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Professional Designs and Time

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Professional Designs and Time

Post by mespo on Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:19 am

I started face painting about 2 months ago. I work at a roller skating rink so I am able to face paint every weekend which is wonderful for practice. I have noticed a big improvement in my designs and speed, but sometimes I feel like I need to go faster. I just have a hard time leaving out details that I know will make the designs look better. I want to be quick as I've heard face painters can do a design in 1 1/2 - 3 minutes but I'm just not there yet. That makes me really scared to even consider doing fairs and festivals where the line is really long. Will the speed come with practice or do I need to learn more simple designs that still look great. What do you do?
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by jlirie on Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:12 am

both Smile

the key to the practice part is knowing what you are going to do before you paint the first brush stroke, vs trying to remember it or figure it out as you paint.

practice designs until you you know the order of the different elements, and how to execute them from habit, rather than having to think through them as you paint.

for speed, avoid designs with lots of intricate details, or straight lines. for instance, lots of characters with little faces, eyes, arms, and legs, that great knight helmet with all the straight lines, patterns that require lots of individual brush strokes, like 5 snowflakes, etc.

pick designs where you can cover the area quickly with your base colors, use only one or two different sized brushes to add the major details, and have a few, effectively placed finishing details like teardrops, dots, stars, etc. (some people use stencils for things like stars, snowflakes, lizard scales, etc).  also minimize outlining, if possible.

to help a simple design be great, use contrasting bright and dark colors, blend several shades of colors, good arrangement on the face (composition), and clean, clean lines and details.


Last edited by jlirie on Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : editing)
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:03 am

I've been face painting for 15 years and it is only in the last 5 that I can claim that I paint 2-4 minute faces consistently.

It is partly due to years of practice PLUS deliberately choosing designs to put on display that are going be able to be done at that speed.

I have multiple display boards and books that are specifically for different levels of painting and different speeds. Large public events are limited numbers of the fastest designs, small private parties are the big book with anything goes as there is usually plenty of time for things with lots of teeth and details.

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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by mespo on Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:38 pm

Thank you so much for the amazing advice. Since I've only been doing it for a few months I don't have all the designs memorized yet. I have done that helmet which looked easy but the outlining takes too long for me if I have a line. I also love the idea of having different display boards depending on the event. That really makes a lot of sense. I think I'm going to use this snowy day to practice and plan for my next face paintings. Thanks again!
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by Kris5115 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:19 pm

I velcro my pictures to my display board. That way I can easily swap out different pictures for different events.
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by mespo on Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:07 pm

Thank you Kris. That's a really good idea because I have been laminating my sheets and I'm constantly having to change and update things, so your way would be much easier.
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by jlirie on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:35 pm

yes, great idea kris5115
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by Forest-Fairy on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:13 am

what jlirie said with practicing the designs beforehand is totally a big part. Have. A. Plan. Try to map out the design so into steps so that you don't have to 'go back' to add something you forgot, or so that you don't have to wait for something to dry.

Just like Shannon, I have certain designs for certain events. Most mall events (or really high volume events) never even see some of my 5-7min designs. I save those for b-day parties, or slow gigs where i have more time to play. Learn to dumb down some of your designs to be more simple and less detailed. People will love them just the same, trust me. (more so if they don't know about your more detailed designs lol 'shhhh, our secret'.)

totally Kris!! I do that too. For far too long I was working with laminated prints and not wanting to update because of the expense Sad . Though instead of Velcro, I use just a bit of looped tape on the back. So much easier to remove, and stack the face cards in a box. Also cheaper then Velcro lol. But it's SO much better knowing i can just swap one face or two faces out, instead of having to redo the entire sign.

My biggest 'speed boost' tip of all time for though it this. "Learn to live with your mistakes."

If it turns out that you did forget something, keep going if the design can live with out it. If you made a mistake or the kid moved while you were painting, work WITH it. Let go.
This also free's you because knowing that you have the freedom lets you work faster, and you get into the 'flow'.

Don't fret over your work, know that you are your own worst critic. In the end, no matter what you do, everyone still thinks it's totally amazeballs. :p
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by mespo on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:32 am

I have learned that doing those small detailed cheek art designs can sometimes take even longer than a full face cat or tiger. I am also trying not to fret over every line being clean and perfect because you're right, they usually love it and never even notice the imperfections. I do waste time going back and forth with my colors when I don't have to, but I realize now that if I plan my design ahead, it will really help. Thank you so much for all the feedback, it's been so helpful.
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Re: Professional Designs and Time

Post by Forest-Fairy on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:47 am

Yup, it's so true, some times those smaller cheek designs can take just as long. Unless it's something super simple.

ALWAYS be on the look out for 'cheats' that's why so many face painters do 'one stroke painting'. It gives a lot od detail of shading with minimal effort. Other things like base blending rainbow cakes, stencils etc. 

Above all that the thing that REALLY look my face painting to faster levels was investing in quality brushes. Before i just used what ever i could find. But after watching some youtube videos I started taking having certain brands of brushes more seriously.

After I bought my first set of gold grips I realized what i was missing out on! No longer have to waste time 'trouble shooting' a brush, or being careful with the brush while painting to make it do what i want it to do. I look back and realize my brushes were really working against me.

Something else to look into. Wink
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