Thursday, 14 August 2014

Skin Wars Season 1 Episode 2: 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.


Season 1 Episode 2

Mini Challenge: 
Paint the bald head of a model to be a decorative centerpiece on a table corresponding to a specific country.

Country - Jamacia
Interesting idea about the Rasta Man being on the nose and moving around, but the rest of it fell short. I felt with 2 hours to paint there really wasn't much to show for it. Needs to work on his time management.

Dutch:Country - Switzerland 
Holy cow, a snow globe! I would have never thought of that. I kinda came up with an idea for all of them in my head for what i might do, but Switzerland totally stumped me. I got the feeling they gave him this one on purpose.
The train was so good, and how it came across the nose and didn't lose the prospective was great! I hope the judges took note of that tricky placement. loved the color, loved the mountain and the blue shadowed part of it, the split down the side of the globe, and the subtle shine marks of the glass and he golden base neck. Love how he put the detailed cabin in there and the little flag. This was everything i would see in a snow globe from that country. Sorry Nicole, but he didn't add the glitter because of you, he did it because that's what it's a freaking snow globe! Don't flatter yourself.

Country - Brazil 
I loved his idea, but I wish he would of executed it better. Loved the iguana, I'm always a fan of reptiles, and the lizard was painted very well. But the rest of the head was a bit lacking.... It was just all blurry green. I saw a simple tree in the back, but it wasn't anything to cheer about. It was flat and lacked definition. I would have loved to see more foliage and maybe some flowers and ferns. I'm starting to think he's better with an airbrush rather then a paint brush.

Country - USA
I loved the eagle, the eyes were really fierce the colors were good but i couldn't really tell what was going on in other spots. Given they hardly showed very much of it, it was very hard to make everything out. I think it said USA on it, but i can't tell what the right side of the face was, and it never showed the back. But from what it did show it wasn't bad. I think she got the short end of the stick though because people want to see exotic stuff, not their own country, so i think they rushed over it partial because of that.

Country - Russia
This was so cute! I love the fairy tale aspect to it and the contact lens in the wolf part was a nice touch. Still not digging her 'messy' style of painting though, it all looks a bit sketchy. But a very very clever idea. Loved the red square towers on the back too, very neat.

Country - Paris
Not bad, but too much blue. I like the inclusion of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and he Louvre, but they were too small. I felt the entire front of the head was empty besides the mustache and cig.

Country - India
Pretty appointed in this one. *sad face* The back was great but the front wasn't right. The trunk of the elephant was all wrong. I would have liked to see more India with some lotus flowers and color!
So much to work with!
I think the final result fell a little flat. Felle! You are an amazing artist! Why so afraid to you more then 2 colors? I'm noticing a pattern.

Country - Mexico
*rolls eyes* I'm sorry but why go with the obvious choice? Sugar skulls are SO common. I offer sugar skulls in my face painting selections. This is a very elaborate one I'll give it that, but why not push the envelope a little? I found this pretty un-creative and boring to be honest. Was it well painted? Yes. Was it Colorful? Yes. Was it food related? Yes. Was it original? No. So what if you added glitter and bling, I've done that! I think this country was by far the easiest if you are going to cop out and do the most obvious thing.

Country - South Korea
Neat idea but a bit plain. I wish there was more going on with the back of the head. While using the fans for stencils is thinking outside the box (regular box anyway, i use EVERYTHING as a stencil lol), the result wasn't thaaaat great. It was 'meh'. Liked the colors being those in the flag, but the trees were weak. They were too simple with dots of leaves. I look at this and wonder where she spent the 2 hours. Sorry.

My Idea:
So since everyone had a different country randomly assigned to them I had my roommates randomly pick a country no knowing what for, with the only criteria being that it must be well known. After telling them that Great Britain was a land mass and not a country, they picked Japan. Though my head was already buzzing with idea's of them picking the UK and painting big ben lol, they ultimately choose Japan.

So for Japan my idea would be a bamboo forest with a samari walking down a path, or sitting polishing his sword with a pagoda style building next to the water, which would have a spirit arch in the water. I would also have an Asian style dragon some where and the base would be a ring of sushi. Maybe even put some Asian painting style waves in the water and I would sign it in Japanese Characters, as i do know how to Write my name in Kanji.

