When I first started thinking about writing a post about my kit essentials, I was going to do the whole lot in one. I then realised that actually there’s too much to say to cover all my kit essentials in one post, so I’ve decided to break it down into various categories, and this week, I’m going to talk about brushes.
Good brushes can make a huge different to your work, and the way that different people get on differently with different brands of paint, is also true for brushes. I think if I was going to break it down to my absolute bare minimum on the job for face painting, I could get away with using just 4 brushes: Party Xplosion Round 5, Pink Tip 3/4 inch short angled brush, Pink Tip Flora 12 and a Toothbrush. I do have some other brushes that I absolutely love, so I’m going to talk about those aswell, but the ones listed above are the ones I’m going to focus on.
Party Xplosion Round 5
This is my favourite brush. Ever. In the world. The bristles are really flexible which makes it really versatile. It’s brilliant for things like outlining, tear drops, tiger stripes, scars and scratches, and really fine lines. I actually have 3 of these in my kit so I can have them on different colours at the same time. I did try the Party Xplosion round 3, but I didn’t really get on with it because the bristles weren’t as flexible, and I haven’t tried any of the other sizes to compare, but this brush is life.
Pink Tip 3/4 Short Angled Brush
I really struggled with one stroke until I tried this brush. I had been using a flat brush but this one gave me so much more control, it’s great for so many things! I mainly use it for roses, butterfly’s, feathers, eye designs and sugar skulls, but I know a lot of people use theirs for so many different things!
Pink Tip Flora 12
I discovered flora brushes at a workshop with Erica Wafford at Body Craft Festival 2017! I had been really struggling with flowers, and straight after the workshop I went to buy the La Corneille Flora 10, and completely changed my body paint design for that day to incorporate the flowers. A few months later, The Face Painting Shop did a video about their new large flora brushes, and I immediately bought the Flora 12, and I absolutely loved it! It gives more of a rounded petal shape to the La Corneille, and it’s slightly smaller so I find it’s better for face painting. They work really nicely together, but on the job I tend to go for the Pink Tip every time.
Ok, so it’s not very versatile in terms of different strokes, but I absolutely love using a toothbrush! One of my favourite designs to paint is a galaxy, and to create all the stars, I use the toothbrush with a variety of colours over a dark base (I find uv colours work best for this). It works great for creating eye masks, and blood splatters, and is a great tool for your sfx kit too when using alcahol paints.
When I started using dagger brushes, it was to improve my one stroke roses, I never even contemplated using it for anything else! I no longer use it for roses but do use it to create petals and tear drops, and now we’ve been blessed with the new Triangular Dagger Brush!
I love myself some big brushes! Until this summer I was using foundation brushes for body painting when I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Mark Reid signature 30, and I have to say I absolutely love it! I also have the Pink tip base brush, but I prefer that for use on the face and use with one strokes to create flowers and caterpillars. I also love my 1 inch short angled brush! It’s great on adult faces, but I find it’s just too big for childrens faces, which is where the 3/4 inch short angled brush comes in. I also bought myself the Da Vinci 14 brush this summer, which is brilliant for body painting linework, and like the Party Xplosion brush, the bristles are really flexible and you can get a pretty good variety of thickness of strokes from it.
The last 2 brushes I want to talk about today are both pretty new to my kit, but I love them! The Pink Tip Flora Rounded 1 has a great fine tip, so you can get really precise linework out of it (it’s also what I’ve used for all of the writing on the boards in the photo’s) as well as great teardrops. The Small Flower Brush is also really lovely for smaller petals and little embellishements.
So there you go! A run down of my essential brushes and what they do! I hope this has been useful, I know everyone works diferently, and I would love to know what your favourite brushes are, so let me know in the comments!
Paint used: DFX white
Global Dark Blue
Superstar Petrol Blue
Nats Gold Edition Blue Wren
Nats Gold Edition Red Fox
Sally Ann Lynch Training Tried and Tested Black Practice A4 Board