Face Painting Brushes and their uses!
The Face Painting industry has rapidly evolved in recent years in terms of the sheer number of products on the market! The choice of face painting brushes available today can be daunting when it comes to starting or updating your kit! This particular blog is all about face painting brushes and what each one is best for. Most brushes are versatile and have a range of functions which will be demonstrated below. Hopefully, this will give you some idea of which brushes you'd like to have in your kit.
Obviously in this blog, I am talking about The Face Painting Shop brushes (which you can find here on this site). Each of these have been lovingly designed and hand crafted to the highest standards, so you can be sure of quality from the outset. They are now distributed around the world, and if you are a member of any groups online, you will often see people raving about them. I fell in love with these face painting brushes a long time ago, and have now replaced the majority of my collection with them. I know you will love them, too!
Note: I will be including all of the brand new brushes in the range, so if that's why you came, make sure you read until the end!
The Round Face Painting Brushes
Round Face Painting Brushes are a must have tool in your face painting kit. There are no two ways about it! I'm not saying you couldn't get by without them, particularly if you have a liner and filbert brush in your kit, I'm just saying they make face painters lives a heck of a lot easier!
Naturally, these are the most recognisable brushes. They are used for outlining face painting designs, teardrops and detail work. They range in sizes starting at the smallest 0 and up to number 6 in this brand.
So, which one to choose? I would definitely recommend getting a full set of these and experimenting with each one. The very small round brushes are perfect for lightly sketching in a design before you go full whack or for creating tiny little starbrusts without splodging the paint everywhere! The larger face painting brushes are ideal for lining on larger pieces – for example in body painting. If you are very heavy handed, you will probably find yourself happier around a number 2 or 3 round brush, to get finer, less chunky details. Or, if you like more chunky detailing, you can go a bit larger. It all depends on your personal style and comfort level. These brushes are so reasonably priced, it is worth buying them all, and once you have found your favourites, you can just replace those ones when new brush day comes!
The Flat & Angled Face Painting Brushes
Flat Face Painting Brushes are also a top priority requirement for every face painter to carry in their kit! They come in different sizes and shapes, and are suitable for a range of uses. One stroke face painting (which eliminates the need for using sponges) has taken the industry by storm, and this is exactly what these brushes are perfect for!
The Face Painting Shop brand in particular has been revolutionary in bringing out the range of 'short' flat brushes. The fact that they are shorter, gives the painter much more control over their face painting designs – making them an ideal choice for beginners especially, but also for vets looking to make their lives a little bit easier.
I can hear you now - “surely you're exaggerating just a little – they're only brushes!” Trust me, until you try them, you will never understand the hype.
I have seen people go from painting pink splodges that vaguely resemble roses, to painting fully fledged gorgeous roses pretty much overnight – THAT is how dramatically these babies can transform your art. (You can see my rose tutorial with one of these brushes on The Face Painting Shop Youtube Channel).
So there are two different shapes to consider with these brushes – the flat ones are all the same length bristles. They are perfect for filling in large areas and getting a neat edge. They can be used on the face, or in larger body painting pieces. Team them up with one stroke paints and you have got yourself a party! Your clients will be amazed when you are able to produce a rainbow with one slide of the brush!
The Angled flat brush is THE brush for painting. Due to the shape, and shorter bristles, you really get a lot of control with this brush and can get right into every nook and cranny.
Both of these brushes can be used for one stroke outlining – for example on butterflies. They come in different sizes, obviously smaller ones are best for tiny areas you want to paint (or tiny faces), and the larger ones when you have a bit more surface area to play with.
So which ones should you buy? My first recommendation would be to start with 3/4” size in both the flat and angled face painting brushes. From there, you can start collecting the smaller and larger ones if you wish!
The Filbert Face Painting Brushes
Oh how I love my filbert face painting brushes! I call them the magic teardrop brushes! Yes you heard me right! If you have ever struggled with painting teardrops using a round brush then you need to invest in a set of these! Go and check out the teardrops video on The Face Painting Shop channel and you can see them in action! The are the perfect shape to get that trademark rounded edge, yet when you flip them onto their side they can create a nice fine line, too! You can even use them with one stroke to get that 3D effect.