Given the 2 hour time limit i would probably have to limit my ideas more, but i like to build a painting like a pizza. Start with a nice base then throw on your toppings. Start with the bamboo, water and pagoda, add the dragon, then the Samari etc. If you run out of time for other things it still looks done.

My Top 3
1st - Dutch
This was not only the most well painted piece, it was original, he did front AND back with lots of detail (which i didn't see many other people do!) but also it belonged on a table -the judges were stupid when they said it didn't, others were just floating heads and you said a snow globe didn't belong on a table? Are you nuts?

2nd - Shannon
Too cute! OMG! Again both front and back, lots of detail and playful, the trick with the eye was great!

3rd - Nicole
This really was a well painted piece. The use of the flower prosthetics, the jewels and the glitter glue made it stand out. Flowery and fun but still a skull, nice use of contacts too.

My Bottom 3:
7th - Natalie
I think more could have been done, there was just way too much blue sky and the entire front of the face was practically blank. :(

8th - Sean
Unique idea but poorly executed. In 2 hours there should have been way more painted, and the back wasn't done. Even if the back was done, the idea to fill space with the flag is the opposite of original and seems like a cop out.

9th - Gear
The iguana was cool, but there wasn't anything else but a green head, a sad tree, and a branch for the lizard to rest on. This one i felt had the most potential to be detailed and great but the artist spent all the time on just one thing and ignored the rest of the head as and after thought.

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 to be camouflaged into a background found at a supermarket. Judged on camouflage and blending ability, creativity and design concept, technique and execution.

Candy Shelf
Can't really say she accomplished the depth with this shelf, also it's all very blurry. Her black lines don't line up at all, yellow price tags are missing, and the yellow jars are visibly too short on the head. Around the hips, while those yellow jars on the left are a spot on color match, the ones on the right are painted purple while the real ones on the shelf are clearly blue... At the bottom the green jar labels are more yellow or pale rainbow, but she painted them in bright red. Same with the labels for the bottom yellow jars. To me it popped right out that it wasn't right. But on the other hand the other colors were a great match and this was rather enchanting.

Fruit Stand
I agree with the judges in that I do think she should have burred her in the fruit a bit more to get rid of that shadow. The red apples are great, and the limes, they have perfect color! I can't even see her lower legs in the green apples. The lemons were ok but i felt needed more shadow. And her face is clearly visible, and just looks orange. :/ Also the black separations are kind of meh because you don't see them in the lower stacks. Love how her arm is up with the background there! Great depth! Bonus points for sure! While i don't think it's anything special that she was vertical (i mean what else are you going to do?), this was still a creative pose.

Wine Rack
This one looked hard! oh wow, she really pulled this off. The colors are a perfect match, though the black is a bit light, I know that you really can't get any blacker. She kept the labels on the shelves too! Super risky pose and the back bottles are a little bendy but damn I can't see her right leg! I can make out her foot but the entire right leg is just gone! Love this so much. But I can't help fell for the model having to hold that pose. Good job to both of you!
Soda Bottles
To start I think the it's a little bit 'ballooned'. The prospective is off so it seems like most of it is a bit too low. The colors match up, but the spelling wasn't the only thing about the logo that was off - there was a yellow image in the logo in the green bottle too that wasn't in her painting. The letters really seemed rushed and the whites had a bit too much bleed through from the other colors under it.

Bread Rack
The prospective was great! everything seemed to line up nicely. I think the colors were a bit dark, they needed a bit more orange in them. But you can tell that Felle has done this before! I think she could have but a bit more color into it, like with those bags of break with the blue on the wrapper, just to spice it up a bit. I think that limiting his color pallet is a reoccurring theme with this artist. Overall it's a great job, if a little boring, it does blend in, not really a creative pose though. But what kills it is that he stopped before the bottom. Misunderstanding that I think he could have cleared up beforehand.

