One of the lovely things about having hobbies and skills is that you can share them with your nearest and dearest. Whether you’re a keen carpenter or a knock out knitter you’re bound to find that your kids will at some point be interested in getting involved. I have a random assortment of things to bring to the educational table, but one of my favourites is Face Painting. I’m a trained, working Face Painter so when Weekend Box sent me a box containing a new range of Snazaroo products to try it was right up my street.
Snazaroo paints make up the vast majority of my kit because they are water based, have good coverage and a decent strength of pigment –
especially given that they are one of the lowest cost brands. I have a few pots of a more expensive brand of paint including a white for doing really crisp, bright lines, but the difference between it and the Snazaroo range is minimal. I tend to shy away from the more expensive brands for normal Face Painting of children at parties too because with a greater level of pigment comes the problem of skin staining – Snazaroo paints cover really well but also wash off easily with soap and water, or even better with a baby wipe.
The mini kits we were sent are a really good idea when you’re starting out with face painting – rather than buying large pots of individual colours that you’ll never use up, and spending hours using online tutorials or books to work out how to make a required face, you just buy a mini kit with small pots of the colours you need and a three stage guide to producing the face. The first kit we looked at had three colours, a brush and a sponge plus photo instructions for producing a jester face. This cute kit would be ideal for people wanting to paint at their own parties, for imaginative play with their kids, or even as a party bag gift or stocking filler.
The other product we received was a birthday party face paint stamp kit, containing three paints and three stamps. These are a great idea
because you are often asked to paint children who are really small – a quick stamp on the cheek or hand and they feel part of the fun, without having to sit still. They’d also be handy when kids are asking for temporary tattoos but their parents aren’t keen on them. With a quick wipe with soap and water they’re certainly a lot easier to remove than a glitter tattoo!
We combined the colours from the two kits because the boys wanted to learn to paint a classic stylised tiger face. The only thing I’d add to the kits as sent out are a small pot of water to wash your brushes and a mini spray bottle of water to moisten the paint, although you can just use a wet paintbrush or sponge you get a better effect by spraying the water onto the paint itself. If you’re planning on painting a bunch of kids, I’d also stock up on a spare bag of cosmetic sponges because it’s more hygienic than using the same sponge on all the kids. I switched Toby over to using the large pots of paint I already had too because as he’s only five he was finding it fiddly to get the sponge to only pick up the colour he wanted and not the nearby colours, which I don’t think would be a problem for an adult or older child.
Toby loves to paint, but has an aversion to anything on himself (he cried for about 20 minutes when he had to have a hand stamp to ride the trains at Eastbourne miniature railway), so I taught him to paint on Ollie, and Ollie used a mirror to copy the Tiger face onto me. The tiger was the first face I learned to paint myself, so it seemed a good place to start. You need white, yellow, orange and black paint. Start with the white over the nose area, a ring of yellow around that, then a ring of orange, blending the edges by dabbing the lighter colour over the darker one. next the features – black nose, whiskers and eye brows. Finally the stripes – black stripes drawn from the edge of the face towards the centre, then repeat in the gaps between the black stripes using white paint (careful to wash your brush if you don’t want grey stripes). Now you’re ready for reading the Tiger that came to tea and jumping around the house playing food chains.
There are more naturalistic tiger faces out there, but trust me, if you’re painting thirty bouncy-castle-sweaty-party-ring-sugar-hyped six year olds in less than two hours you’re going to want to pick faces that look great in just a few easy steps. A mini kit is certainly a great way to give it a go and have fun together.
Notes: We received the Jester mini face paint kit and birthday party stamp kit for free in return for an unbiased review, but I am actually quite biased because I’ve been using Snazaroo paints for five years now and am therefore perhaps predisposed to like them. I’ve tried cheaper brands and more expensive ones and not got on with them, with the exception of Diamond FX which I use for some line work. I’ve enjoyed reviewing for Weekend Box in the past and have always been impressed with what they send out. The normal Weekend Box generally comes with a range of themed craft and cooking activities with most of the things you need for each activity, with a high level of recycled/recyclable packaging and materials. It comes fortnightly and fits through your letterbox. Images, opinions and talented young artists are all my own.