Face Painting Tips on using brushes and sponges

It is hard to make mistakes in face painting. It’s all about having fun!

You will need a jar of water, clean sponge or brush and paper towels.

For more complex designs try doing sketch first or make a stencil out of plastic or card. Try to paint thinly as the skin is a flexible surface, thick and heavy coatings may crack. Place an old towel or paper towels around the shoulders. Have your model relax their face - no squinting. HAVE FUN!

Using Face Paint Colours:
If you do not have all the colours you need, try mixing the colours together to make a new colour. Mix on the back of your hand or in a saucer. See the mix and match colour guide below.
face paint color mixing guide

Painting Details: Narrow thin brush
school paints painting faces
Paint your details with a thinner brush. Make sure you wash your brush between colours or have a brush for each colour. Paint carefully around eyes and never go too close with your brush. Try cotton buds/swabs for easy control.

Using Sponges: for backgrounds.
Sponges or cotton wool is used to apply a smooth base colour over the face.
Face Paint with a sponge

Sponges need to be just damp with water and not drippy.

Have your model relax and close their eyes. Dip the damp sponge into a little amount of face paint and using a either a brushing sweeping action or dabbing, apply to the face.

Try starting from the top of the forehead and sweep with one long stroke to the point of the chin. If you want a duotone (two colour), always apply the lightest colour first. The second colour can be blended in by lightly dabbing along the adjoining edge. Wash sponges between colours or have a sponge for each colour.

Using Brushes:
Face Paint is ideally suited for synthetic or sable brushes. Try to paint thinly as this will avoid any cracking and allow the face painting to last much longer. Use a fine thin brush for fine lines. Try to keep your lines continuous with confident brushing rather than broken and sketchy.

Share and enjoy
Tony Parker
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  1. Thank you for this information, I have found this very helpful. I am hoping to do some face paints for my Street Fun Day during the Six Weeks School Holidays.
    Lots of practice needed.


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