Cereal Boxes
It's pretty good, but just like Angela his whites are not white with the logos.  I get the feeling some of the artists are using the mehron white to try to paint over top of other colors. But being a Glycern base paint it doesn't work so well. Her right arm really disappears next to the raisin cereal but everything is super blurry and the detail is lost. At the knee it far too black as the reflection lights up that part a bit. Just personally I really don't like how there is a line all the way down her middle. I think she could have broken that up a bit by moving the boxes around. Most of all around her pelvis area because it looks 'inappropriate' lol. The nail in the coffin though is the hair showing.
On another note, i'm not sure about his reaction to being criticized, it seemed like a bit of an excuse.

Soup Cans
Wow... she's pretty gone. All his colors match spot on and shit whites are white, I thin he must be using a wax based white like Wolf Bros to get his whites nice and bright. He knows his products. So much detail here, much like the wine bottle one, each can has a round depth to it that you just don't get when choosing cereal boxes. I was surprised that he choose this one out of the many options because it looks pretty hard to do, if not the most difficult one. Though I will agree that the pose was pretty static (though no more then Felle's was). He played it a bit too safe with this pose, but given the crazy amount of detail to do, i think i would have done the same.
On his back and forth with the judges I felt it was a bit chopped. The entire exchange seemed a little Frankenstein (as in pieced together). But in the end like the professional he is he can take the criticism of his lack of creative model posing with this challenge as legitimate.

Vegetable ProduceThis is the one i felt Shannon's style really betrayed her on. She has a very cartoony style that just doesn't look real to me, and on this challenge it really showed. The detail was great but it didn't look real, it was a bit too stylized. That said, it still looked good regardless and parts still disappeared. It was pretty close to being real looking, and i think she made a good choice going for the veggies. The pose was really nice too, very classy. and she really pushed and pulled depth with this piece.

Again this is very muddy painting, the colors are really off and the pose is static. I can see her and it just doesn't work. She really must not be mixing her colors properly. I think she must have run our of time as she spent a lot of time trying to pose her model. The roses are quite nice, but the yellow in the middle doesn't work. I would have liked to see a more creative pose as well as better colors. What killed it for me was the blue flower, and the face looks 'sad'.

My Idea:
I don't really have much of my own idea here because all the backgrounds are all so different. But I think I would have gone for the fruit backdrop, or the wine bottles for my skill set. Not as many colors to work with for one. With the fruit it's pretty easy, and the wine there is a lot of dark colors which is great to use to hide things.

My Top 3
1st - Natalie
For having such a difficult background, i got to give his woman props. Her models leg REALLY vanished, and she had a super crazy difficult pose to work with. She really challenged herself, took a risk and pull it off.

2nd - Dutch
Crazy amount of detail here. The colors were spot on and his model blended in very nicely, though didn't vanish as well as Natalie's. Technically his was spot on and really a high roller, but I put him in 2nd because of the static pose.

3rd - Gear
Again with the colors being spot on. I love how the models arm is raised and he really had some great depth. Lower legs really disappeared, but the face of his model could have been better.

My Bottom 3:

7th - Felle
Note quite spot on with the color, but the main failing point was it being cut off at the knee for a head to two challenge. I misunderstanding yes, but one that could have been cleared up by asking some one or even looking at his fellow contestants.

8th - Sean
Blurry, loss of detail, things not lining up, but the worst was that he missed the hair.

9th - Mythica
While the roses were great and made her hip disappear, the rest can be totally seen and was just over all muddy looking. This spot had so much you could have done with color and depth but the entire thing fell flat on the execution. Need to really work on her color mixing.

Wrapping up:
Over all I felt this episode was pretty close to how i felt about the end results. I really think Dutch could have taken this one if he was a little more creative with his pose. Even though Angela's was misspelled and the logo was off, it honestly wasn't that different then Nicole getting her labels and colors wrong too. Little things like that are more of a 'spot the changes' game, I wouldn't really count them as being that big of a deal in the end. I think if Sean went home for having missed his models hair, the Felle should have been right there with him for missing everything below his models knees. I think they went easy on Felle and gave him a bit more of a break because his model was sick. Fair enough. But I felt like maybe they tried to exasperate Sean at the end to get the reaction that he gave. Most of the back and forth stuff seemed like it went through a chop shop of over editing.
Mythica is my bottom choice for this because she could have done so much more, her colors were off, her depth was off, and of her models static pose.

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