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Working on wiggle worms!

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Working on wiggle worms!

Post by KaraHorchata on Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:48 pm

I've been painting for a few months now, I've been a traditional artist my entire life and a makeup artist for three years so I'm proud to say I'm picking it up nicely and I'm beginning to improve and feel comfortable!

However, I have no idea how to work on wiggling kiddos! I see all these consistently beautiful images of people's work and I have no idea how they get such pretty lines and clean designs! I have tried to set the palm of my hand on their head to keep them steady but it doesn't seem to work, or maybe I'm just not confident enough? I don't want to apply too much pressure or seem forceful. But as a perfectionist (aren't all artists? Rolling Eyes ) it bums me out when a kid is moving so much the design turns out awful. Do I just have to accept this is going to happen? I understand there's a "time limit" with most kiddos, but I'm talking about the ones who have ants in their pants the moment they sit down.

And I've noticed that A LOT of kids slowly lower their head as I'm painting on them (like by the time I'm done with a stroke they're staring at their lap Neutral ) it's so odd to me but maybe it's normal? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!!!

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KaraHorchata

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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by Kris5115 on Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:34 am

Sometimes I ask wigglers to wiggle their toes. Once they focus on trying to wiggle their toes, they sometimes don't wiggle as much elsewhere!

Laura from Jacana Face Paint has a youtube on using 3 points of contact with the kid to help with stability. I'd recommend her videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vcq0RISRE4s
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by jlirie on Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:30 pm

the beautiful designs you mention are not done on wigglers, lol.

for wigglers, you have to adjust your plans - simplify your design, and speed it up -
do only the essentials and do them well,
break up the flow - paint each element between wiggles, try to get them to hold still for a few seconds at a time, not for the whole period,
add glitter or other bling as quickly as you can.

lowering the head is common - have to constantly tell them to look up at the ceiling, sky, etc., then they look up so far you are painting their neck, lol.

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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by anniel on Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:34 pm

Years ago the Wolfe's suggested having them curl their toes...if it's still not working, ask them to curl harder...
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by fesspenter on Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:39 am

When I place a hand on the top of the child's head, it is NOT to steady them, it is to feel when they are about to move. Children telegraph the movement an instant before they actually move, most of the time. This is so I can adjust my brush to avoid making a big blob of paint. This is a strategy I use when face painting children with movement disorders, and it seems to work for the general population.

Happy Painting!
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by LittleMonsters on Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:46 pm

My friend tried painting her children for Halloween... afterwards she sent me a message saying, "I have a whole new level of respect for you and your face painting skills! Painted my kids tonight. Their shifting and squirming!! How do you do it??"

It's not easy sometimes. I tend to put my hand on top of their head and pay attention to their needs - like Fessy above said. It's all in the instincts Razz

But when it comes to a super, crazy, wiggler, I know I'm not going to be able to go for that full-fledged bang on design so sometimes things need to get a little more simpler.
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by Kal on Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:48 am

Sometimes I get behind them and give them a "hug".

Yes this is also exactly what you think it is. (Read Headlock) It's my last resort and the parents are always understanding Wink

Just be sure if you're going to do this you speak softly to them and paint quickly.
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by Sarieka on Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:58 pm

I ask the children to look up, I put my hand gently under their chin and lift it up. The whole time assuring them how awesome/cool they are going to look. I sometimes will put my hand on their head, the more I face paint the I realize how it can be necessary.

I also keep a knee pad/ gardening pad with me so if I have to position myself lower I can if I have to.
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:42 pm

Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.

Some kids don't get the obvious, that you have to sit still! If i notice a kid like this i might say before i start. "Do you know what the secret to great face painting is? Holding still! I can't do it without you, so that's your job to help me out ok? I'll do all the rest. Smile "

Make sure they are sitting nicely, with good posture. Bum on the seat, sitting straight, and more toward the front of the chair. Chin up, eye closed gently. 

After that, you can tell them to 'wiggle their toes' and 'remember to breathe', as some kids hold their breath I've noticed. 

Don't forget to anchor yourself. Get right in there nice and close, and try to always have one hand on the child at all times. Steadying yourself by holding their chin, top of their head, or even using your pinky on your painting hand as a 'kickstand'. You never want to be a 'floating brush', most of all if the model has their eyes closed, as sudden movements and touching them with the brush when their eyes are closed can make them flinch by surprising them.

I also like to talk while I work. I don't really talk to them, more out loud to myself kinda. I'll make sound effects with the brush, or say "a bit more right here, and here, and one more right there". This chattering noise is a GREAT distraction for them!

Other times wigglers just can't be helped, and something painted on the hand might be better. Over time you get an eye of these kids, and can suggest a painting on their hand before you even start! Wink 

Speed is another thing that helps. When you got the right motion to do line work etc, you don't notice the wigging much. Go with the flow, let go, and work with not being a perfectionist. THAT is probably the single biggest thing that helped me get WAY better. Don't fret over small stuff no one else is going to notice but you.

As you do it more, you will learn how to work with the motion. I can for sure say there are less wiggly kids today when in the first few years painting. Wink
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by KaraHorchata on Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:18 pm

Thanks everyone for the amazing feedback! I'll definitely try the wiggling toes, holding their chin up and creating some more simplified designs as back ups.

Y'all give such good advice, I think I just need to get a little more confident and comfortable and try out these methods. I think my problem is I'm so new to this and If I'm not practiciing on myself I'm practicing on my little sisters with whom I have no qualms about jerking their head around and telling them to sIT STILL NOW!! Lol!

Thanks again everyone!
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by jlirie on Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:39 am

lol on the little sisters
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Re: Working on wiggle worms!

Post by Laura-Lou on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:55 pm

I like to tell the parents that the design isn't going to be the same as the others, normally along the lines of 'I think we've got a serious case of the wiggles here, so I'll do you a nice quick design so you can get back to the party/the event quicker'. The parents are normally very understanding but I have had a few complain that it doesn't look like the others/ why have I missed out x etc. So I like to just clear that up as we're going along!
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