Festivals – A Quick Guide
By Joni Nettleship
Do you do them? If so, do you pay pitch fees? How much? Is it pay per face and how much do you charge? How long do you paint for and what time do you pack away? Do you paint after sunset?
Festival season is looming and you need to keep your wits about you if you want to remain sane and end up with a profit. If this is your first festival experience here are my top tips:
-Keep your prices up, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been asked to work for free/my best rate. Your current rate IS your best rate so don’t be haggled down. Any talk of no budget/small budget is not your concern.
-Pitch fee. Unless you’re turning a huge profit you shouldn’t be paying big daily fees. Similarly ‘donations’ at the end of the day should be reasonable, for example 10-15 percent of profit (not takings) and always discussed in advance.
-Remember that the start of a festival or music event can be slow. If you can, think about setting up early then returning when you know it’ll be busier. In my first years face painting I wasted hours sitting in empty fields wondering why no one else was there. Now I set up early, leave and go back mid afternoon sometimes having squeezed in a birthday party. Time is money.
-You will always get good natured souls trying to get you to paint them for free, if you’re lucky you may be offered different payment, for instance a slurp of their drink or a sweaty embrace. It is always their birthday. Do what you will.
-A headtorch is invaluable after the sun goes down and the evening crowds arrive, stay focussed and paint your ass off because it will get to that point where..
...Drunk people will stumble into your kit.
Good quick festival designs are one stroke swirls, flowers, rainbows, anything involving a stencil and good old glitter. Guys like the Bowie stripe and Mike Tyson (I know I know). Pack extra water, don’t drink alcohol until you’ve finished and enjoy!
Superstar Fluorescent Glitter Swatch
I love a delivery from the face painting shop just as much as the next person, there is always something really exciting inside, especially when it’s a bloggers box! We never know what we are going to get. When we got the Whacky Whistles I was practically bouncing off the walls, and when I asked Alex if we could buy loads of them to give out as wedding favours, he unfortunately didn’t seem to appreciate them as much as I did. Maybe I’m just easily pleased, I don’t know. But when this months box of glory arrived, I had to take a minute, and make myself a cup of tea to regain a functional state. Inside were some of the most beautiful glitters I have ever seen! And they were arranged in the perfect order! (I have to have all my colours in a very specific order, from red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple-pink).
They arrived while I was doing my last blog, a SBS Dragon Egg Belly Art, so of course I had to incorporate them! I then did a swatch on my arm of them so you can see each colour in all it’s wonderful glory.
Superstar do some absolutely stunning glitters, individually and as sets. Each blogger got a different set of glitters (there are 6 different sets all with 6 unique colours!!!) and I cannot wait to see what the other bloggers get up to with theirs and what you get up to when you get yours!!
If you have any questions about these glitters or anything else, please let me know!
The Pixie Tribe
If you’ve ever been asked to paint a mermaid on an arm and drawn a complete blank, then this is the blog for you. I got the inspiration for this mermaid from a polymer clay artist, because inspiration is everywhere. Even slightly human proportions can go very wrong very quickly, and before you know it your mermaid has giant boobs and no arms. She’s hugging her tail so no worries about painting a seashell bra on her.
I hope you find this useful. I want to see your version!
Rosemary Black x
Face Painting and Autism Awareness Month
Hi all, well here we are in in April already, if you didn’t know it’s Autism Awareness Month so I thought I would write my blog this time on face painting children and adults with additional needs. Before I had my two little boys, my career was spent helping people on the Autistic Spectrum, so it is a subject close to heart – you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t use the most current terminology, or if I leave something out. This is just my take, and my experiences! I don’t just cover children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) in this, but kids with disabilities or health problems as a whole. I’m lucky and privileged enough to volunteer my face painting services at a wonderful hospital, and at my local children’s hospice (also my Business’ nominated charity) so I take my experiences from there too.
It goes without saying that all children are different, and this of course applies to all children with additional needs too. Although there are some common traits in behaviours, and different things you can look out for, the first and BEST thing you can do when a child sits down in your chair is a quick and subtle check with his parent or carer that he is going to be ok with what you’re doing. The chances are, that if the kid is sat in your chair, he will be! But it could be his first time, or it might cause an unexpected reaction, so saying something like “are we ok with painting on the face buddy?” would hopefully prompt a response from the child or the parent. Many children with ASD will be very happy to tell you EXACTLY what they want and don’t want, down to the tiniest detail.
