Meet the amazing Milena Potekhina! Featured artist in the Ultimate Face Painting Guides and More!
Milena Potekhina's incredible face painting designs started showing up in my Instagram Feed three years ago and I was immediately floored by her beautiful compositions! I would stare at each design trying to learn something from her flow, sponging, color usage, and always trying to figure out how she was able to create such symmetrical delicate line work or such balance in her asymmetrical designs. As you read through this post you will know what I mean when you see her works of art!
Milena doesn't only rock at pretty designs, she also has very creative, scary and cool designs too! She takes popular superhero designs like spider man, and turns them into her own unique work of art. Her young son, below with all of the clockworks, pushes her to try tricky designs!
I love how she incorporates all of her talent with flowers into sugar skulls for Dia De Los Muertos / Day of the Dead. Each design is so rich and flowing!
Milena is from St. Petersburg Russia. She now has well over 1000 posts of incredible designs and many videos on her Instagram page (milena_facearist)! Since she has become so well known in our industry, she has been collaborating with different companies to create her own lines of products. She also has her own independent line of MILENA Stencils that can bring her incredible line work and cool cheek art into your own designs! We were so happy to bring all of her products to Jest Paint! When you are done reading this post you can see more of her work on Instagram Here!
I was so lucky to have the opportunity to interview Milena and find out how she became such an outstanding face painter and business woman. Here we go!
Getting to Know Milena Potekhina
When did you start face painting?
I started face painting 7 years ago, in 2013. I was looking for a way to work. When I tried to work as an face painting make-up artist, it didn't bring me money, but I really liked doing it. When I started painting, good quality materials appeared in our country, including splits, so I used them almost from the very beginning.
Did you have an artistic history with work or as a hobby before you started working as a makeup artist?
I am a textile artist by training. I was engaged in painting on silk (batik), as well as weaving tapestries. For quite a long time I was engaged in textile decoration of interiors, as well as painting costumes for gymnasts, figure skaters and synchronized swimmers. But soon I was so carried away by face painting that, from my previous life, I left only teaching at the University of Technology and Design in St. Petersburg, where I have been teaching the Basics of Composition at the Department of Costume Design for over 20 years.
What inspired you to start your own face painting stencil line, MILENA STENCILS?
At first, I didn't use stencils at all. I was bad at it, the drawings were numb, and this continued until small sponges appeared on my finger. With their appearance, my attitude towards stencils has changed dramatically.
To create my own line of stencils, I was inspired by my youngest son, who wanted me to draw a typewriter on him, but he was ready to sit for no more than a minute. And then I realized that I needed to do something. And since I could not buy the necessary stencil, I decided that I needed to make it myself.
Since I myself am a working face painting artist, I understand what stencils are simply necessary in my work, what size they should be, what children often ask for, what takes a long time to draw, and where stencils can greatly simplify the work, as well as make it more interesting and richer.
I really love painting girls of all ages, because I love creating designs with patterns and colors. And in general I am very fond of little girls, I am delighted with them. Probably because I have three sons. Therefore, I am ready to paint anything, only if these babies are happy and smile back at me.
How did your collaboration with Svetlana Keller and the Sparkling Faces Ultimate Face Painting Guides and your own Arty Brush Cakes come about?
The guides were created by Svetlana Keller. She came up with this format of the training manual. It is really very convenient, with these sets it is simply impossible not to learn how to paint. To paint seemingly complex drawings quickly in a few strokes is quite difficult. In these training sets, I decomposed all the drawings into very simple strokes that are available to everyone, but for this I had to make special split cakes, narrower than the standard ones. So that on a narrow brush you can also apply contrasting combinations. That is how I started my line of Arty Brush Cakes. I really love all colors, I like to make new combinations, because even the most successful ones get boring to me, and I want something new.
What is the face painting life like it St. Petersburg Russia?
We have a lot of face paint make-up artists in our city, more than 300 people! 100 of which paint at a very high level. We have a chat in which we communicate, exchange experiences, impressions, and orders. My closest and beloved face painting artist, with whom we often work together, is Svetlana Ivanova. After big holidays for make-up artists such as Halloween, New Year, Christmas, we often meet with make-up artists in some cozy restaurant and talk about interesting incidents at work, funny situations and funny kids.
Learning more about Milena's art history past was so exciting for me! I felt that she had to have some formal art training, but to find that she painted batik and body suites, and taught costume design in the university was a real surprise! She has been teaching masterclass face painting workshops and helping improve the quality of face painting around the world! Milena also won a first place in the International Face and Body Painting Convention in Florida in 2019, a well deserved award!
Milena said that things in St. Petersburg has all shut down because of COVID so she isn't working now, but she can't wait for the day that she can get back out there and start making the magic again!
