Starting Face Painting | First Steps & Top Tips | Brush, Sponge Work & Nerves

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First Steps To Face Painting

Get familiar with your kit, brushes sponges and paint, experiment using your hands and arms as a canvas to start with.

My top tips:

For painting faces:

• Keep your designs symmetrical where possible, especially teeth and butterfly wings.

• You will find painting one side of the face easy when learning to paint however the side will be a little more tricky so move around the child and find a comfy position, ask them to tilt their head to suit you.

• Practice, practise and more practice. If you do not have a willing volunteer paint use your arms or buy a practice face painting head.


Steady your hand when applying the paint, you could rest your finger on the child's head or keep your hand under their chin for support. You may be shaky  at first however steadying and supporting your hand along with experience will resolve this.

For brush work:

• Keep the paint wet but thick and keep your brush loaded with paint of a thick but wet consistency for a full and crisp line.

• Do a test stroke on your arm before applying the paint to the face this practice will ensure the quality of the paint stroke and you can check that you have the correct consistency of paint on your brush before applying it to the child’s face. I do this every time I apply any paint, as you can imagine my arm does get covered in paint however this practice stops mishaps especially watery paint running over my design.

For double loading the paint brush:

See my flower face painting for the step by step guide on how to double load the paint brush to create a two colour petal shape.

For sponge work:

• Do not over load the sponge! A coat of thick wet paint is ugly and does not feel nice for the child. The tiniest amount of paint can look fantastic blended delicately around the face. Remember practice makes perfect and as you paint more you will start to realise what looks and feel good.

a page from my face painting book, first steps, shows tips for starting face painting

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