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Five minutes with Leanne Courtney, Creator of Leanne’s Collection and Leanne’s Rainbow Brushes

If you are a face painter that uses social media, you have to know at least a little something about the Australian face painter, Leanne Courtney! She has been brightening up face paint kits around the world for years with her beautifully designed split cakes, and sharing the magic of face painting with her inspiring works of art! Leanne has a group on Facebook called Leanne's Collection, where artists share their designs that they made using her combos from Fusion Body Art. You can also see more of her work on her Instagram Page here!

Leanne just released a new line of face paint brushes this year too! She is on a roll doing what she loves! If you want to learn a little bit more about the artist dancing across the rainbow, read this Jest Paint interview with the one and only Leanne Courtney!  Scroll to the bottom to find the links to her products!

Leanne Courtney painted as a fairy"My head lives in fairyland a lot of the time, I dream up these dreams and even if they seem crazy I give it a shot" -Leanne Courtney

Tell us a little bit about you and where you live!

Hi everyone, most of my friends call me Lea. I am a face paint artist from Sydney Australia it’s a beautiful place and I love living here. You can often find me walking around Bondi Beach or hiking in our stunning bushland.

Sydney Australia

How did you start face painting?

I started face painting in 2013 in a Sydney hotel we call them pubs. The face painter went on holiday for 6 weeks and they asked me if I could paint, always a bit of an adventurer, I said I would give it a shot. From that first shaky spider-man, I never looked back. I was totally obsessed, I thought about paint every single second of my day and often woke up in the middle of the night and thought about it.

Leanne courtney face painting designs fusion body art

Do you have an artistic background?

No, I had never studied art and even at school it didn’t grab me. Drawing and shading in pictures of peas in pods did not hold my attention for long! I did love my colour pencils and Texta’s growing up and I still remember how wondrous they looked all lined up neatly in a myriad of colours. My grandfather was an artist though and I would be allowed in his little veranda studio to watch him paint when I was little.

What was the biggest challenge when you started face painting?

Oh that one is easy! Linework, linework and linework. It still is a little hard for me. I cannot put enough emphasis on that you should try to practice your teardrops and swirls and lines every day even if it is for a few minutes on your own arm. The other thing that was challenging was knowing what to buy, but I can honestly say buying better products will make you faster and it is easier and your work will look better and that will get you booked on more jobs.

Leannes face painting designs fusion body art

How did you start your face painting business?

I practiced and practiced and asked a local mum’s group if I could paint their children for free so I could get some photographs. They were really happy to do this and it was a fun morning. Now I had photos I could use to advertise!  I was ready to start my Face Book business page and start taking bookings. I did lots of small parties and didn’t know any other face painters. I wanted to improve so I paid for a workshop with a fantastic face paint artist that was on you tube and in that class I met so many other painters and they were lovely and they added me to a Sydney Face Painting page where artists shared jobs. I learned I needed insurance and they really helped me by booking me to do the jobs that they couldn’t attend if they had other bookings. It took me about a year before I was booked every weekend because I got better at painting.

 Leannes Designs face painting fusion body art

Who were your biggest inspirations when you first started face painting?

So so many fabulous face paint artists that I admire inspired me! Jenny Saunders, Nurit Pilchin, Mark Reid...and then I met Natalee Davies who took me under her wing a bit and really helped by giving me pointers on how to improve my art. Erica Wafford in England has a beautiful style I also love and was inspired by.  Anita Lyn, in New Zealand, was the first person to help me do a double dip flower and I’m forever grateful to her. I never wanted to copy anyone, as that was their style. I wanted to paint like me, even if that meant it took a little longer to develop my own style, but these artists were definitely an inspiration.

 Leanne's Face Painting Designs

How did you create Leanne’s Rainbow?

I fell in love with paint, like madly head over heels. It gave me so much joy and focus and I met artists and had friends and I would rather buy paint than anything else for myself. I bought and tried nearly every product trying to learn about paint, but the one thing that made me sad was that when I tried to paint a rainbow it didn’t make me happy like when I saw a rainbow in the sky, so in all honesty I refused to paint them. After a year of not ever painting rainbows I decided to solve it, so it took me a few hours and my kitchen was horrendously messy with paint everywhere but when I brushed that first stroke on my arm of Leanne’s Rainbow (neon) I got goose bumps like when singers move you, it was the same feeling and I knew I had something that would change face painting for artists all over the world. 

 Leannes rainbow neon image


From Leanne’s Rainbow I became known all over the world and now I have an entire face paint range Leanne’s Collection that is produced for me by Fusion Body Art. I won’t say I haven’t worked for it because I did. A lot of work perfecting them, sometimes 6 months playing around with a cake until I thought it was beautiful enough and unique and would enhance face painters businesses. Fusion has backed me so much allowing me creative freedom and working so hard to have my collections made and shipped worldwide.

Did you do face painting full time?

I decided one day to quit my job in a pub and go back and study. I thought I could now support myself face painting on weekends and study during the week. I started studying to be an accountant. I wasn’t at all smart but I worked hard and eventually got a degree. It took me about 5 years as I have 4 children and studying and working and being a mum was a very busy life. I ended up with a graduate role as an accountant and I realized I could never give up face painting, so now I do both. I love both for different reasons, but face painting is definitely what brings me happiness.

Do your kids like being face painted?

Well that’s a tough one and the answer is no, they are proud of me but they think I’m a little crazy. My beautiful little girl Elise supports me by being my model for Leanne’s Collection and that is hours and hours of painting many many designs so I am very grateful to her. They are used to seeing me in rainbow clothes and flowers in my hair or walking with me down the street with my face painted, but really never wanted me to paint them.

Elise leanne's daughter model face painting

What do you like to paint most?

That one is easy - BUTTERFLIES!!!!!!!! Butterflies of all different colours! I will never be bored of them.

Leanne Courtney Beautiful butterfly Fusion Body Art

What is so addictive about face paint?

The colours, the smiles, making art. Never feeling like I know enough and always wanting to learn more. The friends I have made in Sydney and all over the world and the feeling I get when I have painted something that takes my breath away. Its all addictive not only addictive it’s my life 😊

 Leannes demo of vivid rainbow petal palette FUSION Body Art

Below are some of Leanne's Incredible palettes that she designed. The first one that she created is called Leanne's Tropical collection, bursting with bold neon colors and her original cake Leanne's Rainbow! The second palette that she designed is called Leanne's Butterfly Palette. This palette includes an amazing array of gradients and one of her most popular rainbows, Leanne's Lollipop!



In March 2020 Fusion Body Art released 4 New Leanne's Palettes that have been flying off the shelves like crazy! The Petal Palettes contain larger cakes that are designed for loading up with petal shaped or regular sponges for beautiful bases! Leannes Fusion Petal Palettes

 Leannes rainbow brushes

Later in the year Leanne made another great move and released three beautiful Leanne's Rainbow Face Painting Brushes in bright pink! These beauties are perfect for one strokes, tear drops and double dipped flower petals! Check them out at our site and see the demo images. You are going to love them!

leannes rainbow brushes face painting jest paint



If you aren't already, make sure to follow Leanne on Instagram and Facebook! She has lots of contests and her posts are always fun to read. Thank you Leanne for spending some time with us and letting us know a little bit more a bout your face painting adventure! You really show us that if we follow our passion amazing things can happen! 

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