What Mom Never Told You About
Face Painting for Beginners

Princess face painting by Hooray Balloons Kids Entertainment, Vallejo

Face painting for beginners is a lot of fun to try out.  Somewhere inside you is a creative person trying to get out.  Give face painting a try especially on your own kids and relatives. 

Expect adoration. Friends will love your creativity.

It's not difficult to get started.

The best thing about face painting are the smiles and delight from children you paint. It'll give you an incredible feeling of achievement.

Do not despair though when starting out and not painting exactly as you would like.  Everyone needs to practice at their craft to get better at it.  If you're face painting for your child's party consider the following things.

Use approved paints only...

Your paint and your brushes are two of the most important items in your face painting set up. You need other items as well including sponges, wipes and lip stick applicators to name a few.

Yet, the paint you use must be high quality. 

Do not skimp on your paints. 

And, no, Snazaroo is not the best way forward as it does not cover the face well.  Yes, you can pick it up at a local Michael's, but it doesn't work well. Yet it is better than using Crayola finger paints like I saw a "face painter" use at a corporate event.

Unbelievable and unsafe.

Some children and adults have super sensitive skin and develop redness or irritation. Use the best quality face paints available to prevent problems.

Your Brushes Make You Awesome or Crappy

Think of yourself like a surgeon.  Without the proper tools there is no way to do heart surgery is there?  Your patients want the best results.  As a surgeon you want to give it to them. Of course if you don't you'll have a whole new set of troubles but that's another matter.

Here, you are face painting so it's not as serious as heart surgery.

All the same, your brushes make your work fabulous or crappy. Invest in a good set of tools. Working with poor quality brushes affects line work. Stray brush hairs, bent or soft bristles all contribute to sloppy work.

Your skill and steady hand will develop with practice.

Practice with good brushes. Take care of them. You'll achieve lovely tear drops, swirls and lines with less frustration.

Face painting for beginners basic supply list...

Face painting for beginners should include a basic supply list of things you will need on the job.  But, these are suggestions.  You do not need to get everything listed until you decide you want to do more face painting.

  • a bowl or cup of clean water
  • 3 round brushes size 2, 4 and 5 (two or more of these)
  • soft round sponges cut in half about a dozen
  • cloth to wipe excess paint on
  • a palette of 6-8 different colors
  • stencils
  • baby wipes to clean your hands between faces
  • handheld mirror

This is not an exhaustive list. 

Add to your supplies as you develop your skill. Dump the items you don't need or use so it doesn't take up space on your table. You could also buy a collapsible table and chair, but not until you accept paying face painting gigs.

Rainbow face painting, by Hooray Balloons Kids Entertainment, Vallejo

Once you accept paying gigs, determine how long it takes to paint one design.  It will help manage client expectations. Knowing it takes five minutes to paint designs allows you to accept or decline gigs you may not be ready to take on.

Whenever possible get photos of your work with permission of the parents. Do this to look back on how your skills have evolved and see your growth.

Photos of your work should be on your website and social media channels. Customers want to see what they are getting for their money when they view your work.

Mom may have told you many things and face painting for beginners is a creative way to express yourself. You can get paid for doing something fun and kids will love you. Buy approved paints, invest in good brushes, gather basic supplies and practice. You will become better and more confident with each face painting gig.

  1. Party Entertainment
  2. Children's Face Painting
  3. Beginners