Body Painting Set - Aquatica

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This is the second set I've worked on with this model, Rinjii, and the third with this photographer, Jason J. Romein, and the results are a genuine pleasure, as always.

For this set, I had wanted something really organic looking. What I hadn't planned on, upon seeing the colour scheme applied, was how aquatic it looked. Upon seeing this, it became immediately obvious to both the model and I that we would need to do a set down by the water. And in Vancouver, there was no better place to do so than our nude beach, Wreck Beach. Though physically trying to do the painting there on the beach, the results speak for themselves.

I also want to extent my heartfelt thanks to my friend BJ, who has aided me twice before, and who went above and beyond with his contribution to this set, and without whose efforts, spirit, and camaraderie this could never have been the success that it was.

Body Painting Set - Disruption Pattern (supplemental)

After posting the first seven pics from this set last week, the model, Rinjii, asked for four specific additional photos from that set to be cleaned up and prepared for display for her. It was a few extra hours of work, but what the heck. There's no reason why she shouldn't get the photos she wanted from the set she posed for, right? And so...

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Dave Littler Dot Com

For years now, I've been neglecting my hideous old website. There's a number of reasons for this, and one of them is that it was so much a product of its time - some ten years or so ago - that its design was ultimately just beyond any sort of repair or renovation. An entirely new design was needed. This was going to be a massive undertaking, of course, and so I dragged my heels for quite some time. Another issue was the old URL; when I first registered it, there had been a webcomic I was planning on creating simply called "Bjorn", which I never got around to. I ultimately DID create another webcomic, Dave & Vyacheslav, which I hosted here, but that's another story. I always planned on registering my own name as a URL, and when I did so, to build the new site around it. It was around a year ago that I got around to that registration, and had it point to my appalling old site. When I rebuilt the site, it was always going to be as .

I got to work on it in a serious way some months ago, beginning with a new visual "language" for the site; one which was vaguely suggestive of the old design, since I wanted a sort of continuity of design, but which had its own unique and consistent feel to it. I showed off some of this artwork here at the time, without context, and was pleased to see it well-received. Things ground to a halt again, though, when a friend of mine who is a website designer offered to take part in the coding, and then didn't get around to it.

This weekend, though, I finally made the decision to just dedicate a couple of days to getting it online, even in some minimal fashion, and now I have done so. There's a good deal of work to be done; some of the links on the main page just point at sections of this blog and such. Now that it's up, though, and no longer a visual embarassment, it's all just polish and details. Details which I hope to get to work on in the next week or so.

So! Without further ado, may I take this occasion to proudly announce the launch of...

Dry Marble Tears of Bitter Envy

I always say that if something is worth doing, it's worth OVER-doing.

In light of this, the extent to which my recent simple request to the Vancouver community's members to help me find a simple device for sale spun wildly out of control should come as no surprise.

To quote myself, as per that post:


I have a problem, kind fellows, and one whose solution is so tantalizingly close that the fact that it eludes my grasp even so is agony to me. It is my earnest hope that one among you may have it within you to aid me in solving it.

My legs are, in most respects, a twin pair of columns composed of rippling muscle of such definition and grace that Michelangelo's David would weep dry marble tears of bitter envy to look upon them. Perfection marred, however, is no perfection at all, and there is a flaw in each of them which needs be addressed before this can truly be called the best of all possible worlds.

My inner thighs, nearest that resplendant temple of manhood which is my groin, lack a certain amount of tone. My daily routines, though they have graced me otherwise with a duo of walking limbs unrivaled even in the imagination of poets and gods, have sadly failed to bequeath upon me a pair of thighs equal to the majesty otherwise to be found therein. Plainly, this is an affront which cannot stand. How can any of you bear to live in a world where such a tragedy goes unaddressed? And so measures must be taken.

It seems to me, as I ply the mighty brain which bulges and pulsates with peerless intellect within my skull, that there is a device whose sole and express purpose it is to correct such affronts.
A device which is called a "Thigh Master."

I would be the master of my thighs, and have them bend knee in obediance before me, casting aside their childish rebellion, and if this device can be used as a sort of proxy for masterhood in this respect, then so be it, I say!

But where! Where is such a device to be had? Let it be known that I wish so greatly to own this contrivance of metal and foam that I would even exchange my own precious money in order to obtain it! Where, therefore, might I have the opportunity to do so? What establishment of business, what haven of commerce might I visit in order that such an exchange might take place? I beg you, my friends and countrymen, let not this gross injustice continue.

But tell me where this mechanism of mastery might be had, and know that you will have my genuine and lasting grattitude.

Body Painting Set - Disruption Pattern

After far too many months (and far too many frustrations!), at long last a new set is complete! 

