kukla_tko: (Default)
Tonight I am going to try to run a Face Painting workshop for my Troupe.
I have three really strong face painters, and two competent ones (besides me.)
I also have a few people who claim that they "aren't very good at it."


Here's the long-kept secret to face painting:
Anyone can do this. Really.

Can you make a circle? Can you make the shapes of the 4 suits in a deck of playing cards?
Can you make an arc?

Can you block-print legibly?

Well. Then I can teach you how to paint faces.

It's all shapes, really. Shapes, with carefully placed definition.
You take care of the shapes. I will take care of teaching you the definition.

Ok, to be fair, I am an artist, and faces are my favorite canvas. Sometimes I do like to show off and put out samples for the kids to choose that are a little challenging.

I can do unicorns, dragons, castles, flaming swords, and anything I can see or picture in my mind. When a child walks up to me and asks for something that isn't on my chart, I giggle with glee.

I like a challenge.

However, Any idiot with 5 minutes of training can make a rainbow. All I expect from my troupe members is to have some competent painters doing the rounds of "Hearts, Stars, Clouds, and smiley faces" as a fund raiser for the troupe.

So, our workshop tonight will help me figure out how to play to our strengths. I will find out which pictures my actors are capable of drawing... and which ones I shouldn't put on the chart, no matter how much I like to draw it.

I will teach some basic techniques (effective use of white makes everything look more professional.)
I will also teach some of my favorite patterns. My dragons always start life as a sweeping "S" shape. Then they get a barb for a head, a bat wing, and flame shooting out of their snout.
Ta-da! Instant dragon. Add color to suit.
My Fairies are complex: Full color long haired turn of the century "Nightie Fairy" in butterfly wings.

However, there's no reason why someone else's fairy can't be all wings and a little speck for a body. Especially if you cover the thing in glitter. Little girls love that.

It is really about knowing what you CAN draw, and gently directing the client toward something that you can do well, rather than letting them force you into painting something you aren't comfortable with.

Oh, and NEVER criticize another painter's work in front of clients. Ever. It's ok to jump in and help, but do so in the most flattering way possible. This is sales. We are selling moments of joy to children. Don't mess that up for the kids.

Ideally, you make an impermanent mark on a child's face... and a permanent mark on their hearts. No matter how crappy *you* think it looks, that child will carry forever in their heart the image that THEY see on their face in the mirror.

That's why I love impermanent art. Something that in and of itself is fleeting... but leaves a lasting impression on the people who experience it. That's the kind of art about which I am very passionate.


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