Face Painting Ideas- blank practise faces

I drew these blank faces a little while ago and use them as templates to not only practice but I also keep my completed designs in a folder to show kids. It makes it nice and easy for children to chose what they would like to have done on their faces when they have a few examples to chose from. This also makes my life easier as they chose things that I can actually do! Feel free to download and print these sheets to help you in your own faint painting endeavors. Good luck and happy face painting!

Boy’s face front on.

boy face blank

Girl face front on.

girl face blank

Boy face side on.

side boy blank

Girl face side on.

side girl face

Read a review of a book I recommend here.


2 comments February 17, 2008

Face Painting Ideas- that extra something

There are a couple of things you can add to your beautiful face painting that will really set it apart and are just as quick and easy to do as the initial painting.

  1. Adding glitter and stick on jewels for both boys and girls will make your artwork shimmer in the light and we all know how kids are attracted to sparkles!
  2. Coloured hairspray and hair gel! As long as you get the proper hair spray then go wild. Give your little mermaid green hair to go with her sparkling scales. Spike and spray red a little boy’s hair to go with his dragon’s face! This can be heaps of fun and is just as easy to wash off as the face paint!

Most importantly it’s vital that you have fun! If you’re not smiling, you’re doing something wrong! Face painting should be a therapy because not only is it relaxing but rewarding to see a child so excited when they look in the mirror and see their new face!

Read a review of a book I recommend here.

Add a comment February 15, 2008

History of Face Painting

Face painting can be dated back thousands of years. Many ancient cultures (and a few cultures still today) used face painting to identify separate tribes, to mark special occasions and to strike fear into their enemies as they went into battle. To Native Americans, face painting had a powerful spiritual meaning and was taken very seriously. Certain colours represented certain meanings that varied little amongst different tribes. A website Native Tech gives great insight into Native American attitudes and beliefs for face painting and provides the following colour meanings in more detail.

The use of colours might be as follows:

  • Red- the colour of war.
  • White- the color of peace.
  • Black- a “living” color, worn on the face to prepare for war.
  • Green- worn under the eyes was supposed to empower the wearer with night vision.
  • Yellow- represents death (the colour of “old bones”)

Native American’s aren’t the only one’s who used face paint in the past (or continue to do so). The ancient Celts, armies both in history and today, Chinese opera singers, the geisha, theatre actors, and court jesters all wore and some still do wear face paint.

Go to a sports match and you’ll see hundreds if not thousands of individuals sporting face paint in support of their teams. Face painting isn’t just a pastime used to amuse children, it’s roots are deep in our prehistory and for me that makes face painting all the more interesting.

For how to face paint in the style of Native Americans, see here.

Read a review of a book I recommend here.

Add a comment February 13, 2008

Face Painting Ideas

As a martial arts instructor you’d think I’d have no need for face painting ideas but as the only creatively bent instructor it often falls to me to paint kids faces at holiday camps and School’s Out parties. I obviously don’t do face painting for a living and during the year there might only be half a dozen occasions when I do need to whip out the face paints but when I do, it’s usually in a large dose of almost 100 or more fidgeting children. It’s enough to almost make a fully qualified black belt cry.

However face painting is truly magical. The looks on kids’ faces when they see themselves in the mirror is worth the blood, sweat and tears and it’s not all that hard to do. You don’t need to be artistically gifted or even all that imaginative even. There are books and designs and guides that will help even the most artistically challenged individual. There are however a few face painting ideas and tips that will make your job that less stressful and much more rewarding.

  • First off, if you ask a kid what they want on their face, be prepared for anything. With tv taking up more and more of a child’s daily routine (as unhealthy as it is, sometimes parents just need a break and for that television is a godsend), kids want to look like Pokemon, sponge bob and a myriad of other cartoon characters many you may have never even heard of! Have a folder or even an A4 laminated sheet that shows all the designs they can chose from. Limit the choices and you won’t be stuck having to explain to a tearful three year old that you can’t do an Avatar on their face cos you don’t even know what that is. (I had to check on nickelodeon and it’s actually a pretty cool show.)
  • Kids still go for the classics. Don’t be afraid to try new things but you’d be surprised how often children prefer a rainbow or a spider or a pirate. I’ve gathered a list of the top ten favourites for boys and girls in no particular order and if you can manage a couple of these if not more then your set.


  1. Spiderman
  2. Batman
  3. pirates
  4. puppy dogs
  5. skulls
  6. robots
  7. monsters
  8. bats
  9. tigers
  10. teenage mutant ninja turtle


  1. rainbows
  2. butterflies
  3. princesses
  4. fairies
  5. snowflakes
  6. cats
  7. unicorns
  8. ladybugs
  9. flowers
  10. puppy dogs
  • Some of the trickier designs like a bat or a unicorn can be done on a child’s cheek instead of trying to fit it around a kid’s eyes, nose and mouth. Doing face painting on one cheek is also quicker and easier to do so if you have a million children (or it seems that way) to face paint, cut down the time by doing a smaller section of the child’s face.
  • Keep it simple! It doesn’t have to be perfect either. If you keep it to one base coat and a few details, it will look good and there are less chances of making a mistake.
  • Practice. If you have children of your own, make them model for you. Depending on their age, however, the chances of them sitting still for a long period of time isn’t good. Compromise and let them paint your face if they sit still long enough. (This is great fun and usually amounts to lots of giggling!!) Use your partner, your friends, even yourself in the mirror. Find an old dinner plate and use that (preferably one without any patterns) and once you’ve done one design wash it off and do another.
  • Use the right sort of paint. Paint can be expensive so you should look around and find something that not only works but is easy to clean off, doesn’t cause any allergic reactions and is affordable. I once tried this type of paint that you could peel off. My victim was another karate instructor who wanted to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle. The green paint was tacky and didn’t go on properly and in the end he looked more like a diseased frog than a turtle. It began to peel off by itself and in the end we just gave up. Thankfully we’d practiced on him first and that paint went straight into the bin.

Face painting can be done anywhere and you’d be surprised how often you can use your skills. At fairs, schools and even at your own child’s birthday party. It would sure be a hit for any special occasion and its easy to do. Give it a go, practice and then let yourself loose. It’s rewarding and fun and totally worth seeing the smiles on kids faces.

Read a review of a book I recommend here.

1 comment February 12, 2008
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