Forums > Model Colloquy > Oiled Nudes

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

This is a question for models who have experience getting oiled up for shoots. I will be doing some studies of a model who will be oiled up for the session.  It's new to me and the model.

Models, do you have a preferred oil?

Since it will be a drawing/painting session as well as photography, and the model will be sitting still for a while, do you get cold sitting around with oil on your skin?

Is there a problem collecting lint and stuff on you?  Can you leave it on after the shoot, or do you prefer to shower it off?

Thanks!

Mar 27 11 01:11 pm Link

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Model

Koryn

Posts: 36970

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I much prefer to shower it off, or at least towel the majority of it off.

Lint doesn't stick on you, unless you are *very* oiled up.

I've never noticed getting any colder than regular.

Mar 27 11 05:30 pm Link

Model

Alisyn Carliene

Posts: 11756

San Bernardino, California, US

johnson and johnson or vaseline baby oil w/ cocoa butter. thanks

Mar 27 11 05:36 pm Link

Photographer

GDML77

Posts: 1133

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

aquarelle wrote:
This is a question for models who have experience getting oiled up for shoots. I will be doing some studies of a model who will be oiled up for the session.  It's new to me and the model.

Models, do you have a preferred oil?

Since it will be a drawing/painting session as well as photography, and the model will be sitting still for a while, do you get cold sitting around with oil on your skin?

Is there a problem collecting lint and stuff on you?  Can you leave it on after the shoot, or do you prefer to shower it off?

Thanks!

I will give my 2 cents as a photographer, if you will choose the oil and not the photographer, and the photographer is not experienced enough, be very careful about what you choose according to lightening...

Firing a soft box against a skin with oil can be like firing a flash against a mirror, there is maths and science in choices of oil, lightening and camera configurations...

I would use a lotion, not a oil like a massage oil... the trick is to put small amounts and place some more as it dries... (unless of course the idea is to make the model really look all soaked up in it, but in such cases the photographer needs a lot of care)...

Mar 27 11 05:55 pm Link

Photographer

GDML77

Posts: 1133

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Alisyn Carliene wrote:
johnson and johnson or vaseline baby oil w/ cocoa butter. thanks

If the photographer knows what he is doing... and you control amounts well...

Johnsons baby oil is too dangerous in my experience, some zones reflect like a mirror unless you measure amounts, and wait until it dries, and control lightening (which is deeply dependent on the background color, model skin color and hair, and not always adjustable by the oil itself)...

Mar 27 11 05:58 pm Link

Photographer

Stephen Dawson

Posts: 29249

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have provided olive oil a few times, and it worked well.

Mar 27 11 06:04 pm Link

Model

Kam Arose

Posts: 6014

Berkeley, California, US

ShivaKitty wrote:
I much prefer to shower it off, or at least towel the majority of it off.

This.

Baby oil/baby oil gel is kinda standard, I think (I've used it), but I'm sure that other skinsafe oils could work as well.

Mar 27 11 06:08 pm Link

Photographer

W A L L E R

Posts: 862

Columbus, Ohio, US

How about used motor oil?

Mar 27 11 06:14 pm Link

Photographer

Ivan Galaviz - Photo

Posts: 891

Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

John Mark Waller Photo wrote:
How about used motor oil?

I've tried it.. NOT GOOD... the smell is acceptable, but the skin rash isn't

Mar 27 11 06:18 pm Link

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

GDML77 wrote:
I will give my 2 cents as a photographer, if you will choose the oil and not the photographer, and the photographer is not experienced enough, be very careful about what you choose according to lightening...

Firing a soft box against a skin with oil can be like firing a flash against a mirror, there is maths and science in choices of oil, lightening and camera configurations...

I would use a lotion, not a oil like a massage oil... the trick is to put small amounts and place some more as it dries... (unless of course the idea is to make the model really look all soaked up in it, but in such cases the photographer needs a lot of care)...

I will be working with daylight only.  We will be in my art studio, using no artificial light, with a dark background.  You can see general lighting conditions on some of the photos I have posted in my port.

Mar 27 11 06:22 pm Link

Model

Dazey

Posts: 1029

Clearwater, Florida, US

Neutrogena Sesame Oil works well with my skin & it is very sensitive. Olive oil also works but doesn't smell as nice ;-) and can get a bit too greasy at times.