Aside from teardrops, filbert brushes can be used for filling in large areas. I like to use them on the eyes, as they are nice and soft. If you're looking for a brush to use on lips (bearing in mind health and safety), the small filbert brush will help you out! I tend to use my large filbert brush the most, so that's what I would recommend if I had to choose just ONE.
The Face Painting Shop Liner Brushes
The liner face painting brushes have long thin bristles and I would recommend having a good level of brush control before you try out this brush, in order to get the best out of it. Alternatively, Sally-Ann Lynch does a wonderful video demonstration of how to use these brushes.
So, what are they for? Well, the long bristles make them perfect for whimsical swirls and extremely fine details. For example, thin lines on a butterfly wing. Using the tip of the brush and quite wet paint, you can drop 'dots' onto your design and they will come out perfectly round!
You can create all kinds of lines with this brush which will add more dimension to your designs.
The Flower & Flora Face Painting Brushes
The 'small flower brush' is one of my favourite things in the world! The bristles are so soft, yet the layered design gives my flowers an amazing texture. I use this brush for double dip flowers on top of as many designs as I can!! The Large flower face painting brush is just a larger version of this, so more suitable for body painting pieces as I feel the small flower brush is absolutely perfect for use on the face.
The Flora brush will give you a different textured petal again, and a bit more of an angular shape. Really, though, I use this brush for all of my monster and skeleton teeth, so it is worth having in your kit if this is something you struggle with!
The BIG Face Painting Brushes
I have to take this opportunity to RAVE about The Face Painting Shop Base Brush! Its the most expensive brush in the range but oh so worth it! The bristles on this brush are softer than any I've ever felt before! The shape and configuration of the brush means that you can get a base coat down in lightning speed – with NO streaking in sight!! So basically, it does what a sponge does, faster and without the mess! I know of several painters who love this face painting brush so much, they even have one solely for their makeup cases, as it is a fantastic foundation brush! Naturally, it is also useful in body painting as you can cover such a large area in no time at all. If this is out of your budget right now, I would seriously encourage you to consider saving for it! If you are ever in the area of the shop, be sure to pop in, if only to see for yourself why I am banging on about this brush. It is divine!
The Body Painting brush is shaped like a filbert brush, but in extra large size! Just like the base brush, this one can be used for filling in large areas, or creating ginormous teardrops on a body paint! Due to the shape, this one is naturally a lot firmer than the base brush, and so you can be more precise with it. For the average face painting job, I can't imagine you will use this brush a whole lot, but for body painters, this can be an invaluable tool.
The Rake Face Painting Brushes
I got so excited when Nathalie unveiled these beauties that have just joined the collection! As far as fuzzy creatures go, these face painting brushes will make your designs stand out from the crowd! Due to their unique texture, the rake brushes can create the most amazing fur effect with no extra effort. You can use them with one strokes to add more dimension, too!
In addition to fur, you can create whiskers, and fabric textures (particularly useful for body painting!). Although not considered a bare bones must-have, these face painting brushes are so fun and satisfying to use, I highly recommend them just for the sheer pleasure of using them! Puppy face paints are no longer flat and lifeless, but animated and oh so cute with their new fluffy fur! Go on.. you know you want to!
The Dagger Face Painting Brushes
I think dagger face painting brushes are one of the things that most painters are reluctant to try. Usually this is simply because they have never seen them in action, and either they don't seem necessary, or they are a bit intimidated in adding what looks like a very technical tool to their collections.
The dagger brushes have a range of uses. They can be used like the flat brushes to create one stroke designs. They are also perfect for creating effortless ribbons. Depending on where you place pressure, this face painting brush can even create individual whiskers with nothing more than a quick flick!
Dagger brushes can be used for so many things – including easy tiger stripes and gorgeous leaves&foliage! Give them a go and broaden your face painting horizons!
A whole world of possibilities with face painting brushes!
I have no doubt that as painters become more inventive and skilled, there will be even more brushes being created in future. I hope that these descriptions and photo examples have given you a better idea of the main uses of each type of brush, and will help you in deciding the contents of your own face painting brush case!
If you feel there is anything I left out, or additional uses that you feel will help other painters, please do comment below with your experiences!