What is Face Painting?

Face painting is the process of applying a design to a person’s face, usually a child’s face, with brushes and skin-safe paints. It is commonly seen at children’s festivals and parties. The designs can be as simple as a butterfly shape on the cheek in one or two colors, or as complex as a full leopard mask with detailed spots and multiple shades of color.

Some professional face painters can create whole-face designs that rival the costumes worn the Cats cast on Broadway. Their animal designs are usually very detailed and have many shades of color. It takes a lot of practice to be able to manipulate the contours of a human face and turn them into an animal face. It takes a lot of practice to be able to blend the face paint colors well enough to look realistic.

Face painting kits usually include all of the necessary colors and brushes for a specific design. Animal designs are popular, but there are also detailed witch, monster, and fairy princess designs. Non-professional face painters can usually use these kits to good effect if the brush techniques required aren’t too difficult.

It is not necessary to be a professional face painter to create enjoyable designs for children. Younger children, in particular, may be unable to sit still long enough for professional face painting techniques to be applied. Many people are content with a red or pink nose and some painted whiskers to resemble their favorite animal. Furthermore, while the paint is washable, many children lack the patience to wait while you remove layers of paint — especially if they’re tired from a birthday party or Halloween.

Simple face painting designs that are easy to wash off, on the other hand, can still be a lot of fun for kids. Face painting can add to the festive atmosphere of a gathering or party. Some children’s festivals, for example, provide free simple face painting as well as a balloon and/or stickers for each child to take home.