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Discouraged about Time :/

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Discouraged about Time :/

Post by HazyDaze on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:16 am

K, so when you all first started how long did it generally take you to paint a full face? I mean like, tigers, monster masks, full butterflies, skulls, etc, not just cheek art or one-eye designs. I've read recently in some threads people saying that they can do 10-12 full faces in an hour, and I am no where near that yet and it's discouraging, to be quite honest. There is a learning curve, I know, and I can't expect to be great and fast right from the start, so where did you all start? Do you remember how long it took you to get fast enough to do 12 faces per hour? Any tips on how to get there?

Thanks cat

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by theotherphoenix on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:55 am

Don't stress, speed is something that comes with repetition and you're far better to work on your quality than your speed... speed just happens the more often you do a particular design. My tigers and spidermen and butterflies are very quick, but robots and vehicles still take me well longer than the 5 minutes you have if you're doing 12 faces an hour.

Have a picture board and stick to the faces on it. The more you have to think and invent, the slower it goes. After you've done each face on the board 100 times, you won't even have to think about where your brush goes, or how to blend with that sponge, or how hard to press that teardrop. It'll just happen.

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by JENDZS on Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:29 am

Yep, with practice you will definitely have it down! Just keep practicing, when you can. I didn't start out with full faces, I gradually changed over to them from cheek art. Even today I have children asking for "just something little", even the teens/adults don't want their face covered.

Anyhow, the more you do a design, the more you don't think about it and the faster you become. I am not the fastest, but I still have customers tell me how fast I am and how intricate the faces look. Luckily they don't know all of YOU!! Very Happy (read: most of you are much faster and do more intricate/beautiful work than I do!)

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:37 am

I never worried about speed.... I still have some 8 minute designs on my board, but after over a decade doing this I also have a board of all under 4 minutes with most 2 minutes or less for speed events.

It is simply a matter of repetition and knowing your designs and where to cut in order to speed it up. Don't stress.


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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Lady Jayde on Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:07 am

I have to chime in here and agree with the lot. When I first started pursuing making this a professional thing, I was in the same boat. I wanted to be fast because I was repeatedly told by people who didn't think design quality counted as much as fast painting (the faster you paint the more you can paint and the more money you make) that I needed to speed up and stop being fussy about details and line quality. A certain Canuck and a few other very supportive people from here quickly swooped in and put my head on straight and I've been a terror ever sense! Very Happy

I can't say it enough: Focus on your line strength and quality design execution and as muscle memory kicks in, you'll be able to paint strong, high impact designs quickly! It's kind of funny now when I hear the faster painters comment on needing to work on line quality but struggling because they've programmed themselves to paint fast (and often sloppy) so slowing down to hone skills like symmetry, crisp lines and aesteically pleasing designs are a real challenge to them! I've watched a fast painter paint a full face spidey and take 8 minutes to do a face that I can now do in about 4,... but without a lot of the detailing that I've managed to toss in.

Anything worth doing is worth taking the effort to do to the best of your abiity...the rest (speed) will come with time and practice. If you get nothing else from this place, I hope you get that because it's the single most valuable piece of advice I've gotten here! Good Luck!
Lady Jayde

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by ChangingFaceDesigns on Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:54 pm

Repetition which builds "muscle memory" When i first started someone told me this and for the life of me I looked at them like they had 3 heads. I got the repetition part but had no idea what muscle memory was or what it had to do with facepainting. Well I can tell you if you could bottle it an put it on the shelf many would be in line to buy it.

I used to think that I had to have a photo to look at in order to paint something. it was like a crutch. If I couldn't see it I couldn't paint it. It affected my speed, quality, and most important my confidence. I figured I had to break this habit and my next gig I just decided to "Wing" it.

Well talk about muscle memory kicking in full speed. I painted faster because I didn't have to keep referencing a photo, I painted cleaner and wasn't stuck doing a design in certain colors. I got to let some of "ME" come through in the paintings. I enjoyed painting more that day than i had before.

Breaking out of that rut was the best thing I could have done.

But it truly lies in your subconscious mind. That place in your brain that holds all the little subtle details that you wouldn't normally think you would recall after seeing, hearing, or doing something only a few times.

