There’s a graceful giraffe, a brightly colored dragonfly and a spider! At first glance, they all look like wonders from the animal kingdom. But look a little closer and you’ll spot a woman’s hand here, her foot poking out there, or the outline of her torso twisted into an extraordinary pose. These are the images of “body concept artist” Emma Fay with the help from a couple of contortionists who acted as her human “canvas”.

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Here's looking at you! The eyes on this crab are shining out of the shoulder blades of Miss Fay's model.
The eyes on this crab are shining out of the shoulder blades of Miss Fay’s model.

The stuff of nightmares! You wouldn't want this giant tarantula under your bed - no matter how elegantly it was painted
The stuff of nightmares! You wouldn't want this giant tarantula under your bed – no matter how elegantly it was painted.

2Emma then paints white lines on the models' bodies to help with her composition so they can relax again later
When white lines are painted on the models' bodies, so they can relax again later.

3Once the structure of the animal is in place, Miss Fay can check it's worked, then paint the rest using a sponge and brush
The structure of the animal is in place, Miss Fay can check it's worked, then paint the rest using a sponge and brush.

4The body paint takes many hours to apply, and the colours are chosen carefully to match those of the intended animals
The body paint takes many hours to apply, and the colours are chosen carefully to match those of the intended animals.

5 Finishing touches
Finishing touches…

The process begins. One model takes the position for the crab portrait against a bright white background
One model takes the position for the crab portrait against a bright white background.

The artist in her studio. It takes great patience, talent and upper body strength to find the west African mandrill in Leicester
It takes great patience, talent and upper body strength to find the west African mandrill in Leicester.

Blink and you'll miss it! One of the talented contortionists is transformed by Miss Fay into a glittering, multi-coloured dragonfly
One of the talented contortionists is transformed by Miss Fay into a glittering, multi-coloured dragonfly.

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