How to Face Paint - Step 6: How to Face Paint Swirls

Swirls are likely the third most popular face painting design element and they come in handy when you need to add flow and flair to your designs. Once you´ve got teardrops and thin to thick lines figured out, swirls are fairly easy to make. The main difference is that now you will be making spiral like moves, so learning how to keep the right distance in between each line is important. A good exercise to practice swirls is to start making simple spirals where you keep a constant distance in between each line. Also, try to keep the thickness of your lines even as well. This will teach you brush control.

The first step, as always, is using the right face painting supplies. So make sure to grab a good water activated face paint and good face painting brushes. A great brush is Bolt Brush Liner #2. As far as face paints go, we like to work withGlobal Body Art face paints the most, but TAG, Diamond FX, Wolfe and Cameleon are also great to work with.

To make a swirl you can start from the center out, or from the outer edge inwards. If you are right handed I feel that when you are painting the right side of the face it is easier to start with the outer edge and work inwards; while when you are painting the left side of the face it is easier to start with the inner part and work outwards. If you are left handed then I would suggest the opposite. You might want to practice both ways and find out what works best for you.

If you start from the inside, make sure that only the very tip of your brush is touching the skin so that you do not make a large blob of paint. Then, move your brush in a spiral form making sure that as you move out and grow your swirl the lines are further apart from each other. The tail of your swirl is as important as the starting point and should also be sharp and thin, so make sure that you apply the same technique we learned with thin to thick lines and pick up your brush off the skin as you move it to prevent forming large blobs of paint.

If you start from the outer end, then approach the skin with your bush already in motion and work inwards with each line getting closer and closer (making the swirl tighter) as you approach the center. Make sure to end in a sharp point, so, as you approach the center, start picking up your brush so that when you hit the center all that is left against the skin is the very tip of your face painting brush.

As a general rule, I would suggest not to do more than 3 “circles” on your swirl and sometimes even one is enough. Also, the long tail should not be a straight line, it looks better when it is closer to a gentle kind of stretched “S” shape, and even better if the curvy part of the tail is thicker than the begining of the swirl and the end of the tail.

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