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How to Face Paint - Step 4: How to use Face Painting Brushes
Face Painting brushes are delicate tools and they need to be well taken care of for them to provide consistent results. If you are familiar with art brushes you will find that these are use in the same way. If you never touched an art brush before then learning to use your face painting brushes will require some practice.
We recommend always choosing brushes made of synthetic bristles; natural hair brushes are too soft for this kind of medium.
There are many kinds of face painting brushes and we will go over each of them on a different post since that is a topic on its own. The good thing is that they all activate the same way.
When you use a face painting brush for the first time you will notice that the bristles have been protected with a gel coat to keep them in shape while stored. This coat can be easily removed by getting your brush wet and swirling it around a few times without pressing too hard on the brush.
It is always best to only dip the bristles section of your face painting brush in the water, instead of allowing water to go above the ferrule. If water goes above the ferrule, it can get inside of it causing the wooden handle to expand which in turn can crack the protective paint coat on the brush handle. Water can also weaken the adhesive that keeps the bristles in place, and the ferrule in place, which can cause bristles to start falling off and the ferrule to be detached from the handle.
To activate the face paint simply dip your face painting brush tip in water, wipe the excess water on the edge of your water cup and swirl your brush on the paint. If you are using a round face painting brush, then do circular moves over the surface of the face paint until you obtain a creamy consistency. If too much paint accumulated on your brush you can wipe the excess face paint on the edge of your face paint container. If you are using a flat face painting brush then do back and forward movements on the surface of your face paint cake until you obtain the same creamy consistency.
To clean your brushes while at a gig, simply rinse your brush inside your water cup until it is free of pigment. Always use back and forward movements mixed with swirling movements, but do not press down on the brush making the bristles spread, because this will ruin the shape of your brush. Some face painters like to fully sanitize their brushes in between kids and never use the same brush twice during one gig. This requires a lot more brushes and some extra sanitation steps; we will go over that on a different post.
Remember to never leave your brushes sitting in water so that they don’t get ruined.
After your gig it is time to sanitize your brushes. Simply grab each brush and put a little bit of brush soap on the tip of your brush and rub it gently in between your fingers to work the soap into the bristles without hurting your brush. Then, put the brush under running hot water until it is completely free of soap. Once cleaned, lay the brushes flat on a towel and allow them to dry thoroughly.
If you notice that some of your brushes have lost their shape, there is a way to bring them back to life. We will go over that on a different post.
Now that you know how to use your basic tools and you learned how to activate your face paints, it is time to learn basic face painting techniques. Read the next posts to learn all about that.