Fusion Body Art - Spectrum Face Painting Palette | Leanne's Pretty Rainbow
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If you know or have heard of Natalee Davies, you know she is one of the most amazing artists in our face painting industry. Her unique style has inspired many other artists and she has made a name for herself with the way she creates butterflies specially.
But she is not only an amazing artist but also a genius at color combinations! She created an original and first of its kind golden range of split cakes that gave gold a primary spotlight in the cake, along with other colors that complemented the gold in cold or warm tones to make her butterflies even more unique.
The Gold Collection Nat cakes have been around for some years now, and she recently had the brilliant idea of adding white to edge her designs made with these cakes to make them look completely different, getting basically an entire set of 6 new cakes by just adding some white at the end. Simple right? Yet, what an amazing change! And if you add white over the entire cake you get a soft gentle look that is also out of this world!
But Nat doesn't just use her cakes to paint, she also loves to use Leanne Courtney's cakes to complement her looks and create brilliant and bold designs that are sure to catch everyone's attentions.
In this blog post we want to show you have you can combine both palettes, how to do the white trick to get a Golden Range with a white edge or white coat over, and how to be creative with the products you have to explore new ideas and looks.
Of course, if you don't have Nat's or Leanne´s palettes, we highly suggest for you to get them, you will be using them as crazy once you have them in your kits as kids and adults go nuts when they see them in action. They are a true investment that pays off when compared to just more regular style gradient cakes.
Lets get to know the products, the artists behind them and get exploring!
Lucky for us, Natalee has shared with us some AMAZING designs and shared what products she used. To learn her secrets you will need to take some of her classes, but until then you can admire her magic and give a try to your own style using her cakes, which will for sure give you a complete different look while keeping your style.
About two weeks ago Natalee surprised us all with a new idea, adding white to the edge of her Gold Range cakes from her Gold Range Palette just using a flat brush with some white and gold to edge each design.
Look at the image above you can see the difference between a Bold and a Delicate look using the exact same palette, but with some white added. On the bottom left image you can see how she used a brush loaded with a handmade cake that had gold and white in it. The gold overlaps with the golden edge of each of her cakes and then blends nicely into the white. You can do this by using a wider brush, like a 1" brush, pre load the corner with white, and then load her cakes. Also notice the bottom right image from the collage above so that you can see how each cake looks lined with white. You can even get creative and try it with a shimmery white!
See the GIFS below for some fast tutorials on how to do these techniques, and to see how these cakes look on your skin when loaded by themselves, with white over, and with white on the edge.
But not only that, she also showed us how you could fully load your brush with the cake and then add some white, or add white your brush first and then load the cake and get a softer look, all by using the same cakes in your kit plus some white (which we all have, right?).
How long have you been face painting, and how did you find out about this art form?
I started face Painting around 2005-2006 by pure accident. I was running a small baby clothes business “little Grippers” and was struggling with marketing. I began selling my baby clothes at a small local market but could only afford a ridiculously small stall and people would just walk past and barely notice my range.
I was walking through my local art and crafts store looking for materials for my sons' Easter hat parade and noticed face paints in little pots and a step-by-step instruction book, this caught my attention and being a makeup artist though “I can do this” and went home and practiced the designs in the book. I created a cardboard sign with painted plastic face masks and began to offer free face painting at the baby and kids market. After a few weekends mums were asking me if I could paint for them at their child’s birthday parties and that is where it all began. I soon met a local balloon twister at a birthday party who told me all about the face painting community and so I researched all the different types of paint and tools available and fell in love with this art form. I very quickly threw out my pots of liquid paints and invested in a beautiful set of Mehron makeup. Scrolling through images of face painting on the internet and getting to know my new paints I practiced on every child in the street and my two young boys. Using my knowledge and skills from my makeup and art background I very eagerly began to merge my skills together and create simple designs for birthday parties.
Do you do any other types of art, or do you have any art experience from your past that you use in some way with your face painting?
From a young child I was obsessed with makeup and would spend hours upon hours doing my own makeup. Having a sister 5 years older than me I would sit and watch her and her friends put makeup on before they would go out. At primary school I would draw pictures for my friends and write their names in calligraphy. Drawing and painting butterflies on canvas is a hobby I started in primary school and still have today... This kept me sane during COVID lockdown.
After leaving high school in 2013 I commenced a clerical traineeship as I really did not know what I wanted to do for a career. I did not enjoy the mundane routine of office life and enrolled in a makeup course at night and started doing weddings and makeup in the evenings and weekends.
So combining my love for makeup, drawing, coloring inn and painting has all contributed to how I paint today.
What is the face painting community like in Australia? Are there a lot of face painters?
Australia is such a big country, and we are all so vastly spread apart. Each state works independently and within those states the community works in smaller groups from town to town. The online forums and Facebook groups keep us in touch with each other as some of the bigger companies have national contracts requiring artist all around Australia and hire contractors in each state.