Some things to look out for with children or adults with ASD, are that sometimes textures and feelings on the face feel alien or strange (as per ‘normal’ kids right?). Sometimes the sensation of touch, or even smells can be really intense for them, so go slow and steady. If it’s their first time, let them feel it on their hand initially, and explain what you are going to do next so they have the time to process it. Look for any non-verbal cues that the child/adult is uncomfortable and stop and reassure them if so. There may or may not be some repetitive movements/sounds that the child makes, if he does just give him some time to do so – these movements/sounds are important to help the child make sense of their situation and often to help them to feel safe.
There will be others with more profound disabilities that need their parents/carers to be their voice and say what makes them happy, maybe how they have been known to respond positively in the past etc. With these more profoundly disabled kids, it’s really important to be really verbal, talk about what you’re doing, show them the colours, let them hold a sponge or spray their hand with water so they can feel the texture and add to their sensory experience, and absolutely give them that mirror moment when you’re done.
When you’re working with children or adults that are suffering from a serious illness, and for example may be receiving chemotherapy, or are hooked up to lots of machines there are other things to consider. There are the practical matters of seeking guidance as to where would be the best place to paint these little ones, and then navigate the best you can around the tubes/ whatever may be in place. You need to be very careful with glitter, both fine and chunky in these scenarios just in case it gets into the tubes – and in some places it’s best not to take it out at all. It might sound really obvious but if you have the slightest cold or cough, do let your events organiser know, as the immunity of some of these people can be really threatened by the simplest virus. Psychologically it can be hard working with this group of individuals, but it is one of the most rewarding thing I have done in my painty career – and to be able to bring a smile to that child’s face is a huge privilege.
I thought I’d finish my blog by teaching you a few useful Makaton signs! As I used to teach this wonderful sign language as a communication tool in my previous career, I am always delighted when every now and again I get to use it in my painty life..
(I thought I’d give you a few options of what to sign, depending on how the face paint went! ;-) Remember that when you sign Makaton you always speak at the same time. If you’d like to know more there’s lots on youtube to learn from and I’m really happy to help out too – just send me a pm or contact me through my social media handles below.
I hope that you may have found this blog useful in some way, do you have any more tips on how to best support children or adults with additional needs that you can share with us? I’d love to hear them.
DO FACE PAINTERS NEED A DBS CHECK? By Jane Harding
Hi everyone, I’m going to talk about something that’s pretty boring today, but it’s really essential as a Face Painter to know about this stuff. Firstly because we work directly with children, but also because you will inevitably get asked by potential clients if you have a current DBS Check and it will benefit you to know how to respond to these requests.
Having previously worked in Children & Young People Services for almost 20 years I have a very good understanding of what the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) is and what is required when working with Children and Vulnerable People. In my old role within Social Care it was essential that I had an Enhanced DBS with Barred List for obvious reasons, but it’s not so clear to everyone, if the same checks are required or even available for Face Painters. Hopefully this blog can help clarify that for you.
Please note: Some of the information I am sharing is from my own knowledge, but I have also cross checked this with the information shared on the Government website for the Disclosure & Barring Service. Here’s the link to the website so you can read and check for any latest updates.
Disclaimer: As with anything where the law is concerned. I will always encourage you to do your own research and contact the relevant professionals and/or government dept. for guidance.
WHAT’S A DBS?
A “DBS” refers to The Disclosure & Barring Service that was formed in 2012, when the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged together. The DBS are an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the home office and their job is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions, preventing unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups Inc. children.
Firstly let me explain about the different types of DBS. Unfortunately it is not as easy as someone asking if you have a current DBS. Because there are different types of DBS and they all have a different level of ‘check’ to them. I am not going to list what they all exactly check for, as this is easily found on the website above and there is really only two types of check that I want to talk about and that are relevant to this topic, those being the ‘Basic Check’ and ‘Enhanced Check with Barred Lists’.
The Types of Checks:
DO YOU NEED A DBS TO BE A FACE PAINTER?
