Welcome to the website of Zak Hennessey. Artist * Writer * Teacher

Body Painting and Such

For my first time body painting, I was immensely fortunate to have one of my favorite people in the world as my model.  That made it by far my favorite body paint to date.  That doesn't mean there was anything wrong with my other models, just that my friendship with Jenn was such that I couldn't have asked for a better experience.


For this session, the lead body painter was Sophia Rose, and I was assisting her, as I had little idea what I was doing at the time.


This will always be a favored memory of mine. The day was one of my happiest of 2014.


This was also the very first meeting of the Denver Chapter of the American Body Paint League, and it was held in my Academy (Denver Entertainment Art & Design Academy - AKA the D.E.A.D. Academy).  Two of the painters at this event would later go on to compete in the Game Show Channel contest "Skin Wars.

My First Body Painting Collab!

This was my second time body painting, and my first time at the Denver Face Paint and Body Art Jam. Nice group of people there. It was a different experience. The ABPL had more rules and structure, while the DFPBAJ was for anyone who wanted to try out body painting or modeling for body painting. Newcomers were welcome there.


For this session, the model was Heather, and the concept was, as you can see, doing an anatomy study in paint.  This was right up my alley, as I teach anatomy at my Academy. Once again I was collaborating with Sophia Rose, and two of my friends joined us for their first times.


For the most part, I blocked in the anatomy, and we all went to work detailing out the muscles and tendons.


It was a lot of fun, and Heather was fantastic. After the event, Heather, my friends, and I all went to the Denver Diner (before their fire) and had a fun after-paint dinner. Heather was still done up in her makeup, and got some interesting looks along the way. Our waitress loved it, though.

And my Second Body Painting Collab

My third body painting collaboration, third with Sophia Rose, and second with the American Body Paint League - Denver Chapter at the studio of Skin Wars Season 1 Contestant Alan Anderson (though I didn't realize this at the time).


Our model was Diana , and the concept was lingerie. The only thing not painted on (other than the head piece (obviously) were the mask and red panties. The rest, including the leg stockings, was painted on. The top was modeled like a butterfly.


Diana was, of course, great. Sophia is good at finding models who can handle the rigors of just standing there for hours while people paint on them. Not as easy as it may sound - try it some time if you don't believe me.


There was a third person there, but I unfortunately don't remember his name...



And My Third Body Painting Collab

My first solo body paint and I was lucky enough to work with Monica Ariel! We were at the Denver Face Paint and Body Art Jam, a fantastic place to practice your body painting. My goal was a much more intricate full body design, but I got caught up in the details of the fiery heart melting out of her chest, and ran out of time.  I also didn't realize that the body paints have built in antibacterial properties, so I lost a LOT of time scraping paint out of my color pallets and mixing them on the side to keep the colors hygenic and clean. Turns out that's not necessary because the paint itself takes care of that. Live and learn, I guess.


I don't have a really good photo of the detail, unfortunately. It's a lot more intricate than these photos show.


You can find out more about Monica Ariel at her FB page, here!

Monica Ariel Solo Body Paint

Rebekah Thorne Body Paint

Rebekah and I got to work together when I helped her get a life drawing gig with the Denver Illustration Salon in January of 2016.  Typically, the Salon's life drawing sessions are costumed, since we do it in a public location (and it's fun drawing people in costumes). The idea was that I would paint up Rebekah, she would throw on some skimpy fantasy-type  outfit, and people could draw a fully realized character.


So we got together at my place for a practice painting session to try out some color and design schemes, and then did a quick photo shoot around the house to show them what it might look like.


Unfortunately, even though many of the "regulars" loved the idea, the event organizers were afraid it would be "too hard" to draw and people would complain. I disagreed, but they were just so wishy-washy about it that I decided I didn't want to take 6 hours of my time on a free body paint if the organizers were going to grumble about it.


But whatever. Rebekah and I had fun doing the practice paint. It wasn't as detailed as I would have liked, because 1) it was just a test, and 2) the poses were quick, and people wouldn't have time to draw a bunch of detail anyway.


You can find out more about Rebekah at her Instagram account and follow her weight training adventures  at rebekahlifts

Future Body Painting Concepts

Mythical Creature - Fire Elemental

Undersea Life

Possible Phase One Character Paints

Of course, things change. But my initial thoughts for bringing some of my characters to life (which is something I have really wanted to do for quite awile)  is to do it in phases. The first phase would be characters that I feel I can do while my skills are still growing. Something, also, I can learn from and build off of. Below are some character concepts I've created over the years that I think would fit pretty well into Phase One. Hopefully, if you follow this website regularly, you will get to see them come to life with real models.

Possible Phase Two Character Paints

These characters might take a little more effort, so I pushed them back to phase two. I want to mix body paint with costumes and prosthetics. One thing I have to consider is whether clothing would look better done in body paint, or in actual cloth and material. Some of it also depends on whether a model that fits the character is okay with body painting, or would prefer a real costume. When and if these characters are created, I guess I will see then.

Possible Phase Three Character Paints

This is looking way down the road, and I will probably create a lot of new characters before getting to these, but what the heck. These would be fun characters to make at one point, down the road. If the right situation presents itself, I might jump one or two of these up a few phases and do them sooner. Guess we'll see.

These were a couple of fun events that I got to be a part of.


Hans Crippleton is a local low budget zombie vs. inbred rednecks movie. They needed some extras, so Jenn and I went down south of the city, got made up as zombies (by two Academy students, who were doing the makeup on the movie!), and got to stagger around in an open field. I was lucky enough to meet my demise at the hands of Hans.


The Horror in the Hills was a fun event up in the mountains at an old cemetery just west of Central City and Blackhawk. Jenn also joined me for this (it was a GREAT month - best of 2014) I got made up as a demon of some sort. It was pretty fun. There were some great pictures taken, the photographers were trouble. One would only give half a dozen low res copies of the photos he took of us (we would have to pay for higher quality prints or if we wanted more. Won't work with that guy again). Another took some shots I'd really like to see, but he never sent them, though he promised to do on a number of occasions. I also won't work with him again if he doesn't send them.  Collaborations are Collaborations.  These games are ridiculous, in my opinion. I'm so glad I now have my own camera now. No longer held hostage by others.


Wish I had more images to share... maybe one day.

Horror in the Hills and Hans Crippleton

(C) 2018 Zak Hennessey. All Rights Reserved. All artwork on this site were created by Zak Hennessey unless otherwise noted.

Inquiries regarding this site or the artist may be sent to zak@deadacademy.com