Tribal Face Painting

Tribal Face Painting

Face Painting – Part Art, All Fun!

We all know what face painting is, but how many understand the history behind it? Today, children enjoy face painting at parties and special events. But face painting wasn’t always done to entertain the little ones, and to really appreciate this beautiful art form, we need to understand a little bit of the history behind it.

The History of Face Painting

Throughout history, face painting has been used by different cultures for many varied and different reasons. The Native American Indians of North America for example used face painting in order to identify their tribe during spiritual ceremonies. They also used it in battle to signify both their tribe, and their particular ‘spirit being’ (buffalo, eagle, snake, etc) and as a way to strike fear in the the hearts of their enemies. Some Native American Indians even believed that certain colors had a unique magical properties, such as if you painted green under your eyes, it was believed that it would give you the power to see in the dark.

How Primitive Face Paint Was Made

While the process is obviously much changed today, and the Best Face Painting Products and Supplies are much kinder on the skin, in centuries past face paint was made using the roots and leaves of various plants. And sometimes clay and stones were mixed together with oil in order to create the paint and alter its colour.

5 Ways Face Paint Has Been Used

  1. For camouflage. In ancient times, many cultures used to paint their faces before they went hunting or into battle as a way of camouflaging themselves so that they couldn’t easily be seen by their enemy or their prey. Warriors or hunters would paint their faces with natural tones like green and brown so that they blended perfectly with their environment. This allowed them to sneak around in the forest without being seen. Today, the military still use face painting for camouflage during wartime.
  1. During spiritual and cultural ceremonies. Have you ever watched a movie that features Native American Indians (Dances With Wolves) or Celts (Braveheart) or Vikings (Pathfinder)? If you have one of the things that you’ll probably notice is that they all paint their faces before participating in rituals or spiritual ceremonies, or before going into battle.
Braveheart - Face Painting

Braveheart – Face Painting

  1. In order to enhance a costume: in places like medieval Japan, face painting was done before cultural performances in order to enhance a costume. During the opera or dance, you’d find many participants having their faces painted so that they could entertain their audience by better embodying their character. Much like 16th century Italian performers would don commedia dell’arte face masks, so many cultures used face paint as the mask itself.
  2. To show support during various sporting activities: It’s easy to assume face painting is just for children. But many adults today also enjoy face painting during sporting events. Because nothing quite says ‘I’m a fan!’ like having your team colours painted on your face.

Face Painting for Kids

Face painting as we understand it today started to be used on children in the beginning of the 17th century, with children enjoying face painting in amusement parks, markets and festivals. Face painting for kids is the ideal way to promote a happy and fun party atmosphere with the children’s faces painted as their favourite cartoon character, animal or super hero.

Face Painting for Kids

Face Painting for Kids

How is Face Painting Done?

Face painting can be done using different styles and techniques, and there are many examples of Face Painting Characters to choose from. However though it may look easy, face painting should always be done by trained professionals with only the finest materials that are kind on the skin, but wash off in water.

Face Painting Basics – a DIY Guide

Much like cooking a souffle from a Heston recipe will never be as good as when Heston does it himself, so DIY face painting will never be as good as when the professionals at Magic Mirror Face Painting do it.  However it can be an enjoyable afternoon for the family to try doing it yourself. To do this you will require some items including:

  • Water based face paints of different colors.
  • Sponge.
  • Paint brushes.
  • A bowl of water.
  • A pattern for your finished design
  • A mirror to admire your finished product.

Once you have all these items in place, you can begin face painting. Start by putting your subjects’ hair away from their face using a band or clip. Then you put down a base colour on the subject’s face, which is your neutral starting point. Then you start having fun fleshing out the design with the brighter colours, reds, yellows, blues and greens, together with a little black and white to help with light and shade and with outlines or borders. You can mix up these colors to get any other color you want, because after all the process should be fun!

Face painting is best done when the base color is applied first and left to dry before applying a second coat. The result will look better if the lighter colors are applied first. And don’t forget to use a sponge to remove excessive water.

Here are some amazing face painting tips you could use:

  • Glitter jells or glitter dusts can be used to add some sparkle on the face painting design.
  • Iridescent powder can also be added to give the design an adorable shimmer.
  • Make sure you have a small towel to keep hands clean.
  • Always make sure the face paints are safe for use and have been tested and approved.
  • You can buy a face painting kit to use during a party just make sure it’s stored in a cool place out of sunlight.
  • Remember that face paint that has been used for more than 18 months needs to be thrown away.

Amazing face painting designs you can try out.

The face painting style you chose is limited by your imagination. Here are some of our most popular ones:

  • Princes Fairy
  • Butterfly
  • Pirate
  • Spider Man
  • Monster
  • Vampire
  • Iron Man
  • Frozen Princess

There are many other face painting ideas. And do not hesitate to request something unique for your kids face painting party. If you can think of it, our skilled face painting artists can bring it to life!