In short the answer is NO. As a Face Painter you will most likely be self employed as a sole trader. Currently, the only DBS Check available for individuals to request on their own behalf is a ‘Basic Check’ and these will not provide the level of check that a potential client would be hoping for. So what does a Basic Check, ‘check’ for?
As explained on the DBS website, ‘A basic check will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.’
This means it WILL NOT highlight ‘Spent’ convictions or if someone is on a ‘Barred List’ i.e. sex offenders register. The only check that will currently provide all this information is an Enhanced DBS with Barred List and this can only be requested by an employer. When our clients are asking for a “DBS Check”, it is very likely that they do not have a full understanding of what the DBS is or the different checks available; and so the information they think they are going to get, is that this person has been “checked” and has therefore not had any current or prior convictions in relation to the job they are doing and are not on any barred lists, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is our responsibility to educate people on what it is they are requesting and what the actual law says with regards to this.
The law states that you are only required to have a DBS check if you are working in a regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. As face painters we do not meet this criteria. Here’s a link to the information on the DBS website explaining this:
WHAT DO YOU SAY IF A COMPANY ASKS IF YOU HAVE A DBS?
This has happened to me on many occasions and following my response, I have never had to get a DBS or lost the job because I told them I haven’t got one. This to me proves that it’s mainly the client thinking that we need one and by asking for that information they can tick a box, rather than knowing what the law states.
I always reply professionally, I acknowledge their request and their reason for asking this, however I then politely explain that by law Face painters are not required to have a DBS check, firstly because we would never be left unattended or have sole care of a child or vulnerable person. I explain that as a sole trader I would only be able to obtain a ‘Basic Check’ and that would not provide them the relevant checks they are hoping for. I explain that only employers can request an Enhanced DBS with Barred Lists. I provide them with the contact details to the DBS so they can contact them directly and clarify that this is what the law states. Every single time I have replied in this way, the client has replied quite quickly that this is absolutely fine and they no longer require it.
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE AN ENHANCED DBS THROUGH MY OTHER JOB?
This is quite common, as many Face Painters come from a background of working with children in schools or nurseries etc. so may well have the Enhanced Check with Barred Lists. I was certainly one of these people before I left my old job and focussed full time on my face painting business.
It really is down to the individual how you manage this. I am not saying what’s right and what’s wrong. I know some people advertise they have a DBS and/or would reply to clients that ask, that they do have one. It’s certainly the easier option than explaining why Face Painters don’t need one. But my personal feeling on this is that it doesn’t really help our community as a whole and actually only exacerbates the problem of clients thinking that we need one. If they see one Face Painter advertising that they are DBS Checked, it would be very easy to assume that this is expected on some level across the industry. So ultimately I believe it would be most beneficial for everyone in the face painting community to re-educate all those people that ask us if we have a DBS check. It doesn’t take long to share this information with clients; you could literally type up a standard response to copy and paste to them if you are asked. As long as you reply in a professional, polite and informative manner, clients will actually appreciate you sharing your knowledge, at the end of the day it will save them time if they know they don’t need to check for something they don’t need!
And that my friend is basically all you need to know. I could go into explaining the ‘update service’ and exactly what each level of check covers, but that’s all available via the link above and it’s a lot of information that’s not really relevant to us.
I hope this has helped you to understand a little more why we don’t require a DBS, and how you can share this information with clients or anyone else asking you… lets share the knowledge and change people’s expectations for the benefit of everyone.
Keeping It Simple
By Joni Nettleship
We all want to paint fast, easy faces and as a busy face painter I need my designs to be done in 2-5 minutes. All these photos are on the job and were done super quick. I didn’t use any one strokes at all, I love one strokes but spend too long loading the things. When I really have to knock out a design I prefer metallic and pearl paints, rainbow cakes and stencils plus glitter and fake blood.
Hope these are useful.
Rainbow tiger – Pearl white base, neon rainbow and a few strokes of black with my favourite Bolt brush.
Dog – Superstar gold and something like 13 black lines. Really quick.
Butterfly – Plumeria rainbow cake, Global black with Bolt brush. Blue chunky eco-glitter applied with Vaseline and cotton bud.
Road accident – tyre stencil, global red flicked on, fresh scratch. Really popular with older kids.