Learn about Milena's Face Painting Product Lines
Sparkling Faces Ultimate Guides for Painting Flowers
Most face painters have seen a tutorial on how to paint a 1 stroke rose bud or full rose, but never before has there been a guide like this were you can learn not only how to paint a variety of flowers but also learn how to position them on the face and add all of the extra details to create a complete and extremely eye pleasing design! The Sparkling Faces Guides come with a clear practice board that you place about the step by step sheets so that you can gradually build up the design and practice it over and over until your muscle memory kicks in and you can do them on the job!
Sparkling Faces | The Ultimate Face Painting Practice Guide - Flower Design Edition - Volume 2
Ask a question
by Sparkling Faces Practice Boards
Product Code: SFUFG102
What materials are Sparkling Faces Practice Guide pages and practice board made from?
The Sparkling Faces practice pages and designs sheets are printed on A4 sturdy paper sheets, which is close to about 8.3 × 11.7 inches, or almost a standard piece of printing paper. The transparent practice board is the same size. The dimensions of the faces will give you a realistic face and body painting experience. This top quality printing is done in Switzerland. Contains 20 pages total and 1 clear design board.
What are the contents and dimensions of the Ultimate Face Painting Practice Guide?
This Guide comes with a total of 20 sturdy paper sheets of paper, 10 of the sheets are Flower and Leaf step by step design sheets for you to follow on top of with your practice board, and 10 are of the final designs on faces that you can practice on. The Practice Board is easy to paint on and easy to wash off with soap and water. You will also get QR codes to watch videos of each design.
What is the Ultimate Face Painting Practice Guide : Volume 2 best for?
Don't forget, practice makes progress! When you don't have a willing live model, practice tools like this will save the day! These amazing guides created by world renowned and award winning artist Milena Potekhina, are just what you need to learn to paint beautiful 1 stroke flower designs. You will not only learn how to paint a variety of flowers (Purple Lisianthus, Tulip, Morning Glory, Kala, Dame’s Rocket, Lily of the valley, Rose, Poppy, Clematis, Daffodil) but you will also learn how to layer them with leaves, dots, swirls and vines to create balanced and flowing designs for the face. Sparkling Faces Ultimate Face Painting Practice Guides were designed for multiple uses for you face painting business. You can use these for practice and for creating your own images for your design boards. Once you have practiced until you feel like your muscle memory has kicked in, you can paint your own designs using all of the elements that you learned on the 20 paper sheets. You can laminate these pages or put them in a spiral notebook with plastic page protectors for customers to browse through. You can also create your own designs for private makeup appointments or for special holiday designs.
How do I use the Sparkling Faces Ultimate Face Painting Practice Guide?
Place the practice board on top of the design sheet that you would like to practice. Follow the step by step strokes to build beautiful flowers. This guide also comes with QR codes so that you can watch Milena paint all of the flower designs in this collection! Watch the following video to watch the process!
For the plastic practice board and the paper sheets, get your brush wet, tap off any excess moisture, and then swipe the brush back and forth on your face paint cake to load the bristles with face paint. Apply the paint in smooth strokes and re-load your brush as needed. You can also sponge on colors or add liquid bling to your finished designs. To avoid dripping or beading, and to promote faster drying of the paint, make sure that your paint is thick and creamy, not wet and inky. When you are done practicing wash your practice board off with soap and water. Any remaining residue can be removed with a magic eraser and sunflower oil. You cannot wipe the paint off of the paper sheets, so you may want to make a light sketch with pencil or white paint to guide you if you have trouble with symmetry and getting your strokes right where you want them.
Milena uses a fine and thicker Liner, 2 sizes of Rakes and Petal brushes. She also uses rounds #1 and #3 and Angles of 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 3/4".
Milena also released a Halloween and Christmas Themed Guide that will be back next year at Jest Paint!
MILENA Stencils are made from a soft flexible mylar that is perfect when used with a small sponge loaded with almost dry face paint. There are intricate crowns, wild roses, compasses, scorpions, playing cards and so much more to choose from. These stencils are perfect for kids and adults, boys and girls, and you can also use them for arts and crafts. Click here to see MILENA Stencils at Jest Paint. More will be in stock when the face painting season picks up in 2021.
Arty Brush Cakes
Milena's collaboration with Silly Farm led to a special release of Arty Brush Cakes to go with her Flower Guides. These cakes are perfect for roses and other styles of flowers, and of course, beautiful leaves! We are happy to show support to her creative endeavors and carry these new cakes at Jest Paint! You can see them all by clicking this link to the Arty Brush Collection.
Make sure to follow Milena Potekhina on Facebook and Instagram to keep an eye on what she is up to next! And a huge thank you to Milena for taking the time to let us know more about your life and face painting career! We wish you the best in 2021!