A villainous puppet master terrorised children at a national festival last week – and scooped a Loughton artist a top award in the process.
Face and body painter, Alison Bessant, won the Professor’s Apprentice award at the Paintopia festival on Monday, May 13.
The competition paired up budding painters with professionals and tasked them to create a character in line with a superhero and supervillian theme.
Teamed up with Welsh based body artist Lorraine Taylor, Ms Bessant described the process of creating the design.
She said: “We had a brief for the competition which had a theme of superheros and supervillians and I love doing the dark and villianous designs.
“You can have more fun with it, but Lorraine decided that we needed to use colour to give it more of an impact because the dark detail doesn’t show up very well on camera.
“I was very much a junior painter with a senior partner, I had a lot of input idea wise but I learnt so much from her.”
Ms Bessant and Ms Taylor started putting together ideas for their design in January, running over their ideas meticuously before entering the competition.
Their final design was the evil and splendidly painted Puppet Master.
On the day of the competition the teams only had four hours to get their designs onto their models. Ms Bessant described the pressure they were under.
She said: “We were really pressed to get the ideas down onto the body.
“Our model was very accomodating and really understood what we wanted.
“He stayed in character after we had finished painting him running around and scaring all the kids at the festival, he was so keen he actually missed his bus home.
“Our design definitely wouldn’t have worked so well if he hadn’t been as good as he was.”
Starting out at a childrens and toddlers group Ms Bessant has been face painting for five years already, she said: “I started face painting at the childrens and toddlers group.
“It was there that I realised there was so much more to it than I originally thought so I started taking classes to improve my skills.”
More information about Ms Bessants business can be found at facepaintingmk.co.uk