Stars – Superstar silver, DFX white, Global black, chunky glitters and star stencils. Can be used for little children through to adults.
Minecraft – pale and dark greens, Graffiti eye stencil, reptile scale stencil, black and white.
What are your go-to fast faces? What products do you swear by?
Dragons are coming… I mean, Winter is coming.
Those of us who are ‘Game of Thrones’ fans have been counting down for a very long time for the start of the final season, and the time is nearly upon us! I’ve been re-watching the whole series again from the beginning (as I’m sure other people have been too!) in order to refresh myself ready for Sunday 14th April, and it gave me some inspiration for a belly paint, and I thought I would show you how I created it! And then while I was painting it, my latest bloggers box arrived containing the most beautiful set of fluorescent glitters from Superstar, so of course, I had to include them to finish the design off!
I stared out by using a filbert brush to create the egg shape in the middle with Cameleon Red Berry, blending with Superstar Old Red for a bit of shadowing around the base and Cameleon UV orange to highlight a little bit at the top. I then used a really big round brush to create the wing structure, using Global Rose Brown, because of the reddish tone it has to it. On a real bump you could make the egg much bigger and take the wigs right round the sides of the bump.
To create a bit of dimension on the wings, before they had a chance to dry, I used a small round brush and some DFX white to go over the centre of each strand, before taking my large round brush again, and going over the whole thing with Cameleon UV Red. Doing this while each colour is still wet just makes all the blending easier. I then used the Cameleon Red Berry again to fill in the wing ‘sections’.
Once the wings were dry, I used my tap 016 stencil to create some texture on the egg, which is also the stencil I use when I’m doing a dragon face paint. I graduated the colours from UV Yellow at the top, UV Orange in the middle, and UV Red at the base. For the wings I then used the full sized Bad Ass 6015 stencil with the UV Orange. I then took another large round brush and Superstar Shock complexion to create the little talons, and used global rose brown with the TFPS round flora 1 brush to slightly line each talon and create a little texture. Then I used some DFX black to outline each wing ‘section’, and blended it slightly with the TFPS large pencil brush.
To create the background, I worked from the middle outwards, blending Superstar Poison Green, DFX Dark Green, and Global Dark Blue.
To Finish off I added lots of tear drops using my PXP round 5 wherever I wanted to fill space. I then used the orange glitter from the Superstar Fluoro set on the very top of the dragon egg, and the green glitter just under each wing section
So there you go! A Game of Thrones inspired step by step belly art! If you have a go I would love to see how you get on so please tag me when you share any photo’s! If you have any Game of Thrones theories (I love a good theory!) or predictions please leave them below, equally if you have any questions or anything you would like me to write about in the future, let me know!
The Pixie Tribe
WHAT’S A JAM?! – By Jane Harding
*Hands up… this blog was meant to be out in February… but you know what it’s like, Life Happens! So, apologies to anyone that’s been waiting for this, but it’s here now :) It’s quite a long one, so go grab a coffee and biscuit!
I thought it would be helpful to some people if I wrote this blog about JAMs, because there has been a fair few happening recently, and so inevitably they’ll be a fair few people out there that haven’t a clue what one is or have just never been to one. At least I certainly had never heard of them when I first started face painting and once I did know what one was, I was way too nervous to actually go to one!
But I’m in my 3rd year of face painting now; I’ve made lots of painty friends through social networking and meeting up with other painters local to me, so I finally gathered the courage to go to one! Honestly, I don’t know why I felt nervous about going (it was all in my head!) as I will hopefully prove to you.
I HEAR YOU SAYING “OK…BUT WHAT IS A JAM?!”
Well, I would personally describe one as an organised get together of like-minded people (Face Painters, Body Artists, Balloon Modellers etc.) They are informal and relaxed occasions where there is no expectation on anyone who attends to ‘perform’ in anyway, but they do provide an invaluable opportunity to ask questions, learn, share, network, shop and have fun.