Mar 27 11 06:28 pm Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 15857

Orlando, Florida, US

John Mark Waller Photo wrote:
How about used motor oil?

Wow... seriously?

Here's a good rule of thumb.  Don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't ingest.

Do not use used motor oil.  Period.

Mar 27 11 06:31 pm Link

Model

Elizabeth Claret

Posts: 56038

Yelm, Washington, US

I'll be honest, I'm not sure the purpose behind doing oiled nudes for figure studies.

Is it to get different light/shadow perspectives?

Mar 27 11 06:32 pm Link

Model

Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

People use baby oil. Tanning oil. Baby oil gel  it's really sticky). Olive oil in a jar or spray (but still can stain cloths. Pretty much all oil does. But looks great smile Olive oil would be my personal pic.

Yes pat it off with a towel or paper towels, unless it's the gel (used that on one of my last shoots) that stuff is crazy sticky (but eventually just absorbed)

Mar 27 11 06:37 pm Link

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

Elizabeth Claret wrote:
I'll be honest, I'm not sure the purpose behind doing oiled nudes for figure studies.

Is it to get different light/shadow perspectives?

I will be working with an African American model, and I want to try to convey the glistening of the window light on her creamy dark skin.  The backdrop will be very dark.  It will be an experiment for me as a painter to see if I can capture the effect.   Here is a beautiful photograph by Chicago Imaging Solutions (#330868) that suggests the kind of result I will be going after.

(18+)

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/13239348

Mar 27 11 06:38 pm Link

Photographer

MAD ART STUDIO

Posts: 131

New York, New York, US

I guess Olive oil is the right choice...since they 're using on porn industry lol!!
" Tested and proven" lol

Mar 27 11 06:41 pm Link

Photographer

Cecil Sharps

Posts: 1993

MAYLENE, Alabama, US

Stephen Dawson wrote:
I have provided olive oil a few times, and it worked well.

nuke the oil for 10 seconds.    then apply

Mar 27 11 06:42 pm Link

Model

Elizabeth Claret

Posts: 56038

Yelm, Washington, US

aquarelle wrote:

I will be working with an African American model, and I want to try to convey the glistening of the window light on her creamy dark skin.  The backdrop will be very dark.  It will be an experiment for me as a painter to see if I can capture the effect.   Here is a beautiful photograph by Chicago Imaging Solutions (#330868) that suggests the kind of result I will be going after.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/13239348

Ah.

I hope it goes well. I look forward to seeing the result.

Mar 27 11 06:44 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 8078

Imperial, California, US

NEVER!! use motor oil of any kind EVER!! There are plenty of safe oils you can use, olive, jojoba... Any oil used for massage is safe.

Mar 27 11 06:44 pm Link

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

Elizabeth Claret wrote:
Ah.

I hope it goes well. I look forward to seeing the result.

Thankyou!

I'm hoping that with luck the effect will be similar to the beautiful dark bronzes of Rodin, which I think the photographer captured in his photo.

Mar 27 11 07:30 pm Link

Photographer

hbutz New York

Posts: 3252

Ronkonkoma, New York, US

Good Egg Productions wrote:

Wow... seriously?

Here's a good rule of thumb.  Don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't ingest.

Do not use used motor oil.  Period.

Good advice.  Most photographers use a combination of glycerin and water.

Mar 28 11 06:05 am Link

Photographer

Looks by Robert

Posts: 300

Florence, South Carolina, US

I'd suggest EVOO! tongue

Mar 28 11 06:11 am Link

Photographer

Creative Image

Posts: 1328

Avon, Connecticut, US

Spray PAM -- for sure!

Mar 28 11 06:32 am Link

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Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6509

New York, New York, US

Creative Image wrote:
Spray PAM -- for sure!

Being asthmatic myself, I probably worry too much, but I'd be concerned about the possibility of of the model breathing in some of the mist.

In the few instances where I've used oil, olive oil has been the preferred choice.

Mar 28 11 08:31 am Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 37022

San Francisco, California, US

I have seen baby oil suggested here and olive oil.  On virtually every major set I've worked on, where we oiled the model, it was actually a combination of the two.  We have a bottle here, ready to go, with olive oil and baby oil mixed together.  The olive oil prevents it from soaking in quite so much and also makes it a bit more visible.  The result is that you can use less but you can see it more.  I find that it stains less because you need much less.

