Paint meets body as artists practice for competition

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Liberal arts graduate Rebecca Rojas paints mechanical engineering freshman Brandon Puni during a paint jam Oct. 18 at Alamo City Studios. Artists from Beyond The Canvas practiced for the Texas Body Paint competition Nov. 10 at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Courtesy photo by Dean Adam Contreras

Texas Body Paint contest is Nov. 10 in Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

By James Russell

The practice of painting designs and patterns onto the human body is known as body painting and is an ancient artform still practiced today.

Beyond The Canvas, a local nonprofit organization, held a get-together for artists Oct. 18 called a “paint jam” in Alamo City Studios, a multi-functional facility that serves multiple clients.

Alamo City Studios, 1113C E. Houston St., rents spaces for projects.

The organization was founded in 2010 by Tomás Vasquez, the director who handles the media, hosting, graphic designing and promoting.

During this event, six artists practiced for the Texas Body Paint Competition Nov. 10 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Craig Tracy from the TV show “Skin Wars” on the Game Show Network will be a guest judge at the body painting competition.

Moona J. Weaner will be a guest judge as well.

She was the 2014 and 2016 Living Art America Champion and 2013 Australian Body Art Festival winner.

The theme for the 11th annual competition is “arcade classics.”

Co-organizer Josh Macias, who graduated from this college with an Associate of Arts in photography has been with Beyond The Canvas since 2014.

“Body painting is one of the oldest art forms. Before writing on walls, there was art on the body,” Macias said. “It’s been pushed in this box of taboo of being overly sexualized. But once you see the transformation from start to finish, it becomes a living piece of art. 

“My position as lead photographer is to immortalize that moment,” Macias said. “This is art that goes down the drain one or two hours after. To capture that moment and make it memorable is what makes photojournalism important.”

Event Coordinator Rebecca “Reds” Rojas started her career in the body paint industry as a canvas, then quickly became an artist designing patterns and a paint palette.

Her skill landed her in second place at the 2017 Texas Body Paint Competition.

Rojas was introduced by a friend to Beyond the Canvas when she was a freshman here in a painting class.

Rojas found through being the canvas that painting is a relaxing experience.

“Being covered in paint is a chance to be out of character for once. It’s why this is such a big stress-reliever,” Rojas said.

When Rojas begins her layout for painting, she goes through step-by-step sketches in her head.

First, she lightly sketches patterns on the body. Second, she applies a base coat of paint.

Third, she adds a medium layer to the base. Fourth, she outlines the specific patterns in the design. Fifth, she adds details and finishes the design.

She creates her body art mentally first so she can skip sketching the design.

“Normally, you would have to sketch out everything before, but with body paint, you can just jump straight into painting,” Rojas said.

Rojas’ canvas is her husband, mechanical engineering freshman Brandon Puni, and he has been for four years since Rojas took up body painting.

She painted the famous 1981 arcade game Galaga on her canvas.

The project took her about six hours. She painted from the torso up for practice. This is the design she will enter in competition.

Puni, who said he is a shy person, gets into character, which presents the artist’s work better.

“Body painting helped get me out of my shell to open up and to perform better,” Puni said.

For information on the Texas Body Paint Competition Nov. 10 or to join Beyond The Canvas, go to or contact Rojas at 210-601-7809.


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