I attended the Midlands JAM back in February, next year will be its 7th year running, and from my point of view (a JAM Virgin!) it appeared very well organised and very well attended... I’m not very good estimating numbers of people in a room, but I’d say 100-150? (Paula, please correct me if I am wrong) I had a brilliant time and am really looking forward to going next year. I’ll go into more detail in a minute about everything that happened on the day, but firstly, I just wanted to recommend, that if you are planning on attending a JAM, then you should definitely find the Facebook group/event for it first. Because if they are anything like the Midlands JAM, you will find all the information you could possibly wish for on there. Information Inc. Tickets, food, directions, where to park, raffles, activities, what to expect when you arrive, what to do when you arrive and lots more. I really can’t praise the organisers of the Midlands JAM enough; I found them so helpful, friendly and informative.
In case you were wondering, most JAM’s are advertised in the various Face Painting Facebook groups, that’s certainly how I have found out about them, so keep your eye out or just ask, I’m sure someone will give you details of one close to you.
WHO CAN YOU GO WITH?
I purchased my ticket ahead of time, although tickets were also available on the door. The ticket price was £4… yep you heard that right… £4! Please remember that number as I go over everything that was provided on the day. You could also book in for the Sunday Roast that was on offer, but if you’re a fussy eater like me, then you can also take a packed lunch. As I said earlier I have made lots of painty friends over the past 2 years, most of them being local to me, so I obviously asked around to see who fancied coming with me, in the end it just ended up being 2 of us, but this still meant we didn’t have to walk in alone and we shared fuel costs… Brucie Bonus! If you don’t already have local painty friends, reach out and get some… its great… you can talk about painting to your hearts content and no one falls asleep! :-b Having said all that, if you don’t have any fellow artists to attend with, then you are always welcome to take a friend or family member with you if you would like. Of course if you prefer to go on your own then you won’t be on your own for long, just find some smiley people or someone else on their own and take a seat with them, I’m sure they will love to have a chat and find out all about you. Many people took their children to the Midlands JAM, there was a supervised crèche area for them to play in and many older children got involved in the art… it was really lovely to see.
Just to give you an idea of what the JAM looked like, it took place in a large hall that was kind of divided into areas. For example, there was the welcoming area, the crèche, the retailers, a large area in the middle where the demos took place, the stage where the full body paint demo happened throughout the whole day and pretty much everywhere else was covered with everyone’s face paint kits! The balloon modellers also created a small area for their demos as they created some amazing balloons for the children, there was one huge/incredible wearable unicorn, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a very good picture of it.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE MY KIT?
The simple answer is ‘No’; there is no pressure to take your kit. From what I could tell it appeared as though the majority of people did take their kit, but there were certainly plenty of people that didn’t. If you are particularly new to face painting, this is a great opportunity to wander around to look at all the different types of kits and see which you think you would get on best with. Everyone is and was very friendly, more than happy for you to look and ask questions about what they have. I took my kit, so when we arrived we found a little spot to set up as if ready to paint (although I spent so much time chatting I didn’t actually do any painting! Lol) we then made a beeline for the retailers!!!
Oh yes… you can shop at JAM’s! Different retailers attend different JAMs, but basically you will always have an opportunity to shop. The best thing about this I think, is the opportunity to have a look at all the products in real life. As hard as retailers try to provide the best possible photos of products with the best lighting to show you things in their truest colour etc. there is nothing quite like looking at something with your own eyes. I also prefer brush shopping in person, as it’s hard to know what a number 8 in a specific brand will be like, until you actually see it. The best thing of all about shopping at JAMs is the JAM DEALS! I am sure every retailer is different, but there were certainly some fab deals at the Midlands JAM, for example; one retailer gave you a range of free gifts depending on how much spent and we all love a free gift!
SO WHAT ELSE HAPPENS?
At the Midlands JAM, there was a time table of demonstrations that took place in the middle of the hall throughout the day. Several very experienced and talented Face Painters provided themed demonstrations; for example; how to paint unicorns, butterflies, eye designs, the HULK etc. This was great, because if you knew you wanted to improve your Unicorns for example, then you could make sure you were there for that one in particular, watch and ask any questions about what you find difficult and get some great tips and tricks. Like I said it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere where everyone was so willing to help and generally have fun.
Then of course there is the raffle… I’m sure these work slightly differently at all JAMs, but whether you are given raffle tickets as part of your entry or if you can buy them at the event, then either way, raffle tickets are available and from what I have seen at the Midlands JAM and what people have won at other JAMs, they tend to have LOTS of awesome painty goodies, so DEFINETLY make sure you get your raffle tickets!
