In the episode they really didn't show much of the finished work, though i was able to pause on certain parts to get a better look, the footage was limiting. So this is based on what was shown.

Main Challenge:
Paint a model head to toe as a representation of your home town / where you are from.

Gear: 
City - Las Vegas
Too red, the detail on the front seemed lost, I couldn't even tell what it was on the front before i paused it. LOVED the back, it really stood out. But Las Vegas as SO MUCH to work with and SO many colors, i felt using mainly red missed out on so much that could have been. I was really hoping for some casinos and cards or a roulette wheel, stage shows with Tigers, crazy fountains, and mock monuments. I felt robbed with this piece. It was all fire themed, and the legs were just sky and clouds.... felt a bit lazy on the legs. I was painted very well, the man knows how to work an airbrush, but i think it could have told a better story.

Angela: 
City - New Orleans 
This was neat! I loved the color pallet, it was musical, colorful, and very voodoo! I loved the concept and the musical instruments. I think i would have liked to paint a mardi gras mask on her and give it some of those famous beads though. The painting seemed a tiny bit unfinished, i felt it could have been more polished. But with the time they were given this was still really great. Too much fun!

Felle: City - Detroit 
Wow. Not what I think of when I think of Detroit, but honestly i don't know much about it. I just think about cars, and this scene from Disney's The Happiest Millionaire
So if Detroit is about Jazz, then I consider my self educated lol. In which case I totally loved it! The records, the club scene with the dark lights and the little figures. The painting was just great, and he pulled it off with such a limited color pallet. Nice!



Sean: 
Area - Vermont
Ok so first off he didn't really pick a city... he picked a state. But I still think he got a raw deal here. Vermont is boring... but Ontario is MORE boring, so he didn't really get the more interesting concept choices to work with. Sea creature was pretty cool, but I agree the car face through me off, and the front was boring. Why not put some of that lovely fall forest in there that i saw in google image search because i know nothing about Vermont.

Alan:
City - Birmingham AL

First: This didn't meet the head to toe criteria at all.
Second: Why would you paint something that hundreds of other body painters have already done? Blue jeans and a sports jersey? Zero Creativity. The jeans were decently painted, But wit  5 hours to kill I think those seems could have been WAY better. Concept fail. Sorry.

Natalie: 
Area - Texas
Again with some one picking an entire state instead of a city... This was really well painted, but the concept of doing the state out line , then the state flag colors, with a huge wild Texas rose was a little weak. Not my favourite and was a bit forgettable.

Mythica: City - Denver
In her own words 'Terrible'. This is a muddy mess. You can't read the letters, you can't see any detail on the font really, just large blocks of color. The horse on the back almost saves it, but this is very very muddy. I don't think she's mixing her colors properly, as everything is very grey. Very important to mix what we call 'clean' colors to achieve another color, and i don't think she did that.

Nicole: 
City - Florida
Wow this is a hot mess. It's all over the place and not sure what it wants to be. There is no flow, no design really. it feels like Sally Ragdoll's patchwork dress. Is the girl on the back supposed to be her? This is like a preppy nightmare I swear i once had. Splatter paint for the legs.... lazy.


Shannon: 
City - Florida
I think her personal style is a bit messy, but i really liked this. Creatively it was great. Great color, loved the animals, loved the placement, it was awesome. The back was so funny!!! This woman is really creative. Shannon's piece says Florida to me.

Dutch:City - Seattle

Oh. My. God.
That is CRAZY! This piece had EVERYTHING. The tribal art, the Indian Chief, the face paint, the city sky line, the apples, the mountains, the lake, the local wild life! Lions (Cougars), Orca's, Eagles, Salmon, and Bears Oh My!
On top of it all, it's crisp, it's clean, the colors pop, the placement is perfect. This is outstanding!
All the little details. Anyone could just do a few of those animals and just blow them up really big, but dutch got them all. This is the west coast in all it's glory. I wouldn't be surprised if he even snuck in a little pot leaf in a tree or something.


My Idea:
Well I'm from the west coast too, so my idea was (again i know) similar to Dutch's.  I thought of my home town of Creston BC and even though it's a small retirement town i could paint so much from it.
It's original name was 'The valley of the Swans. So i feel I would have a swan, or a few flying over head. I would paint the valley on the back with Kootenay lake, and the Skimmerhorn mountain top and the forest. Also would HAVE to have a Sasquatch holding a case of Kokanee Beer walking into the woods. Creston is the only place in the world where this is brewed.

It's an orchard town so i would also have cherry trees and fruit stands. I would have to have some one hooking a rainbow trout too. I can think of so many things I would put on it I'm sure i would have to limit myself.

Judges Results:
Winner: - Shannon
Eliminated: - Allan

My Top 3
1st - Dutch - Of course! His just blows the others out of the water, hands down.

2nd - Felle - Really showed me a new Detroit, great layout and all with a limited color pallet. Great painting skill.

3rd - Shannon - SUPER creative, this one said Florida to me.

My Bottom 3:
10th - Alan - You just can't do jeans an a jersey in a competition like this. Also it wasn't head to toe. Sorry man.

9th - Mythica - Muddy... just muddy. Uninspired.

8th - Nicole - Sorry but this had no focus, it just seemed like a mish mash of color.

Wrapping up:
Fully agree that Allen did not bring his all to this challenge. I think Dutch was robbed. His was the best in all area's. Really did not expect Shannon's to win honestly. It was cute and creative, but not the best. It reminded me of some cartoon animals my aunt once painted on a kids bedroom wall. I think Dutch had the better piece over all, and was the last person who needed an extra 30 min to pull it off. So far I think the judges are not voting on the best piece over all, and it makes me fear this could end up being played out more for drama....

I'm getting the feeling that they are trying to spin Dutch's confidence into being arrogant. Some of the clips with the reactions made me wonder.  First they seemed to highlight his candid opinions in the interview spots. "I'm not surprised that I won" sounded very arrogant, but knowing Dutch I also know he can be really humble too. He can take criticism of his work really well, and open up about how he can do better, and he will also tell you where you can improve. Another clip that got me was when it was at the 50sec mark to time being up and Dutch said "For you!" but in a voice where he was being over the top sassy. To me it was an obvious joke, but the camera then pans around the room at everyone's reactions of "oh no he didn't", Shannon looked really offended. The whole thing made me wonder if they took it out of context, if they were cranky from 5 hours of work and it simply wasn't received well, or if the reactions were cut in from something else. Could be anything, I've even heard of crew members on these shows talking to the contestants to rile them up into a certain opinion. But everything in Dutch's voice to how he made a silly face when he made the comment told me it was just a joke.

I get the feeling this is going to be played for drama later on. We'll have to wait until the next episode.

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