We also keep a spray bottle with water or glycerine and water handy.  The oil can be made a lot more visible by spraying it.  The water or mixture will bead up and create a great effect.

I have had a lot of problems when I tried to use baby oil alone.  It is too glossy so it doesn't work well with studio lights.  Likewise, the lack of visibility gets frustrating in natural light.

Good luck to you.

Mar 28 11 01:03 pm Link

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

Thanks folks!  Sounds like the blend of baby and olive oil will be it.

Mar 28 11 01:30 pm Link

Photographer

Keith A Williams

Posts: 1740

Vanceboro, North Carolina, US

have used baby oil (was handy) and on advice here, glycerin and water.

really liked both.

Have given oiled look to hair with olive oil but not tried it on skin.

KAW.

Mar 28 11 03:59 pm Link

Photographer

Paul Bryson Photography

Posts: 48035

Hollywood, Florida, US

In my experience, nothing works better than mineral oil.
It's thicker than baby oil, goes on smoother (no streaks), requires less, has no odor, and wipes off very easily.
Also, if it gets accidentally ingested, no problem...it's actually a laxative. wink

Mar 28 11 04:09 pm Link

Photographer

DMesser Photography

Posts: 1288

Oceanside, California, US

Just curious.  I've learned a lot from reading the responses, but seems they all have to do with studio shoots.  Would the nude oil shoot work outdoors as well, or are there other problems..

Mar 28 11 04:12 pm Link

Photographer

The Art of Churchwell

Posts: 3171

QUEENS VILLAGE, New York, US

John Mark Waller Photo wrote:
How about used motor oil?

chew 48 times before swallowing

Mar 28 11 04:13 pm Link

Photographer

M A R T I N

Posts: 3893

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

someone say lightening? yikes

Mar 28 11 04:19 pm Link

Model

MadameKitty

Posts: 13581

Palmer - permanent station of the US, Sector claimed by Argentina/Chile/UK, Antarctica

coconut oil FTW!

Mar 28 11 04:27 pm Link

Photographer

eos3_300

Posts: 1552

Brooklyn, New York, US

John Mark Waller Photo wrote:
How about used motor oil?

Unhealthy and Carcinogenic

Mar 28 11 04:30 pm Link

Photographer

Swanson Studios

Posts: 402

Galesburg, Illinois, US

Motor oil only 5w 30

Mar 28 11 04:33 pm Link

Model

Andreas Bacchus

Posts: 173

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Wara Model wrote:
coconut oil FTW!

Coconut Oil works well and is beneficial for the skin. Also Glycerin works well, is good for the skin and comes off easy afterward. IMHO

Mar 28 11 04:37 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35329

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sweet almond oil. VERY good for the skin, and it doesn't stink like baby oil (I can't stand the smell). In fact, it doesn't even smell anything.

Mar 28 11 05:06 pm Link

Model

Fifi

Posts: 58133

Annapolis, Maryland, US

I prefer baby oil... to take it a step further, I prefer the gel kind. Johnson & Johnson is the best.

I prefer to shower it off afterwards... if a shower isn't available, I prefer paper towels (regular towels are too linty). I never leave a shoot still covered in the stuff. It can ruin clothing and upholstery.

Mar 28 11 05:14 pm Link

Model

Fifi

Posts: 58133

Annapolis, Maryland, US

The people suggesting motor oil should be slapped in the mouth with the backside of my ring hand.

Mar 28 11 05:15 pm Link

Model

Beatrix Mae

Posts: 2499

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I've used baby oil, pam and then just regular Body butter (with water spritzed after)... Take your pick they all work fine, body butter isnt as messy but looks more natural (ie not oily) and absorbs kinda fast but it's nice if you want a glisten. Baby oil is messy but cheap and you don't smell like food afterwards. Pam is handy... easy to apply and it doesn't feel uncomfortable on... just dont apply it while you are on glass... slippery as Feck!

Lint isn't really a problem. has never come up

edit: oh wait! favourite has to be lush massage bars... easy to carry around and they smell/feel nice

Mar 28 11 05:23 pm Link

Artist/Painter

aquarelle

Posts: 1915

Chicago, Illinois, US

I never imagined there would be so many options.  Or opinions.

Mar 28 11 06:03 pm Link