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High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

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High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by RickyMUA on Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:34 pm

Hello everyone! I would love some advice on choosing sponges. I know there are loads of post on the forum discussing sponges and the endless variety out there,; however, I haven't found a post to answer my question. I want to know how you can tell the density of a sponge and which kinds are good for what designs? Is it a matter of trial and error?
I've bought some from Home Depot that has left me disappointed. I bought one large medium density sponge that I cut into 10 squares and a large high density sponge that I cut up as well. I've used them both in practice and at gigs and I don't care for either really. It seems that the med. density (looks like snazaroo sponge) one is too soft and my fingers end up pouncing on the kids face, and the heavy density one doesn't blend well. It leaves the edges scratchy looking, and they both when I try to layer colors, leaves the surface blotchy. The best I've tried thus far are the Martha Stewart double-sided specialty sponge. It blends wonderfully, but with only two that come in a pack for 9.00, the price it high to justify buying more.

Please help!!
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by nikkili26 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:17 pm

with sponges, i have different effects i'm trying to get, so sometimes i WANT the rougher texture, and other times i WANT the creamier blending from a softer sponge....

don't toss them, just put them to the side til you find your general purpose sponge.

i'm still looking for mine, i just put in an order for the green sponges from the paint shop forum....


but my round artist sponges from the craft store is great for a butterfly base, and the car sponge is great for a monster base-nice stippling for subtle highlight textures.

i'm still looking for my perfect smooth high density for white bases....however, the one that came in the snazaroo mini pallette are awesome-but i only have 2 (cut in halves, so only 4)...i have to use them sparingly at parties-reserved only for the birthday kid and the best friend or siblings (the ones who will be photographed the most, since those give the best coverage of all).

the snazaroo sponges you purchase in the seperate pack are NOT the same as the ones in the pallette. why, i have no idea.and the really big party pallette has the worst sponges of all. same brand, 3 different sponges.
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by Tineke on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:45 pm

I have all sorts of sponges in my setup ... And use them all ..(both types) Low density and medium density for butterflies, fairies, princesses, etc high density for most boyish designs, because I can make perfect edges sigh a high density sponge....
They're all different brands, I have grimas, kryolan, paradise V, fantasy worldwide, wolfe, cameleon, craft store sponges....
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by nikkili26 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:02 pm

Bite the bullet, and invest in sponges.
I use one party every 3 months and just go for it, anywhere from 30 to a hundred bucks on sponges.
I cut them in half and thirds.
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by RickyMUA on Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:36 am

Nikkili26 I understand that investing is key in general within this business. It's just been the frustration of investing in items that work for some but don't necessarily work for me that has been throwing me for a loop. I want to understand the purpose and build of the sponges and truly know what to look out for. I hope that makes sense?
I guess trial and error it is:)
Thank you both for our input!



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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by nikkili26 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:41 am

I got my new sponges, I think you will love them. go to paint shop forum shop, get the ten pack of green and cut them into 25 pieces....cheap and excellent coverage.
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by RickyMUA on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:38 pm

Oh those are the FWW sponges I hear so much about right? I'm definitely willing to give them a try. Those and tack(?) sponges I hear a lot about. Is there a difference between the ones with rounded edges and the flat ones besides shape?
Nikkili26 you said you cut 10 into 25? Explain please?
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by fesspenter on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:40 pm

Dear RickyMUA:
If you go into your Profile, above, and type in your general location, people in your general area may be able to direct you to local retailers, or let you actually try out some sponges directly from their kit. I have learned a lot from my fellow face painters that I met in person. I know your mother probably told you not to meet up with strange people from chat rooms. For all you know, I could actually be a toilet paper salesman from Illinois.

xoxo
2 ply, anybody?
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by nikkili26 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:56 pm

sorry, thought i did explain Smile

some of the sponges i only cut in half.right up the middle, into 2 semi circles.

i use them for full face tigers on adult size faces.

since i am mostly birthday party exclusive, i am usually dealing with child sized faces.

so, for the rest of the sponges, i will cut into thirds like a peace sign-that will give me 3 chunks.

and finally, since most of my kid designs are spiderman or butterfly or rainbows, i cut up the last bit of sponges in HALF once, and then 3/4 of the half.
this leaves me with 4 peices of ONE sponge....2 of them are perfect for a quick eye mask base.
the other small two are perfect for total eyesocket "princess eyeshadow" or "spiderman eye"...and also, fit perfectly into the TAG onestroke to make a quick rainbow design on lil babies.


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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by fesspenter on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:07 pm

I use an electric carving knife to cut sponges.
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by TinafromNY on Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:03 am

My favorites are the green Fantasy sponges, nothing can get into the corners/shapes of the eye like those and also they are amazing for dabbing even strong color across a face. But they totally stink for split cakes and putting butterfliy color on the face etc. For that, I go to A. C. Moore, to their art section, and buy these packs of about 4 or 5 yellowish/natural color round sponges. I think they're under $3. They look are JUST the right consistency for split cakes and pouncing butterflies and things. They do get softer after a while using them, but since they're so cheap, I just go buy more. I love them because they have some "body" to them and can take the pouncing, unlike the Fantasy. So now, after trying all kinds of sponges when I was learning, those are the only two I do
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Re: High/Med/Low Density Sponges..How do you tell the difference? Whats good for what?

Post by nikkili26 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:40 am

after reading through this thread, i finally understand what you are asking....

you're not asking what sponges are good for what...you want to know what the difference is in the sponges itself.....we all thought you meant in comparison to face painting.



well, high density is generally firmer-usually they are just as soft as other sponges, but the difference is you can soak them and squeeze them, but they generally hold their shape well.

medium density has a little more "give" to it, and if you squeeze it, it will slowly reform it's shape.


i prefer HIGH density because what i like to do is store my sponges FLAT...i squeeze all the air out of the bag, and they remain compressed.....because they are "high density", no matter how long they are stored flat, they will spring back to their full fluffy life.

A low density sponge would need a little coaxing and probably would never fully regain original shape.


the kind that tina and i are suggesting are called fantasy world wide sponges, and they are green color and available in the face paint forum shop. it's a great deal!

the other kind we're talking about are known as "Tack" sponges-usually used for horses, but also available as "artist sponges" at most craft shops.
they are very pourous, but they do not soak up the paint as quickly as the lower density.


low density means LESS DENSE-as in, more holes, less solid, more airy....that means a low density sponge is going to be way more absorbent...which is not very useful as a facepainter since we want to pick up paint and lay it back down.

high density means MORE DENSE- meaning fewer holes, so it will soak up less.

density is not a direct correlation to softness-however the "artist sponge" is kinda scratchy and firmer than the FWW fantasy world wide sponges....
Another sponge that is perfect density is the cheapo car wash sponges....

get one of those, and a good shape pair of kitchen shears or an electric knife, and you are in BUSINESS- no more than $3 for at least 3 dozen sponge peices.
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