Have you ever wondered what differentiates outstanding designs and… all the rest? How are painters achieving polished designs OTJ even when they’re working fast?
Solid fundamentals and good technique.
Doing the little “easy” skills well is actually the key to doing the advanced impressive techniques well!
Here is the list of my top techniques and skills that always help me achieve outstanding results and that will definitely make a difference in your skills this Halloween season.
So, if you’re ready to get hired more for private parties and make more money doing PPF at those booming fall festivals, let’s dive in!
1. Base Coating
When the base coat is splotchy or dull, the rest of the design will look messy. To set the stage for your designs and help colors pop, apply a smooth and even base coat of paint.
If you’re having trouble getting a smooth coat, you’re probably not using the best paints for base coats. I highly recommend using glycerin-based paints for the best coverage. Paradise by Mehron and Superstar/FAB both make an excellent white for bases—comfortable and full coverage.
Learn more about types of face paint and how to use them to their advantage in our Face Paint Buying Guide!
2. Brush Techniques
Linework: Use fine-tipped brushes to create intricate linework for details like outlines, spiderwebs, or princess crowns. Having a steady hand will assist you in achieving crisp linework in a single stroke.
If crisp linework is challenging for you, check out our 3-day Linework Workshop, which is entirely free!
Creating smooth transitions between colors is essential for realistic and impressive designs. There are multiple ways on how to blend:
- sponge blending
- dry brushing
- pulling one color over another
- brush blending
The Professional Course at the IFPS covers these and many other techniques in detail. To give a brief overview, you’ll need to work with both creamy and dry paint consistencies, and the best brushes to use are the filbert, chisel, and special blending brushes.
4. Highlights and Shadows
Understanding how to apply highlights and shadows can add dimension to your designs. White and black paints are the primary colors used for highlighting and shadows, but more options can take your designs to the next level, such as pressed powders, eyeshadows, and the ability to work with different paint consistencies.
You can learn more about activating your paints correctly and using all five consistencies to your advantage in this blog post.
Why do you need this specifically for Halloween? Because this kind of creepy realism is a crowd-favorite for the spooky season and can elevate your design from basic to professional in a blink of an eye.
5. Textures and Patterns
Sponging textures: There are several tricks for creating textured effects with sponges. To start, I recommend using paint with a dry or sticky consistency. By lightly dabbing the paint onto the skin with a yellow porous sponge, you can achieve a stippled effect that works well for bruises, stubble, and rough skin. Pulling the sponge over the skin and flicking it can help achieve a realistic fur effect (btw, other sponge types also work for this technique).
In this clip, Shawna Fae is using a sponge to create fur texture in our new monkey face paint tutorial! She polishes off the fur later with some brush line work and sponge blending. You can view the full tutorial here.
Stencil Use: Stencils are great for adding texture or intricate little images like bats, spiders, pumpkins, or even character faces. You’ll need dry paint consistency, a sponge or a finger dauber, and a steady hand for successful stenciling.
Wies is quickly applying cheetah print with a stencil to this fast and easy design. View the full tutorial here.
6. Splatter Technique
This is ideal for creating a spooky or distressed effect. Dip a brush in paint, then tap it against your finger or another brush to create splatters. You can also flick it against a business card or other stiff paper.
Blood splatters are perfect for Halloween designs! You can view this full vampire design by Olga Murasev on our Youtube channel.
7. Detailing and Fine Lines
A fine-tipped brush is essential for adding intricate details, like small veins, fine lines, and delicate features.
The quality of your brush makes a huge difference to your success with these types of details. If you’re struggling with this, try a #0 and/or #1 from our Brush Buying Guide. The quality of your tools may be the only thing standing between you and success!
8. Glitter and Sparkle
Adding glitter can enhance your Halloween designs. Apply glitter gel or loose glitter to certain areas for a magical or spooky touch.
9. Stencils and Templates
These can be especially handy for creating intricate designs like spiders, webs, and other Halloween-themed patterns.
In this clip, Milena Potekhina teaches a fun Halloween design using Milena Stencils. You can view the full class by joining our 2023 Halloween Online Summit on September 14-17.
You can buy your own Milena Jack-o-Lantern stencil here.
The most challenging yet the most important skill of all!
Planning your designs in advance and adhering to the fundamentals of composition, placement, and a consistent style will help ensure a smooth painting process and consistent results.
As a face painting instructor for over a decade, I have observed thousands of canvas artists who struggled with face painting, attempting overly intricate work that was unbalanced on the face…
Conversely, many face painters who started from scratch at my School achieved incredible results by following the fundamentals I taught them.
These are the secrets that are unknown to the majority in the face painting industry, but they have proven to be the key to success for thousands of artists across the globe.
And guess what? For the first time ever I will be sharing these secrets with you at the Upcoming Halloween Online Summit for Face Painters.
Bad news – since this is a LIVE class, we can only accommodate a limited number of attendees for this class and the spots are selling out way too fast. So if you were on the fence, book your spot NOW before it’s too late.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different techniques and designs before Halloween to build your skills and confidence as a face painter.
Don’t miss out on the best learning resource for face painters this season! Get your ticket for the Online Halloween Summit for Face Painters now!
Discovering additional $$$: Airbrushing and Special FX
Should I offer airbrushing for Halloween?
Adding airbrushing to your Halloween face painting services offers multiple advantages.
- The technique’s precision enables intricate detailing for designs like skeletons and special effects, which will set you apart from other face painters.
- Airbrushing’s efficiency is especially beneficial for high-demand events, allowing you to serve more clients quickly.
- It excels at seamless blending, creating realistic shadows and highlights, ideal for adding depth to Halloween designs.
- Special effects such as wounds and scars become impressively realistic with airbrushing.
- Its uniform coverage ensures consistent, professional results, making your designs stand out.
- Airbrushing’s versatility extends to UV-reactive designs that dazzle under blacklight, enhancing the Halloween experience.
Photogenic and trend-forward, airbrushed designs offer clients memorable keepsakes. By incorporating airbrushing into your repertoire, you offer unique, intricate, and photogenic designs that meet the demands of Halloween enthusiasts and event organizers.
Should I offer SFX as a face painter?
Incorporating Special Effects (SFX) into your services offers versatile benefits beyond theater and movies. SFX attracts diverse clients seeking unique transformations for events like Halloween, themed parties, and photoshoots. Elevating your artistry with intricate details enhances your overall face painting skills.
SFX’s seasonal demand, especially during Halloween, increases bookings and revenue. Standout offerings set you apart in the market, while photogenic results attract attention on social media. Private events like birthdays and corporate gatherings also benefit from SFX.
Exploring this avenue fosters artistic growth, even if theater or movies aren’t your focus, and opens doors for collaborations across various industries.
Not sure how to get started? Our 10 Essential SFX Tools for Halloween Face Painting post is for you! Learn everything from what to buy, what to DIY, and how to use these tools!