Face painting is the artistic application of cosmetic "paint" to a person's face. There are special water-based cosmetic "paints" made for face painting; people should ask before having face paints applied what products are being used. Acrylic and tempera craft paints are not meant for use on skin and are not acceptable, nor are watercolor pencils or markers. Products not intended for use on skin can cause a variety of issues ranging from discomfort to severe allergic reactions.
From ancient times, it has been used for hunting, religious reasons, and military reasons (such as camouflage and to indicate membership in a military unit). In re-entered the popular culture during the hippie movement of the late 1960s, when it was common for young women to decorate their cheeks with flowers or peace symbols at anti-war demonstrations.
For several decades it has been a common entertainment at county fairs, large open-air markets (especially in Europe and the Americas), and other locations where children and adolescents are. Face painting is very popular among children at theme parks, parties and festivals throughout the Western world. Though the majority of face painting is geared towards children, many teenagers and adults enjoy being painted for special events, such as charity fund raisers.
(Source: Wikipedia online)
"Face painting is a fun activity, and can be a very rewarding business. For some people, it is an occasional event where they paint just a few kids. For others, it becomes a career involving days or even weeks of 10-hour days at festivals, painting person after person. No matter which type of painter you are, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind when you are painting."
Top 10 Tips for "Face Painting"
Tip 1: Use Suitable Paints (Face Painting Safety)
“Non-Toxic” does not mean “safe for skin.” Acrylic craft paints are not meant to be used on the skin – nor are watercolor markers or pencils. Just because the package says "non-toxic" does not mean that it is safe to put on skin. Many people are allergic to the non-FDA approved chemicals and colorants used in craft paints (such as nickel), and will break out in a rash from these paints. Watercolor markers (or "washable markers") do not remove from skin easily – it can take days to get the stain removed. The "washable" part of the name refers to fabric, not skin. There are many brands of safe face paint readily available (Snazaroo [Buy Direct], Wolfe Brothers, Fardel, Fantasy World Wide, Paradise, Mehron, Kryolan, and Ben Nye, for example) and they are not more expensive than craft paints since a little bit goes a very long way!
Tip 2 : Value Your Paints
Professional face paint and stage makeup can be expensive, particularly if you're painting a whole kids party's worth of faces. Don't leave them around where people can get hold of them and try them out for themselves. Try out different types of paint to see which you find the best for working with, such as paint in tubs or paint in stick form.
Tip 3: Sponge Don't Brush
If you're wanting to cover a large area or put on a base color, use a sponge to apply the paint rather than a brush, it'll be quicker. Having a different sponge for different colors eliminates the necessity of washing out the sponge during a painting session (the same applies to brushes).
Tip 4: Be Patient and Think Thin
Let the first color dry before applying a second. If you don't, they'll mix and you'll probably have to wipe it off and start again. Also, rather than applying one thick layer of paint, which may crack, apply a thin layer, let it dry, then apply another.
Tip 5: Visualize the Finished Face
Know what you're going to paint before you start, don't make it up as you go along. Kids aren't known for their patience and won't be able to sit still why you ponder what to do next. Have a basic face design fixed in your mind; you can always add special touches to this once you're finished.
Tip 6: Ensure You’re Comfortable
Make sure you have a comfortable chair for yourself, if you paint sitting down, or very comfortable and supportive shoes, if you paint while standing, to protect your back. It is very easy to do long-term damage to your back by holding an uncomfortable position for hours, and face painting is an activity that can easily cause repetitive-stress injuries.
Tip7: Use Stencils
If you're not confident painting freehand, or are short of time, why not use a stencil? Stars, hearts, flowers will all stencil onto a cheek. Have stencils in a few sizes to hand, to allow for small and larger faces.
Tip 8: Temporary Tattoos
Even faster than stencils are temporary tattoos. But some people's skin reacts badly to them and they take longer to remove.
Tip 9: Getting a Decision
If you've got a row of kids lined up to have their faces painted, ask the next kid in line what they'd like a few minutes before you've finished the face you're currently painting. This way they've a little time to try to decide and you don't lose painting time. You may suggest a few faces, to try to limit the choice to one you're confident painting. Consider creating a chart of designs for kids to choose from; it makes it much easier for the kids to make up their minds. Include simple things such as hearts or balloons, as many kids love these.
Tip 10: Never forget: Mirror & Tissues or Baby wipes
Remember to take a mirror so the person who's face you've just painted can see the result (they will always want to see the results). Face painting can be messy, but it's fun! Never forget tissues or Baby wipes that work fast and easy for 'mistakes'; you can also be assured they are safe to use on faces.
Most Popular Face Painting designs include:
* Tiger - This design, in most cases, consists of a body of orange and yellow paint, with black stripes painted on. Details include bushy eye brows and a muzzle or whiskers, alongside a black painted nose.
* Clown - This design, in most cases, consists of a body of white painting. With shapes and features such as a red nose or bright eyes the model is made to take on the features of a circus clown.
* Spiderman - This is a body of red paint with white eyes and spider like black patterns on the models face. Similar to that of the mask worn by Spiderman.
* Dog - Commonly a dalmatian, this design is white with large black spots on the eyes and cheeks. A black nose is added along with whisker pores. A tongue is commonly added to give the effect of the model panting, similar to that of a dog.
* Butterfly - A design consisting of the body of the butterfly being painted on the nose and the wings added across the cheeks. Wing patterns vary.
* Cat - Many designs may feature under this heading. It could be a plain black tabby cat or a wild leopard. Either way, it usually consists of a neutral body of paint with bushy eyebrows and a muzzle.
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