As I wandered around the room there was so much going on, people painting each other, amazing balloon art being created, Facebook ‘friends’ meeting in person for the first time, so many demos and so much laughter, it really was a lovely experience.
Everyone was so open to share with each other and so friendly that my initial nerves about attending were soon squashed. I really can’t recommend highly enough for any face/body painter or balloon artist to attend a JAM at some point and at this point I just want to remind you, that ALL of that was provided for just £4 a ticket! How amazing is that?!
I thought I’d just mention something BRAND NEW that The Face Painting Shop is starting VERY SOON… if you haven’t already heard, Nathalie and the team are going to be hosting monthly Coffee Morning/ Mini Jams in their ‘Eleven 16 Studio’ (that’s above The Face painting Shop if you didn’t know). I am so excited to say I will be attending the very first one which is on Tuesday 9th April, it’s FREE, but tickets are limited to 25, so grab one before they’re gone and I hope to meet you there! You can get your ticket here.
I hope you found that informative, it has given you a better understanding of what a JAM is and it helped to brush off any worries you may have had about attending one soon.
And last but not least, ‘THANK YOU’ to the folks at The Midlands JAM for allowing me to wander around taking pictures and to the individuals featured in my pics for letting me use them :-)
Until next time, thanks for reading!
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The Life of a Face Painter (continued)
Friday evening and it’s an office job – painting for a charity fundraiser, the place is nice and the people who booked me are lovely, I’m offered Prosecco and as much food as I can take home. A few women come to get glittered and as the drink flows the men approach. They ask for the usual silly things which I laugh off. More drinks and the requests go something like this;
“Do what you like but with pastel colours and stars. No glitter but make me look sparkly. Nothing too big but go WILD! Not bright or patterned but make me stand out. With turquoise and gold and pink and some lilac. And some of that yellow. And that silver. But not round the eyes, mind my brows and not in my hair. Make it subtle.”
I do my best, everyone seems happy and I leave with two bags of delicious vegan curry.
Saturday morning and I’ve been booked for a Fun Day, I’m there on time and sit for an hour and a half with no customers, thirty minutes to go everyone wants a face paint and even though I go as fast as I can I end up having to turn kids away to get to my next booking. Out of my control and unavoidable but still embarrassing.
Next job a birthday party for a three year old. I spend the entire time asking children ‘lift your head up a little bit, lift your head up a little bit, lift your head up a little bit..’ I’m bent double and decide to sit on the floor instead. Everything that can go wrong does. I spray glitter in a child’s eyes, I do my best dinosaur and the kid shakes his head in the mirror, I run out of white. I RUN OUT OF WHITE.
Shut my case and sprint to next job.
Birthday party for a five year old. Standard designs; rainbows, dinosaurs, superheroes, unicorns. No drink offered. Must admit I’m getting a bit thirsty, have been going for 7 hours now and could do with a coffee. Get corrected a few times by kids who tell me my designs are wrong. Even though I’m wearing my branded T shirt with my name on it I’m constantly referred to as the lady. I feel I should own a castle somewhere.
Sunday. My regular lunchtime restaurant job that I love. My instructions today are specific; a cupcake in a blue wrapper with pink icing, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top. Two unicorns (one boy, one girl) and they have to be in love please. Half an avodaco on a gold background. A plate of spaghetti bolognaise.
I do my best but the male unicorn looks keen, the female seems resigned and the pasta just reminds me of the day my dog ate some string.
I’m asked to paint Aurora on an arm but as I start a queue forms so I panic and go too fast, I don’t wait for my paints to dry and her features blur horrifically. Again, I do my best but she looks like she’s suffered a mild stroke. The child looks confused and walks slowly back to her table.
Next job a birthday party for pre-teens and teens. The teens ignore me and stare at their phones. I do my jolly talking and the birthday girl gets a colourful design with metallics and gold lips. The teens look up from their phones. I end up painting black tattoos on their faces and arms and am kept busy for two hours. They are all polite and sweet. I’m offered tea, coffee and help with my case. Drive home happy but pretty exhausted.
Open the door. My kids are still in their pyjamas from this morning. ‘What’s for dinner?’ they ask.
