Adventures in Face Painting

These girls were talking about how they loved their faces so I had to stop and take their picture!

These girls were talking about how they loved their faces so I had to stop and take their picture!

Last weekend, I was hired to face paint tweens and teens faces at Tamarack in West Virginia by a friend of mine who works with the RAZE campaign. My first thought of face painting was using those chubby, little, crayon-like sticks of paint to draw smiley faces, hearts, and stars. Nope, nope, and nope. Face painting is no joke! It is a serious art form. Think, mini masterpieces on every single face you paint! Tiger faces, princess crowns, beautifully colored butterflies, skulls that looked pretty real…I was intimidated, and really unprepared. 

Christina and I at the RAZE event!

Christina and I at the RAZE event!

…But I said yes, and dove right in. Immediately, I began watching you tube video tutorials on how to paint faces, how to do the basic strokes, supplies needed, etc. In about a week, I had crash coursed, and ordered TAG body paint, holographic cosmetic grade glitter, brushes, sponges, and colorful layer cakes to paint with. Note: Never ever let someone use acrylic craft paint or craft glitter on your skin to face paint. All face paints and glitter should be cosmetic grade. They are hypoallergenic and include ingredients to fight mold and bacteria. 

My first guinea pigs! Bless them!

My first guinea pigs! Bless them!

Two days prior to the event, my sister-in-law and bro came over to our house so I could paint their faces. The first butterfly on Kat’s face was sad. Haha…but the second attempt was an improvement! Michael wanted to be Donatello so I replicated a photo I found on pinterest, and it turned out recognizable! The only problem was that I was soooo sloooowwww. It took me 9 minutes to do Michael’s face and Lord knows how long to do Kat’s.

The day before the event, I painted my own face…and arm. I tried a galaxy forehead, a leopard eye, a butterfly, and a storm trooper. My goal was to take pictures of my designs to make a board for kids to choose a design from, but after four different designs, I stopped to go back to being mom. I left the leopard eye on my face because I was taking my oldest to his costume party at school that night. Plus, I wanted to see if my face would break out from the paint. 

Luckily, no break outs the next day! I packed my paints, brushes, water jars, sponges, baby wipes, glitter, and drove to Tamarack. When I arrived, I was relieved to see 3 other face painters there!! (Thank you Lord!) I met Lisa Alto Kiser and her niece of Alto Design FacePainting from Charleston, WV and Lisa from Paint Me Pretty + from Morgantown, WV that day, and they are AMAZING LADIES and ARTISTS!! They gave me pointers, and allowed me to use their look books and pictures to show the kiddos because I had yet to build a portfolio.

Left to Right: Me, Lisa Howell (Paint Me Pretty +), Lisa Alto Kiser (Alto Design FacePainting), and her niece!

Left to Right: Me, Lisa Howell (Paint Me Pretty +), Lisa Alto Kiser (Alto Design FacePainting), and her niece!

The face painting adventure was the MOST FUN I have ever had while working. The kids were great, and even though I was slower, I think the kids really liked their designs! As the day went on, I became more comfortable painting the kids. Lisa from PMP+ helped me practice my strokes during breaks and it really helped! At the end of the day, I had a line behind my chair because these teenage boys thought the cyborg eye I painted on their friend was “cool” and wanted one too. Validation!

I definitely plan to continue face painting part-time while continuing to do my artwork. As I was painting designs for my Christmas cards last night, I noticed how I was using my watercolor brushes more efficiently and with more intention. Face painting teaches you how to use your brushes and strokes efficiently, and I could tell how it had a direct effect on how I painted.

If you are in the West Virginia area and would like to hire a face painter, please email me or send me a FB message! It would be an absolute joy to paint at your event!

heymarisamade@gmail.com