Guide to face painting step-by-step.
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Face Painting Step-by-Step

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How often have you watched a professional face painter at work and thought, 'I wish I could do that?' They may be using skills acquired over many years, but you too can achieve impressive results when you take face painting step-by-step.

Choose your face paints
So what are the experts' secrets when they're painting faces? Not surprisingly, they use professional face paints: nearly always water-based, such as those made by Snazaroo.

These blend together well, so you'll soon find yourself mixing face paints in all the colours of the rainbow. Though quick drying, they wash off easily, keeping kids and parents happy.

You'll need a sable or oxhair brush, and a sponge to put on the background colour. Decide on your design (don't be too ambitious to start with) and you're ready to start face painting step-by-step.

Check first
Check with the parent that their child doesn't have a skin condition. Water-based face paints are non-toxic, so should be safe for all but those with very sensitive skin.

Relax your subject
If the child is nervous, put them at ease by talking through what you're doing. Protect their clothing with a towel round their shoulders, then use wipes or a tissue to make sure their face is clean before you begin.

Base colour
Apply the base colour using a damp (but not wet) sponge. Always start with the lightest colour, and let it dry before reapplying to darken it or adding darker colours.

The eyes have it
Painting faces involves working around the eyes, which can seem daunting. Make sure the child sits still, take your time, don't paint too close to their eyes and you'll both be fine. Tell them to close their eyes when you paint their top eyelids, and to look up when painting beneath their eyes.

Be bold
Avoid small, tentative brush strokes. Steady, even lines look best and are actually easier to paint. Painting faces is done in layers, so plan ahead and add details such as black lines for whiskers, or glitter highlights, last of all.

Make sure you have a mirror ready, so the child can admire the final result. Then sit back and enjoy their reaction – it's the best part of face painting step-by-step!

Useful Articles

Face Painting Step by Step
Professional Face Paints
Mixing Face Paints
Painting Faces
Face Paint Kits
Face Painting Guidelines
Checking Your Face Painter Has Public Liability Insurance
FACE The Face Painting Association
A Beginner's Guide to Booking a Face Painter
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