Painting with Sugar

Things are finally starting to roll out.

First thing first, I need to know whether sugar sticks onto the skin. My sketch right now includes a person’s face, arms and hands to be covered by sugar entirely, with its white sparkly surface reflected by the lights. It also needs to be stable for at the least 2 hours while I shoot and move around the model. Glue would be the easiest option to do, but that is automatically out of choice since I am putting them onto human skin (don’t want any medical residue!). Double sided tape is also a no; too adhesive that may cause skin irritation.

Instead off glue and tape, my awesome mentor, Julie, suggested me to use egg white. I had never heard of egg white as adhesive, but apparently it works perfectly well as a replacement of glue. So, during the weekends, I did some experiments to test out egg white glue. I mixed in colored sugar ball and pink sparkles to add vibrance in colors.

Since sugar dissolves easily and quickly becomes transparent in liquid, I figured I will coat a layer of sugar after the first one. As the sugar kept disappearing, I continued to add layers of sugar. After 5 times, the sugar coat was so thick that it started to become fairly heavy for my pinky to wear. On top of this, the thicker the sugar is, the harder it is to move the pinky. It makes sense though; egg white dries and hardens quickly.

As much as I thought it was going to be hard like concrete, once I move my finger, sugar coats break off quite easily. Although, I have to say that I do like the way sugar look when broken apart. I feel it is also interesting to see how colors melt and remain inside of the semi-transparent layers. If there are more sparkly sugar inside, that probably will enhance the appearance. It reminds me of amber…which reminds me of crystal…somethings that emerges out from the body… And this I like more. Instead of covering the entire skin, sugar can be a certain kind of mineral growing out of the body. Plus, this effect can be easily achieved by layering multiple coats of sugar and moving the fingers.

Egg white works very well in this case.

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