Our Process

Black Light Body Paint on Water by BLVisuals

Who we are

BLVisuals (Black Light Visuals) started as Art Therapy for an Artist and his friend, a wounded Marine, allowing them to overcome physical obstacles and continue expressing themselves creatively. After initially debuting their body marbling process at Electric Forest Festival 2013 in their home state of Michigan, the duo continued to travel to music festivals to share their story and vend their painted products. Their journey became their rehabilitation process - and BLVisuals was born. They have since assembled a small crew of devoted friends and followers to help spread the Black Light Visuals experience and body paint people all around the nation.

 

What We Do

We create paintings using a specialized technique we call HydroDye that allows us to manipulate color and abstract patterns on a fluid surface. This painting on water process is more complicated than it seems, and took years of trial and error before we discovered the true potential of the ancient paper marbling technique (aka Ebru). The following are common questions about what we do, how we do it, and other FAQ’s. To read more about the minds behind this vibrant movement, check out our Story.

How does it Work?Electric Forest Arm Dip Body Paint by BLVisuals

There is a bit of prep work to be done before we are able to paint items or arms. We start with a salt water solution that we soak the item or guest’s arms in. Once the entire surface is covered in the salt water, we allow the solution to dry completely, giving the surface a porous texture that the paint will later adhere to.
Once the solution is dry, we create a painting on the fluid surface by placing drops, lines, and other patterns of paint one color at a time in our tanks. Playing off the fluid’s natural movement, we are able to create vibrant abstract paintings that we then dip our products or arms into.
The dried salt water solution comes into play at this point, since the fluid and paint would not ordinarily adhere properly to skin without its assistance. The salt actually prevents the paint from clogging pores by pulling the paint into the salt crystals and retaining only a thin layer of paint entirely externally. Since the paint is so thin, and since it does not block pores, it is easy to sweat through naturally, and washes off without ever staining the skin.

What kind of paint is it?

Arm Dip Paint Drip Macro BLVisuals Black Light Visuals

We can’t divulge all of our secrets, but what we can tell you is that they are FDA-Approved Zero-VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compound), which means that they emit little to no carbon-based gasses that could be harmful to the guest, and do not contain most chemicals like lead, cadmium, mercury, and other harmful substances found in many paints, including many craft store face paints. Since the paint is not adhering directly to the skin, is not too thick to breathe through, and is also not oil-based, the paint wipes off easily with soap and water, but also has the potential to last hours through natural sweating if the paint is not rubbed when wet.

 

 

What is in the fluid?

Marbling Body Paint Arm Dip by BLVisualsThe fluid is one of the most important parts of our process, because the density has to be just right in order for our paints to float. The main ingredient is water, and our thickening agent is safe, nontoxic, and natural. If you have any concerns about particular allergens, please email us at Contact@BLVisuals.com with your questions, and we will be sure to work with you and see if the body paint is right for you! 

Do the tanks get dirty?

BLVisuals Rinse Water for Body PaintWe utilize filtration systems to ensure that the salt water remains clean during the presoaking process. Guests are instructed to lightly rub their arms while pre-soaking in order to wash off dirt and grime, which is being constantly filtered out of the tank. Their arms are then cleansed and prepped for our painting tanks, which keeps them cleaner for longer. We also ensure that we cycle out our painting tanks several times during festivals to ensure quality and safety. The rinse water is also equipped with a water filtration system that keeps arm paint clean and clear for each individual.

Do you sell kits?

Right now, BLVisuals does not offer body painting or clothing painting kits. We do, however, sell our merchandise online and at festivals, offer our body painting at events and festivals, and even take custom and wholesale orders for our products. Kits are still a little way off, but we hope to offer them in the future, and it is a work in progress!

FIRE GIFWhere can I do this?

If you live in the area, you can feel free to visit us at our storefront in Clarkston, Michigan, or check out our Tour page to see where we will be next! Please keep in mind that we are a small crew, so it is not always possible for us to be at festivals far from home, but if you have a suggestion, we will definitely check it out.

Do you do private events? 

Yes, we have different starting rates depending on location, event size, and type of painting service. To get started on a customized rate, please email us at Contact@BLVisuals.Com!