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We had actually had another set planned for yesterday, but it was to have been an outdoors shoot, and the weather was just not working for us. Determined to claim victory from the jaws of defeat, however, we decided instead to do a shoot inside of my apartment. Moreover, we decided to do something I had only done a bare handful of times before, and not for several years now: To do a set with no advance planning or preparation of any kind. 

This was a pretty satisfying experience, all told, to be able to just cut loose and see what I could come up with as I went along. It was naturally made all the more satisfying thought the lovely and talented model, Rinjii, and the photographic talents of Jason J. Romein, who some may recall my having worked with some months ago, and who I feel has come along by leaps and bounds as a photographer just in that time.

Our previous plans we have put off for two weeks, and hopefully the weather will allow us to pursue those plans when the time comes; a hope made all the more engaging by the excellent results of this collaboration.


Orphan Design Week - Day 4 (more or less): Red Lightning

Sorry I missed yesterday’s post on this; I fell asleep in front of my computer, so weary was I as a result of the grim toil of my day to day existence. My intuition tells me that, as tired as I was, my post – had I made it – would have lacked my characteristic verve and verbosity anyways.

This design (which I’m putting below the cut for the sake of those who are more sensitive to the appearance of lady parts than others) is a bit of an unusual one for me.
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Last year, I put out an ad on Craigslist, looking for models (and got a few decent sets out of the experience), and a whole lot of bullshit and flakes. This is one of the latter. This young woman responded to my ad and came over to my place to have a look at my sketchbooks. Inside of my sketchbooks, I keep all of my designs, as well as – wherever applicable – photos of the corresponding shoots. There’s a couple in there that I no longer display online, for one reason or another. One of them is an exceptionally early set of mine, back when I was just figuring out what I was doing. There was no set, no backdrop. The model was a friend of mine who was literally just standing around in my cluttered kitchen. It was a good design, if a simple one, but for display purposes, it falls well below my usual standards. It also has a lot more exposed skin, since I was still getting the hang of things back then, and my designs lacked the complexity and thoroughness that the ones I’ve done since then have.

While normally what I do at this point in the process is find an un-used design which the would-be model likes and then get to work on re-designing it for her, this woman for some reason gravitated towards this ancient design of mine like no other, and could not be dissuaded from it. While normally I would have just flatly said “no”, because I have no interest in repetition, there was the fact that I no longer displayed that one, and therefore a re-do of it would not represent a repetition in my overall body of work. What’s more, it was so very different than what I tend to do now that there was some appeal in doing that different style. I told her I would come up with something which was similar to that old one, though more complex and thorough, and asked her – just to be completely sure – if she wanted the same degree of exposed bits as was in the original design. She affirmed that she did.

So! I set to work on designing the new version of the old design on paper, and then, after I was happy with it, re-designing it for her form. It took a while; it was an interesting challenge to adapt old material to new techniques, though not an unpleasant one. Nevertheless, it did take quite a few hours.

Finally, I sent it off to her. And got no reply. Not even a “no”, not even a “let’s try a different approach”, not even a “I’ve changed my mind.” Absolute and inexplicable silence. I tried a number of times, over the course of about two weeks, to get a response out of her, but there was no break in the silence.

This one annoyed me a bit more than most because it was a custom job, from top to bottom, which was crafted specifically as per her request, and she lacked even the courtesy to acknowledge all the work I had put in on her behalf.

But that’s how it goes sometimes.

Most of the time, really.

America Speaking Out - A comedy forum, apparently

Today, I discovered a delightful site called "America Speaking Out"; a website created by the American Republican party, putatively for the purposes of creating an online forum where Americans can let the Republican party leadership know what they're thinking about. The structure is a simple one: Anyone can join, free of charge, with a very quick registration. They can then immediately start posting polls on relevant topics, which are unmoderated and can be commented upon.

The trolls have found this place really quickly, and I am proud to count myself among their numbers.

I really have no qualms about this one; the idea that the Republican leadership was ever going to allow their voting habits to be guided by a site like this is absurd. This was never anything but a transparent publicity stunt. It deserves to be mocked, and so I am more than happy to take part in that mockery. I've put up a few polls already, which seem to be treated fairly favourably: 

A few topics I've come up with: 

-I've noticed lately that America's birds are getting a little on the small side. The North African Ostrich is the world's largest and therefore best bird. Why is it that the greatest country on earth doesn't have the world's biggest birds? Liberals want our birds to be small because they hate the Constitution. Jews did 9/11.

