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Kay Pike’s Body Paint Cosplay Brings Comics Art to Life



A few months ago, artist and cosplayer Kay Pike embarked on a fascinating new project. She’s using body paint to transform herself into various characters from comics and animation. Rather than translating their looks into real world terms, in the manner of the traditional cosplay she had previously done, she’s now incorporating the highlights, shadows, and contours of comic book art.

Each of her short Instagram videos begins with what looks like a stationery, two-dimensional piece of artwork. Then she moves, and it becomes clear how the two-dimensional image has been applied to her three dimensional body. With the female characters she’s done, it’s particularly interesting to see the comic book ideals of a female body overlaid onto an actual female body. And in turn, when she plays male characters like Colossus, she camouflages her own shape with painterly illusions.

We’ve embedded several of her videos below, but you can see them all on her Instagram, and watch her paint on Twitch.


Captian Marvel Bodypaint! Why Carol? she looks like my friend De <3 <3  From my Twitch Stream last nigt :3 Friendship is magic guys. Im a little overly critical of this one, I rushed the bust down, because 10pm ha. Im tyring to practice a spandex glow without being symetrical….. But thats okay were our own worst critics. Had fun as usual. Thanks again for everyone who kept me from quitting when the paint was flaking, and not going on opaique. I was table flipping and you took me back down to bob ross mode :) You guys are awesome. I learned alot as usual. Including how to get my hair on top of my head. Holy jeebus super major props to all hairstylists out there. Like people take three foot long hair and do this on a daily basis. Toats willing to work with any hairstylists in YYC that want to save me 2 hours of my life for promotion. #carol #marvel #cartoon #comic #twitchcreative #twitch #stream #livestream #bodypainting #effort #makeup #excitement #video #chat #streaming #nervous #entertaining #tips #conversation #allday #friendship @twitch @marvel #captianmarvel #pvc #spandex #costume #yyc #hair #fauxhawk

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


Spiderman Paint streamed last night from ! Peter Parker what a goof. Sorry about going down for a few hours yesterday there! We are pioneers on the internet, the staff got it all sorted out and there are many mutual loves ^ ^ In fact, shoutout: MonkeyOnStrike had the idea to poll which bodypaint I should do this week! Going shopping tomorrow so get your votes in! Boy oh boy this was the learning experience, @lustredust came over to do another tandem paint! She did a Carnage!  it’s a beautiful paint, please check it out! I tried some new kinds of paint and am experimenting with three different brands right now. The learning curve is wicked steep with this game. OH actually got the bald cap on properly this time, AND had way more success in the androgyny department. #spiderman #amazingspiderman #peterparker #dailybugle @marvel #twitchcreative @twitch  #video #chat #makeup #bodypaint #bodyart @mehronmakeup @marvel.arts @marvel_pics @marvel_entertainment #marvel #marvelcomics #yyc @monkeyonstrike

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


Doctor Doom Bodypaint from the livestream last night :3 Why? Because the giant panther god told me I had a pure heart. This one definitely took over my head. I could not for the life of me stop adding detail. I will have a 12 hour video to time-lapse later.  Feel free to check out the stream on, we are going through the raws tonight 😀 The most detailed thing I have ever done. My favorite detail is the “D” belt buckle. NOT seen in every rendition of Doom but defiantly the most ballin giggle fest detail in character design I’ve seen in a reference image in a while.  The entire justification for the full torso paint right there. I really cannot help it. I will jump onto a detail and get fixated. I really love it, I will buy this belt buckle If I ever find it in real life. You know I would too. #doctordoom #victorvondoom #drdoom #doom #fantasticfour #twitchcreative  #D @marvel #makeup #bodypaint #bodyart #paint #art #artist #kryolan #twitch #twitchcreative #creative #cosplay #cosplayer #marvel #marvelcomics #yyc #comic @twitch  #video #chat @mehronmakeup @marvel.arts @marvel_pics @marvel_entertainment @kryolanofficial

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


Hey all, This is the Nebula Bodypaint from last night I almost have the complete set, Nebula, Thanos, and Gamora so far! I actually did a decent job of getting the bald cap on properly. I am pleased. Can’t wait to have to photos ready for this one. Wish me luck on finding time to do edits! Nebula was pretty fantastic to paint, still trying to figure out the blacks however! Overall its pretty good, I carried over my robotic techniques from DR Doom, and this one was relatively stress free with next to no optical illusions. She looks just like me 😀 #nebula #sister #scifi #comic #movie #favouritemovie #villan #gotg #cyborg #assassin #badass #retro  #guardiansofthegalaxy  #twitch #twitchcreative #creative  #makeup #bodypaint #bodyart #paint #art #artist #cospaint #cosplay #cosplayer #yyc @twitch @guardiansofthegalaxy @syfy @badasscosplay @cosplay_and_comics @JamesGunn

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


This was a colossal effort and what I streamed on last night.. for 15 hours I really really wanted to get the chest illusion down. I worked so hard, its my Achilles heel of my paints always. Definitely my most in-depth piece and what I decided to take the most time on so far.  I have been wanting to paint the beautiful and majestic colossus since day 1 of streaming and finally got to paint one of everyone favourite x-men. As we all are I am very excited for the #deadpool #movie, I have already been deadpool.. So I'm extra stocked to be colossus!  I hope with all my heart you enjoy Colossus, and that he inspires novelty and wonder in you as well!  #colossus #bodypaint #yyc #makeup #mua #yyc @mehronmakeup #xmen #marvel #marvelcomics @stefankapicic @xmenmovies @xmengeek @xmenewsdaily @otaku_epic_cosplay @comictoons @cosplay_and_comics @badasscosplay @cosplay_only @galacticgamer_ @marvel @marvel_pics @marvel.arts @deadpoolmovie @bodypaint_magazine

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


My Starfire I painted on last night. The Alien of Joy. She is my Venus, full of love and beauty . Starfire has always been a cosplay goal, so I am truly blessed and grateful for the ability to paint. I came up with a game the twitch stream, I was doing Starfire' s Teen Titan voice. For quotes the chat gave me. I am told my imitation is spot on 😀 I am planning of doing more versions of her in the future. I love so many of her iterations. This is the most amazing hair too. the wig is a matilda in pumpkin from @ardawigs with a long weft clipped in! #starfire #bodypaint #SandroBotticelli #GeorgePerez #MarvWolfman #HyndenWalch #timothygreenII @scottylobdell @jimmypalmiotti @amandaconnerart @thenealadams @dccomics @dcentertainment @dccomicsunited @cbr @hyndenwalch1 #redhair #yyc #calgary #bodyart @twitch @kryolanofficial @mehronmakeup @mehroncanada @sephora @bennyemakeup #mehronmakeup #kryolanofficial #mehron @wolfefaceartfx @ardacanada #makeupartistsworldwide #makeup #mua #makeupartist #comic #comicbooks #cosplay #cospaint #twitchcreative #twitch #dc #fanart #marveluniverse @amazingmakeupart #beauty @geekfantasymagazine @comicsandcoffee @comicbookresources @geekculture @badasscosplay @epiccomicpics #wig

A video posted by Kay Pike (@kaypikefashion) on


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