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A Mom's Fascination With Face Painting

By JoAnne Westcott

As the mom of a three and a five year old, I've been to many school events, community festivals and charity functions where the face painting booth, no matter what else was going on, was the star attraction.

So I began to wonder, why is it that face painting booths are so popular?

Attention - All children crave attention. Come to think of it, most adults do too. When a child is sitting in the chair, the face painter is completely focused on that child. You can just see how special that child feels at that moment.

Creativity - Any kind of painting is an expression of creativity. When kids choose the design they wish to have painted on their face, they take command of their own creativity and self-expression.

Individuality - Kids are expected to have the right toys"the right clothes. Generation after generation, youngsters are encouraged to conform to be socially accepted. Face Painting is one way to express individuality.

Fun - Let's face it. Having your face painted is just plain fun. And is there any sweeter look than the quick glances that kids take of themselves in the mirror after a face painting session? That little smirk on their face is priceless!

Face painting seemed like an awesome way to entertain my kids on a rainy day. Face Painters make it look so easy. I thought, "I can do that."

I had so many questions, but not a clue where to start. I searched face painting on the internet and although I found some beautiful photos of full face creations, they didn't really help me much as a beginner. I simply wanted to learn how to paint a flower design on my daughter's cheek. I knew, however, that I could learn a lot from the artists who create those kind of masterpieces.

So that's exactly where I chose to begin. I wanted to watch a face painter in action, talk to them, ask questions, dissect their technique. That is a pretty difficult thing to do in the middle of a festival or birthday party, but not if you hire one to come to your house"which is exactly what I did.

Hiring a face painting professional could cost anywhere from $50 to over $200 an hour, depending on where you live. But the information you glean will be invaluable. Here are a few things I learned from my friend, the professional face painter:

1. Do use the right paints. Don't use any paints that are not specifically designed for use on skin.

2. Don't use cheap brushes. Spend at least $3.00 apiece on a few brushes and they will last a long time.

3. Don't try to be all things to all people. It isn't necessary to paint 100 perfect designs. A small collection of 10 or 20 simple designs will make you look like a hero to the children.

4. Do practice as much as you can"on people or on paper. With practice comes speed.

5. Don't be afraid of making a mistake. Children are very forgiving, as is the paint. It's easily 'erasable'.

6. Don't be nervous about fidgety kids. Speak calmly and quietly and they'll usually stay still.

7. Do have fun. Face painting is a therapeutic, creative outlet.

8. Do share your newfound talent. Volunteer your services at events and before you know it, someone may offer to pay you!

About The Author

JoAnne Westcott is the author of Easy Face Painting: How You Can Get Professional Results Even If You've Never Picked Up A Paintbrush. She is a work-at-home mom of two girls, ages 3 and 5, and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. You can learn more about Face Painting and how to acquire the simple skills to get started by visiting at


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