Re: Back designs

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Posted by Maureen on August 1, 2002 at 01:24:15:

In reply to: Back designs posted by Kelly M. on July 31, 2002 at 16:31:28:

Hi Kelly,

Sketching out the design on the back is truly the key. You can make
corrections where needed prior to applying the henna paste then.

A back is not a back is not a back. I have had to resort to very
different things depending on the person. A very thin young girl
with not a lot of muscular build up is real different from a man with
a lot of muscular build up...the same with the looseness of the skin
vs the firmness of the skin and on an on. I didn't find gravity to
be an issue as much as how the skin, muscle and skeletal makeup of
the person. I have to draw the design on the person in the standing
position with the body in a relaxed state. It helps me to have
sketched the design out on paper to determine the best positioning.
Also because the customer can't see their back, it helps them to have
an idea where the design is and how it is looking on their back. If
it is a fairly large design, I will do a bit of a grid on both the
sketch and the the back. This helps me with positioning of the
design as well. I have to sketch the back with the person standing.
It helps to have a swivel stool that can be raised and lowered easily
for sketching. It is important to pull back to get a long view of
the design as you are working on it both sketching and when applying
the paste. It is the contours of the body that become tricky and you
have to compensate for those subltle mounds and angles.

If I am doing just a small design on a shoulder or something like
that, I could freehand that. But I would never attempt a whole back
without sketching that out on paper and on the skin of the person.
The perspective thing is too critical and has a lot to do with the
body type. I can't sit as Catherine does and straddle the person.
So the sketchout is the most important step for me. I am lucky to
have a massage table that I can raise and lower to the perfect height
for me to stand and work and move about without hurting straining and
hurting myself. I have not been lucky enough to have someone come
and let me do just anything I would want on their back though. I am
waiting for that. The table is great for applying the paste. But
for sketching out...the person has to be standing for me to have the
design make visual sense when completed. The table is a life saver
for me. But not readily available for most people.

So my suggestion is to sketch (paper and on back). Find the best way
to transfer the design to the back that works for you and allows you
to not strain your own body too terribly and at the same time
provides you the ability to move back and forth to see it from a
number of angles but most definitely from straight on. Then find the
best position for the individual to rest in a prone position that
does not visually distort the design you have drawn on the back.

Since you have an available back to practice on, I am sure you will
work out the technique best for you. Sketching and really focusing
on self-care while sketching and applying the paste takes a lot of
the pain out of the experience.



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