Face Paint Technique

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Face painting can be enjoyed by kids and adults.

Face painting is an activity often found at fairs and children's parties. The best part about it is that there are a nearly infinite number of styles and designs available. To become proficient at face painting, it's important to learn and implement the proper technique. Following five guidelines should help most individuals learn the fundamentals.

  1. Selecting Paint

    • One of the most important parts of face painting is choosing the right type of paint. To avoid allergic reactions or other health hazards, only use non-toxic, water-based paint. This is especially important when painting the faces of young children and should prevent any skin irritations.

    Getting Prepared

    • When preparing for painting a face, there are some steps to take before beginning. If the person has long hair or bangs, pull the hair back and hold it in place with hair clips. Afterward, visualize what the design will look like and plan out your approach. In addition, have a variety of different size paint brushes, at least two clean sponges and a jar of water for cleaning brushes.

    Base Layer

    • For most full face painting designs, you will need to apply a base layer and follow it up with a second layer. When doing the base layer, use a sponge and apply the lighter-colored paint first. If you are only doing a partial face painting design, sketch the outline. Afterward, allow the paint to dry for three to four minutes before continuing.


    • Once the base layer has dried, it's time to apply the rest of the darker paint and finish the design. Use small paint brushes to apply thin lines of paint.Do not use big globs of paint because it usually results in the paint running. Instead, apply thin lines of paint and use even strokes.

    Eye Safety

    • An additional concern is keeping paint out of the person's eyes. This is particularly important with children and should be avoided. This can be accomplished by keeping paint at least 1/2 inch away from the eyes.

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