Face painting is common at fairs, festivals, parties and carnivals across the United States. Professional face painters set their own hours and rates while establishing their own artistic credentials and portfolio. One need not be a superior artist to paint faces, either; simple designs can be just as much fun as intricate images, making it a snap for moms who want to feature face painting at their child's next slumber party.
Types of Designs
Common face painting designs often deal with images of fairies or butterflies, flowers or birds. Sometimes children will ask for cat whiskers or another animal face to be painted on. A note of caution, however: characters such as Minnie Mouse or Big Bird may carry copyrights that prevent artists from using them as face painting designs. Another type of face painting design is the cause design; that is, a design that designates a person as a supporter of a cause, organization or team. This might be a football team logo or a university mascot.
Three different types of applicators are used in face painting: a brush, a sponge and an airbrush. A design with intricate details is best done with a brush. It allows the artist to draw lines and shapes with precision. A sponge is beneficial when covering large portions of the face. A clown face, for example, with patches of solid colors, might be done with a sponge. An airbrush is generally used when the artist is applying a design to the face with a stencil or pattern of some kind.
What You Need
To start face painting, you will need a few basic things. The first, and most important thing, is the paint itself. Experts at FacePainting.net feel that water-based paints are the best paints to use on human skin; acrylic-based paints are too heavy and should never be used for face painting. Always check that your paints are FDA approved for use on skin. A set of brushes and sponges is also an essential tool to start face painting, as is a bag to carry your equipment around in. Books of face painting designs might also help with a painter's inspiration.
Starting a Face Painting Business
Professional face painters rely on a portfolio; this will show potential clients just what they can do. Paint your kids' faces or your friends' faces and use their photos as your portfolio. Next, go to fairs and carnivals and talk to painters about their business: what they charge and how they promote themselves. Business cards and fliers are useful self-promotion tools.
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