After a long, slow few months after Christmas, it’s getting to that time again where some of us might have a few ppf’s coming up, wether that’s a particular village fete you do every year or an exciting new event. I have also been asked by a client to give examples of fast designs to show her boss, as they have 100 children attending a 3 hour event (and I can tell you now, it’s HIGHLY unlikely that they will all get painted). But the thing to do straight away is to manage the clients expectations and tell them how many people you can generally paint in an hour so that when it does come to the event and not everyone has been painted, you’ve still painted as many (if not more) children as you promised.
So I thought while I was painting up these designs I may as well share them with you guys! I think realistically stencils are the answer and quick one stroke designs with not much embellishments, so I may have to get myself some more stencils as they’re actually not something I use very often!
Just as a side note, this particular client doesn’t want me to use gems which again would save time, so I’m showing you how to achieve these designs without using them!.
Quick one stroke unicorn
I actually use this design all the time, but for speed, I’ve left out the sponged cheeks and floral eye embellishments I usually add. I used my TFPS short angled 3/4 inch brush with the Nat gold edition Red Fox, started with the ears, then the horn (although you could use the ooh body art unicorn horn stencil for this!), flipped the brush over to do some squiggles by the eyes and that’s it!
Completion time 1:17
Rainbow unicorn with clouds
I have the cutest chubby unicorn stencil which I absolutely love! For this I used my 3/4 short angled brush and Leannes Summer Days One stroke from the Tropical Palette to just swipe the rainbow above and below the eye. I then used a filbert brush loaded with mostly white and a touch of black to create clouds either side. I then loaded a sponge one side with gold for the unicorn and the other side silver for the stars using my chubby unicorn stencil by Tap Stencils and my Bad Ass stars mini stencil.
Completion time: 3:05
It’s at this point it REALLY wish I had the ooh body art dolphin flip stencil! *takes a quick break to put it in my shopping basket!* because the shells are perfect! However I do have the Bad Ass mermaid mini stencil with the different sized scales (1307) so that’s the stencil I used for this one. For the base I used Sillyfarm Dragon Pixie (although I’ve got my eye on Mermaid Pixie too!) And the leftover shimmery white on the sponge for the stencil with a little bit of DFX white line work thrown in just to finish off (although you could leave this out) and a quick spritz of glitter. This took: 3:43
Quick one stroke crown
I always seem to forget about crowns and how versatile they are! So here is one both with and without the line work using Global One Stroke in Tokyo and DFX white
Without linework 2:45
Completion time: 3:41
One stroke mask
Another simple design using Purple Pixie from Leannes Tropical palette, and DFX white
Time taken was 3:45
Eye of the tiger
I’m not gonna lie I’ve had Sillyfarm Brilliant Bling for a while, and I never seem to use it. But now I have my new kit set up and I can actually fit all my kit in the same place, I’m going to make more of an effort to use it, because it really is gorgeous! Finished off with good old DFX black and my pink tip triangular dagger brush
Completion time: 1:54
Quick Line work mask
I was originally just going to do this as linework (which there’s no reason why you shouldn’t) but I decided there was no harm in adding a light sponged base! I used Superstar Glitter Gold and Super star Rose Gold Glitter (not gonna lie it’s one of the most beautiful colours in the world EVER!) Topped off with linework using DFX white and my PXP round 5
Completion time: 3:00
Rose and petals
I recently bought myself DFX evil rose because I was out of my usual rose split cake and I know loads of people use this one and I was not dissappointed! It’s gorgeous and so vibrant without being too strong. I used my TFPS 3/4 short angled brush for the rose and rose petals, and for the leaves I used my 3/8 dagger brush and triple dipped it using DFX white, DFX Dark Green and a touch of DFX Dark Blue
Completion time: 3:15
I’m not gonna lie, I hate painting spiderman, so if fast designs means spiderman just as an eye design that’s fine by me! You could take this further if you want using the Bad Ass mini stencil 1206 (the graduated dot one) to give it that slightly more pop arty effect.
Completion time: 2:44
So I hope you have found this useful! I never time myself so that was a really useful exercise, and I’m hoping it will come in use for the ppf’s I have coming up! I would love to see your go to fast designs too so please feel free to tag me in them! I would ask love to hear any comments you may have or requests for upcoming blog posts!
The Pixie Tribe