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How to Face Paint - Step 6: How to Paint Tear Drops
Tear Drops are the second most popular face painting design element, beyond basic line work. Learning how to do good looking tear drops takes a lot of practice, but once you learn it is like riding a bike, you never forget.
For starters, like always, you need to have the right tools. It is important to use a good face painting brush with a nice sharp tip so that the tales of your teardrops look nice and sharp. You also need to use the right face paint. It is easier to do good teardrops with face paints that tend to offer better coverage like wax based face paints. We really like to work with Global Body Art Face Paints because they are super opaque and flow nicely off your brush.
Once you have chosen the right brush and the right face paint it is time to work on the right face paint consistency. Remember to use the techniques we learned on our previous post.
Now it is time to get our hands in the mud and practice!
There are two different ways of making teardrops, one starts with the tail and then the head, and the other one starts with the head and then the tail.
To do the ones that start with the tail, the basic move is very similar to the one we learned with thin to thick lines. You need to approach the skin with your brush at a 90° angle, your brush needs to be moving forward as you touch the skin. This will create the tail of your teardrop; then as you move forward just a little more you have to start pressing your brush tip down until it lays flat against your skin; this will create the head of your teardrop. Now it is time to pick up the brush without any further movements. For this kind of teardrop you can think of an airplane doing a short landing with a full stop.
The reverse teardrop starts the other way around. With the very tip of your brush looking to the opposite direction of where you want the tail to go, you lay your brush on the skin until all of the bristles are flat against the skin. Then, you drag the brush down while slowly picking it up so that at the end only the very tip of your brush is touching the skin, in order to create a sharp tail. To remove your brush simply keep moving while picking it up completely off the skin. For this kind of brush you can think of an airplane doing a short take off.
Usually tear drops look great in groups of three or five, uneven number usually look better than even numbers (although there is always an exception to the rule). Also, teardrops look better when laid in a fan like way, either making the taller one in the center and the ones around it shorter, or the one on the edge of the group taller and the rest shorter. All teardrops should follow a focal point, meaning that the tails should be pointing towards the same point to make them flow nicely. We will learn more about focal point on a later post.
There is no magic way of getting teardrops right. Only good technique and a lot practice will get you there. Do not get frustrated if at first your teardrops look really bad; we all started there. It is a process until you gain muscle memory and they come out naturally.
Although it is always best to practice on skin, if you don’t have anybody to practice on and you have a hard time practicing on your own leg or arm, we recommend buying a face painting practice board. They are really easy to wash off and you can use them as many times as you need to.