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Stacia on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:00 pm

Ok so you seriously need to look at old posts of mine (you'll laugh)...I would say less than 6 months ago I took 15-20 MINUTES per face. Now I can finish most faces in under 5 minutes. Don't sweat it, once I stopped worrying so much about it I got SO much faster! It's also different when you're painting at home on yourself or your own kid for practice, when it's a room full of strangers it somehow kicks your butt into gear and it happens a lot faster.
I'll see if I can find those old posts Wink!

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Tash on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:56 pm

When you see 10-15 faces per hour you need to remember that there will be essentially the same design repeated within that time... so it may mean 4 rainbow butterflies, two tigers, two spidermen, and some rainbows with flowers, not 1 of each so you have to have 12 faces down pat to 5 mins.

Kids tend to pick what others are having - I don't think in all tha parties I have ever done no repeats!
The trick is stick to what you can do - your menu will get bigger.
If a skull takes you say 10-15 mins - only put a half skull face - or a skull mask on your board, find ways that make it fast for you.... your the one that has to do them over and over and if they are difficult - ( like Darth MAul is for me ) then take them off and forget about them or struggle through untill you have muscle memory and can pump them out without to much thinking involved.
Most of all as the others have said - be patient..... some of the people here have 10 years experience or more.... I think when i first started my average was 10 mins per face.... by the time I started charging money for parties it was around 6-8 mins per face.
6 mins - is your 10 -12 faces per hour... so you don't have to be Speedy Gonzalis just confident in the faces you do know.
I always tell the client the amount of children I paint per hour depends on the compexity of their design choice.

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Sweet Loretta on Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:19 pm

Perhaps that 10-15 faces being the same is true for many - I can easily do 20 faces in an hour with never a repeat. And many seasoned pros can do the same. I know painters who can do this and some work with a formula and some never paint the same design twice.

I think Shannon is telling you the best advice - do not concern yourself with speed. It will just make you crazy. When you are on the job just paint your best. There are tricks to speed painting and learning to do it, but too getting faster just comes over time.

Sweet Loretta

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by a face painting mom on Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:34 pm

Muscle memory will kick in, and you can quit thinking about it so much. I still have some that I have to think about, but mostly, I put out the ones that I don't have to think about now, and just add in one or two at a time that I need work on. The good thing is that muscle memory will kick in for the small elements, like tear drops and swirls, or how you do your tiger ear with thick to thin lines...that is the one I noticed kicking in first...I suddenly did not have to think aobut tiger ears, they just flew by and looked the same each time. For me, I like that kind of "formulaic" painting, and I am much slower if I am trying to make something up and I over think it. I gotta have a plan if I want speed.

I still find myself not going as fast as I know I want to go some day. It will come, but my business is much better because I do nice work rather than just doing something to get a job done. It is not just practice that makes perfect... perfect practice makes perfect, BUT nobody but you could tell if you were perfect so just keep working at it!
a face painting mom

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Guest on Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:44 pm

Just concentrate of doing good work and the speed will come.

I wanted to be known for excellent skills, not speed. Now, after all these years I hear constant comments on how fast I am... and I am not what you would call a speed painter.

I just know how to paint certain things fast - and how to speed up standard designs like butterflies, cats and dogs. I can do a simple butterfly - really simple meaning four blotches of colour and 8 brushstrokes - in under a minute... but it is not my preferred method of painting. I usually save it for squirmy or nervous three year olds.


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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by gorjessfaces on Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:27 am

Just thought i would add in here, that speed for personal painting or ppf dosent really matter that much... but to a paying client for a birthday party it kinda does. if you have told them you can do 10-12 faces in 1 hour and you dont meet the verbal/written agreement to that and go over time then this could be a problem... not only for yourself becasue i cant expect the parents to pay over time if everything ran smoothly but i was just slow, which means your wasting your time staying longer to get them finished. of course dont stress yourself.. the only way you can do this is if you know in your heart that its not a reachable goal... just becasue other facepainters can paint 10-15 faces in 1 hour it does not mean this is the standard you do what feels good. weather it be 8-10 kids ect.. then once you get your groove you can up it!
i also think that if its for a birthday party have set designs.. i never bring a book with me ever. i have template faces that i have painted on 20 max and slipped them into a little album (until i laminate the sheet) that way you are comfy with your own desings. its saves soooooo much time too. instead of the little ones flipping through books undecided.
and yes birthday parties have repeats i done a pearl white kitten with pearl rose loveheart nose and bow with glitter and bling and it was a massive hit! i done the design on the 3rd girl and everyone after that wanted the kitten.. super fast i had time to spare so i started paitning their arms..

