Kit Corner- Part III (Brushes)
Updated: Jan 27
This my current painting set-up when I’m out on a job. It’s so colourful and eye-catching, and I just love it!
Whilst working I’m frequently asked questions about my kit from interested on-lookers. So, over the coming weeks I thought I would share with you some of the contents of my kit, what they are and how I use them. Any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Part III- Brushes
An artist’s best friend
Good brushes are an artist’s best friends! A professional face painter gets to know the personality traits, strengths as well as the limitations of each and every brush, and knows how to get the best out of them.
But, of course, it’s not all one-sided. In order to perform at their best, brushes must be well cared for. It’s always a bad sign if you spot paint brushes sitting in water at a face painter’s table. These brushes are clearly not their friends.
The truth is, it’s very difficult to paint anything of quality with poor or damaged brushes. And even with good ones it takes time and practice to learn how to control each stroke properly and to use the right consistency of paint for the type of stroke you intend to make. It is a skill that to most of us does not come overnight. The dedication to line perfection and practice sets the professional apart from the hobbyist.
Here's an example of my line practice. It’s quite meditative once you get going!
Types of brushes
Up until 3 or 4 years ago one had no choice but to use brushes designed for use with acrylic paint. There were no brushes specifically manufactured with face painters in mind. But recently that has all changed. Famous face and body artists have recognised the market potential and have designed and had manufactured brushes to their own specifications and requirements. So varied are the options now, that buying and trying new brushes can get addictive (and very expensive!).
The majority are, however, similar in that they are made with nylon hair and wooden (or plastic) handles. Real-hair brushes are much more difficult to keep in good condition and, from my experience, not as responsive when used on the skin.
I have a mixture of the two- some brushes for acrylic paints and some brushes specifically designed for face painting. Here’s the selection of brushes I have in my kit:
Each type of brush has it’s own advantages, and as such are used for specific tasks:
1. Round Brushes, various sizes for smooth lines, tear drops (normal and reverse), double-dip flower petals (size 6) and dots.
2. Filbert Brushes, various sizes for filling in large areas quickly (large brush), tear drops and round objects (smaller sizes).
Flat Brushes – 3. Straight edge, long bristles, 4. Angled, short bristles, 5. Angled, long bristles, for different one-stroke techniques.
6. Dagger Brush for one-stroke flowers and teardrops.
7. Petal Brush for large flowers.
8. Fan Brush for rough effect.
9. Outlining Brush for loose lines.
10. Blending Brush for smoothing transitions between colours.
11. Short Round Brush great for small leaves and dots.
....and a few examples of my designs painted predominantly with brushes:
And you’ve guessed it……
Yes, I’m going to go on about good hygiene practices again!
As you all probably gather by now, for me, a good hygiene routine is one of the factors that distinguishes a great professional from just a good face painter. Ask your prospective face painter about their brush hygiene routine.
Here’s some good habits to watch out for when booking your next face painter:
Using 'Brush Bath' routinely in all water used whilst painting on the job. Brush Bath is an organic liquid with natural disinfection properties. It also smells wonderfully of lavender.
Brushes need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each gig.
No sticky, food-covered or dirty face should be painted. Parents need to be informed that children need a clean face before painting.
No children with skin problems or infectious diseases (including colds) should be painted, to avoid unwanted skin reactions and to avoid transmission of bacteria and viruses.
Lips should not be painted with paint brushes. Instead, biodegradable (with a carboard centre) cotton buds should be used to add colour to lips, and each end should be used only once.
So, there you have it- a whistle stop tour of brushes in the face painting world. Don’t hesitate to ask me any related questions, just email me your query to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for joining me, and ‘til next time!