Introducing The amazing Nicola White as another of our resident step by step bloggers.
Hi everyone, I'm Nicola. Well, my very first experience of face painting was 10 years ago when I worked in Fuerteventura as a children’s entertainer. We were given a basic Snazaroo kit, a book of fast faces and told to charge 3 Euros per face. I have always been fairly good at art but face painting was another kettle of fish entirely. Noses would get in the way, my hands would shake and my lines would be wobbly. Nevertheless, I instantly fell in love with it. However, with no experience or training at all, at times I felt anxious when children would ask to be weird and wonderful things that weren’t in the book. Yet, as the months went by, I found myself becoming more confident. I would even go to the hotel where I worked and sit and paint on my night off as I loved it so much!
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to work with children. So, when I returned home to the UK, I started working as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant in a primary school and face painting took a back seat for the next six or seven years. I occasionally got to face paint for fundraising days but nothing serious. Then a few years ago, I decided to start it all up again. I set up my business, Faces 4 Fun, in April 2011 and have never looked back. Since then I have worked hard to establish myself as a professional and reliable business and am always looking for ways to improve on this.
I am now so lucky that I can do two jobs that I love! It has also allowed me to combine the two, as I run a face painting club after school with small groups of children. I teach them basic blending and line work and how important hygiene and cleanliness is when face painting. Each week I am amazed and astounded at the fabulous faces they turn out. They clearly thoroughly enjoy it and I have definitely seen some very promising future face painters!
I have never felt so passionate about anything in my life. I can’t imagine my life without face painting in it now. The smiles of the children when they look in the mirror make it such a rewarding experience. I regularly get messages from parents telling me their child wouldn’t let them wash it off at the end of the day. To me, that is the best thing to hear as I know they have truly loved their painting. Hearing that children are happy makes me very happy indeed!
Fewer things make me happier than to get out all my face paints, turn the music up loud and sit and doodle something pretty on myself until my heart's content. With the freedom (and time) to add an swirl here or a flower there, I find it the most relaxing thing in the world. However, rarely are we allowed this luxury when out on a job. I am forever trying to come up with designs that create impact and make children smile but at the same time are quick to reproduce when the line is long and the parents are getting grumpy. So, with this in mind, I decided to create a very simple design that can be completed in a few minutes but can also be embellished if time allows.
I have recently come across the Global range of face paint, which is available and ready to fly off the shelves at The Face Painting Shop, and I have fallen head over heels! They are the most delicious paints and some of the colours are out of this world! They are quickly becoming my favourite one stroke and are the ones I find myself reaching for the most often on jobs. Not to mention, the ones that children point to and ask for!
Now, only a face painter will relate to this but, you know when you try a new paint and you get that rush of excitement at how lovely it is? (Maybe that's just me) Well, this was what I experienced the first time I used the Global dark blue paint. I had had it for a little while and really didn't think much of it by looking at it in the pot, or if indeed I would even ever use it. Nothing rings truer with this paint than you can't judge a book by its cover. It is wonderful and also a great alternative to black. I used it on a Spidey design and it was refreshingly striking. So I decided to create a very simple design with this colour to show you just how beautiful it is!
The products I used to create the design were
Load a sponge with the lime green and sponge across the eyelids and up towards the temples. Then sponge the lime green in the centre of the forehead, bringing it to a point in between the eyebrows. I found this paint gave the best coverage when applied in a stippling motion. Next, after loading the other side of the sponge with baby blue, sponge the colour across the forehead, blending into the green on the edges to create a flawless base. Bring the blue just below the eyes on the cheekbones.
Once you have laid down the base, load the number 6 brush with the dark blue. This paint did require a fair bit of working to get the right consistency but that will come with regular use. The main part of the design is based on teardrops. The technique for teardrops varies and I would recommend that you use the one you are most comfortable with as this will help to keep the design quick and crisp. To create my teardrops, I start at the top (the fattest part of the tear drop) and press my brush down to create the top, lifting off gradually as my brush glides and it tapers off to a point.
Create a series of tear drops at the corners of each eye, starting with the longest tear drop first and beginning the next one underneath it, and so on. Make sure that all of your teardrops head towards the same focal point to give a radiating effect. Paint three teardrops on the forehead on one side of the green paint, bringing them in towards the bridge of the nose. Do the same on the other side trying to get them as symmetrical as possible. I always find that, depending on which hand you use to paint, paint the opposite side of the face first. Then it is easier to mirror with your dominant hand.
At this stage I added a small bit of stencilling, which ideally should have been done before applying the tear drops- but I forgot! So carefully sponge some white using the BAM stencil just in the centre of the forehead, taking care not to cover the teardrops. Or do it after step 1 instead!
Load the petal brush with white, wipe the excess from the tip and load the tip of the brush with the baby blue, followed by the dark blue. This will give a lovely graduated effect to your flower. I find to get the best colour intensity on my flowers, I use a brush to place a very small amount of water on the cake and work the paint to create a paste-like consistency, making sure it's not too watery. I never spray my cake as I find this makes the cake too wet, but there are lots of painters who do this and it works for them.
Place a flower in the centre of the forehead at the base of the teardrops by pressing the brush down from the tip to the base to create each petal. Repeat this by placing a flower near the apples of the cheeks but this time doing a double press next to each other to create a wider petal shape.
To complete the design, finish off by adding a series of dots on the forehead, following the shape of the teardrops, getting smaller as you move towards the bridge of the nose. Add dots in the centre of the flowers and a few clusters underneath the tear drops. Finally, finish by adding a few starbursts and lots of glitter! If time allows, you could paint the lips as I find this really enhances the design. But it is a step I often leave out if I have a queue.