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Daizy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:51 am

I don't rush myself at birthday parties. I say I can do 8 an hour, which gives time for each child to pick and admire their painting. I know that I can add that extra detail to make it special, and not just another fast festival face. It also allows room to paint those trickier ones (fairies, robots etc.)

I do offer faster designs for bigger parties but most of the time people are happier to pay for more time for all the best faces.

I know I can go fast if I have too, although its not as fun and I am never as happy with my work. The most I have done has been 100 in 90 minutes.

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:56 am

100... in 90 minutes???? CRAP! Shocked

My birthday package is 2 hours - and that is only for 15 kids. They pay extra for additional.

My regular painting display I can do 12-15 per hour (4-7 minutes each)

My Fast Faces selection lets me do 15-20 an hour (all are under 4 minutes - most under 2). And that is flat out with my mom washing my brushes so I don't take 30 seconds per person to do that myself... I have done more but I don't enjoy it.

If I don't enjoy it I don't want to do it... so... If a client wants or has more people to paint in a short time frame they pay for an additional painter to handle the load. I have five annual events now that book 2-4 painters for their three hour events in order to get literally hundreds of kids painted.

I am not superwoman (at least not by day) and I think I've done a good job of educating my customers about realistic expectations.


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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Denise Cold on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:17 am

I had a two hour gig and this last weekend and I was sure that I was moving like pond water because I was doing full faces (it was for a college homecoming game) but my husband said afterwards "You were really moving" and I said "really?" and then I started adding up the face I'd done. Even though I'd done a lot of full faces (2 masks, 4 tigers, 6 black w/slashes, 2 leopards, butterflies, etc.) I ended up doing 40 faces because I also had a lot of 2 minute faces with cheek art that I did. I really was shocked. Mind you, I wasn't adding a lot of detail because I had a line going the whole time but these were decent full designs.

My point is, the speed comes with time and practice. Line work has to be your priority. The sponging will get faster and faster with time and knowing water/wetness better but if you don't put good line work over the top then it won't matter if your sponging looks airbrushed.

When I really started focusing on good tear drops and tiger stripes and using a smaller brush for outlining (because I don't have a light hand) then my designs really started looking better and better.

Good luck. A practice head will really help too to get that muscle memory everyone keeps talking about. Mine isn't great for sponging...but like I said that's not the priority.

Denise Cold

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Re: Discouraged about Time :/

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:20 pm

Speed comes with time. I quote 12-15 faces in 1 hour, but can probably paint a whole lot more if I wanted to. I once painted 60 kids in 2 hours affraid I have old business cards that I've written numbers on the back of. I usually put out 40 cards for a 2 hour job. My daughter put the cards out & forgot to pull 41-60.... I had all 60 cards out before I realized it, so I painted like a fiend & managed to get all the kids done in 2 hours(I did start 10 minutes early). I now keep my 41-60 cards in a separate ziplock baggie Very Happy

Some things I do to speed up my designs. I have several of my best combos of paints already mixed in their pots. This way I can swipe 2-3 colors at one time on my sponge. I use a lot of artycakes with flat brushes & filbert brushes. I have a lot of different "pink" combos, so when a child asks for pink(most common request)I'm ready w/ a different pink each time. I keep my linework to either white or black(this is only for when I speed paint)> I don't use glitter gel or gems unless it's the birthday child or PPF. For high volume events I like to keep it simple. I don't take bazaar special requests for high volume events. I have many different ways to do butterflies, princesses, tigers, etc. This way it's fast, but no one gets the same thing.

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