-Given that the source of all sin is the Devil, and therefore all of our worldly woes, does not it logically follow that in order to truly secure our great nation from harm, we need to defeat the devil himself? We are taught that suicide is a mortal sin, and that all who commit it go immediately to h*ll. What I propose, therefore, is this: Mass suicide by our armed forces, so as to occupy H*ll, depose the devil, and bring democracy to the inferno. Liberals and communists would have us believe that the deaths of our entire armed forces would weaken our national defense, but this couldn't be further from the truth: With the devil dead, Islam would no longer exist, and we would therefore be safe from external threats.

-I see a lot of homeless veterans who have debilitatng physical and mental illnesses suffered in the line of duty and are now begging for change on the street. I feel that by giving them this change, we only encourage current and future members of the armed forces to suffer these illnesses, thus weakening our national defense. Rewarding this behavior is unpatriotic, and anyone who disagrees with me is only helping the terrorists.

-Won't someone please think of the children?

It seems the membership of this new site is having a rollicking good time. Won't you join us? 

Orphan Design Week - Day 3: Points of Convergence

Some of my designs are arranged around simple visual "rules", and after they've been established, the set in large part seems to design itself. This is just such a case. All of the lines on the design curve and zig-zag around before converging upon one of several points scattered around the body; the bridge of the nose, the solar plexus, the groin, the elbows, the knees and the small of the back. There's a unity of design that I really like about it.

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Orphan Design Week - Day 2: Zigzag

It's possible that some - or indeed even most - of you will have missed day 1 in this series; I've noticed that things I post in the morning get way more comments than those I post in the evening, and I did posr the previous entry fairly late last night. If so, I would suggest you check it out here.

And now for part 2

A few years ago, I had a model approach me about doing some work together. She was quite keen on my work, but she had a concern she wanted addressed: One of her breasts was noticeably smaller than the other.

"No problem!" I said. "I can come up with a design which is asymetrical, and which has a bunch of visual clutter over one breast, so as to mislead and beguile the eye." She was all for it, and so I got to work.

After I finished the design in my sketchbook, I sent her a scan, and she told me she liked it. Before I could get a series of reference photos of her, though, she decided that she was no longer willing to do any modeling which involved taking off her clothes, and so the project was scrapped. The design remained in my book however, just waiting for someone else to take an interest...

A year or so later, I had a photographer approach me about doing some work together. He had some models he thought would be interested as well, and brought one over to my place to talk. Going through my books, she zeroed in on this same design, and so I got to work on designing this for her. Indeed, I came up with three colour schemes that I was fond of (the other two of which are below the cut here).

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Before we could do this shoot, though, the photographer called me up, out of the blue, one day, asking if I would meet up with him that afternoon. He had some models he wanted to work with on one of those extremely boring sets where the model is painted to look like she's wearing a set of clothes.

"I don't know, man. There's no creative challenge there. It's just recreating something that already exists, you know? It's not all that creatively stimulating to me." He was quite displeased, and I went on to tell him that I still looked forwards to working with him on our previously-arranged set.

I would never hear from him again.

I had no contact with the model aside from through this photographer, and so the set ended up not happening. Another orphan design.

Orphan Design Week - Day 1: Golden Runes

Over the years, I've come to accept that 70-80% of the would-be models who say they'll work with me on a body painting set will ultimately never end up taking part in the set they say they want. I accept the fact that this is just the way things go. Nevertheless, as time goes by and my standards for my own technique rise, there is a problem which has become ever more serious.

I like to have detailed design work going in to a set, and I've developed a technique for creating these which is extremely useful. I meet with the model in question and get a series of photos, taken from a variety of angles. I then assemble from them a single image which I then print up. I re-draw the original design over-top of the photos. This step is pretty involved; it means not just transcribing the original design from my sketchbook, but  re-arranging and re-thinking it so that it best fits and flatters the form of the model in question. I then take that line work, scan it back into Photoshop, and then add colours to it.

I send this to the model, and say "There's what you should look like when this is done. What do you say. Do you like it? Or does it need some work?" If she likes it, I send it to the photographer we choose to work with, and discuss the plans for the set. Come the day of the body painting set, I've got the final image sitting in my hands, as a handy all-around guide as to what I'm supposed to be doing. It's extremely useful.

There's a problem though: This process usually takes around ten hours of work for me. Much longer, ironically, than the process of paintin the model itself. And it's at this point that most models flake out on me, meaning that I've wasted about ten hours of work.

The result is what I call "Orphan designs"; designs which I come up with for a specific model, who then abandons the project, leaving me holding the baby, so to speak. They're a source of some frustration for me, and in general terms, the most I get out of them is my ability to show them to subsequent models and say "It will be like this... only on you."

This week, though, I'm going to do something I've been thinking of doing for some time, and show off some of my orphan designs. They're quality artwork, and there are some interesting stories behind some of them. There's no reason why they shouldn't find an audience.

Let's start with a quality one, shall we? 

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