We have some amazingly talented artists here and lots of newer artists just starting their journey in the industry. I am based in Sydney and have met some of the nicest people over the years and many I know will be friends for life.
We have so many different types of businesses that either focus solely on face painting or offer a variety of entertainment from balloon twisting, games, dress up characters, airbrush tattoos and craft etc.
In Sydney we have quite a big community that is split up into smaller groups for several reasons, such as: Location, skill level, types of services offered, and hourly rate all have an impact on how we work together and what subcontractors are suitable for each job.
Do you jam together or have workshops?
I have toured Australia and run numerous workshops in every state (except Northern Territory). So, I have been incredibly lucky to meet many Australian artists. Some more than once. Many years ago, we used to have Jams but not so much these days as many of us are busy parents and are time poor. We are all looking forward to resuming workshops once the industry recovers.
What do you love about your Gold Collection with Fusion?
I created these unique colors many years ago with the concept of combining colors I love in makeup that could be used in countless ways and designs without needing to go back and outline your design and incorporating a large portion of gold that blends effortlessly with other colors. These unique color combinations are very thoroughly thought out and combined to be the most versatile one strokes I have ever had in my kit; the possibilities are endless. Combining my colors with Fusion has been an amazing venture. With the palette you have all 6 color combinations in one handheld palette meaning artists all over the world can try them and if they love one color more than others can purchase the larger one strokes. The quality of fusion paint is divine and most importantly is very affordable.
What types of events and festivals do you do the most, and what type do you enjoy the most?
My business based in Sydney “Nat’s Fancy Faces” is predominantly focused on large corporate events. Nationally with Disney on Ice for a few years but now mainly local councils that run Festivals, grand openings for parks, Australia Day celebrations, Easter shows and Christmas Carol events. I also have numerous large Private corporations that run annual family fun days, Christmas holiday programs, Large New Year’s Eve celebrations, School holiday activities and in the last few years the UV Painting has been an amazing addition to our business that clients incorporate into their events.
I regularly contract for some great friends who run businesses with the same business model, and I work representing their business at shopping centers, football games, Casino’s, the rocks, entertainment centers just to name a few.
These large events are what I love most as it is usually means I am with a team of artists and twisters. The atmosphere and comradery between us is so much fun, its hard to believe we get paid to jam with our friends doing what we love and bringing joy to kids and adults. It’s also the length of the gigs that is appealing as we can set up and remain in one location for 3-8hours rather than packing up every hour or two and driving from gig to gig which is what happens with birthday parties. I have been doing birthday parties this year as COVID has kept the large events from proceeding, however things are pretty much back to normal now in Sydney.
How do you use social media to promote your business?
I use Facebook and recently Instagram to post pictures of my art. I do not really promote, my business its predominantly all word of mouth and subcontracting with other local businesses. I am not tech savvy unfortunately, so I do not use social media to its full potential.
You can also join her own private run Facebook Group where she showcases all sorts of designs made with her Gold Range and own line of brushes along with Leanne Courtney's Fusion Palettes. But she also loves to see how everyone else is using her products to create their own unique designs!
How has COVID19 impacted your business?
COVID19 completely shut down my business including travelling and teaching. I was a week away from boarding a plane to The Netherlands to teach at EFABE followed by numerous booked out classes in Glasgow. So, like all of us worldwide everything we knew just stopped. Our creative outlet, income, social interactions, and mental health all suffered greatly. It was devastating and the future outcome was unknown. It has now meant returning to work is filled with COVID safety plans, re-evaluating, and implementing new hygiene practices. It has also meant I have to go back to birthday parties with smaller numbers. We have been extremely lucky in Australia that our government closed our borders both internationally and between states at times and used QR codes to track and control potential outbreaks which means we have been able to get back to normal life much faster. I used the time in lock down to retrain my skills and start a new Eyelash extension business from home.
Where do you look to get new ideas for face painting?
I do not really look for new ideas because I have been painting for so long and paint the same things repetitively. Boredom and experimenting results in happy accidents and I use those happy accidents and evolve them to keep my creative brain ticking. I really look at nature, especially for flowers, leaves and animal designs. It is the little things like ear shapes, muzzle size, nose shapes and colors that can define what you are painting and once you master the shape and features of a design you can start to be experimental with color. Nature has been the best form of inspiration for me.
When you are on the job you only have a minute to think. I look at the child’s clothing and facial structure to work out what colors to use, placement and design. Its taken years of practice but knowing the raw shape and structure of a design combined with great quality tools and colors creativity in the moment takes over.
What are your favorite designs to paint?
Butterflies are my all-time favorite design. Anything that incorporates flowers, rainbows, and lots of color. But really it’s the “Do whatever you like” requests that I really enjoy as it gives me a break from the repetitive cycle and makes me think.
What are some face painting colors and or tools that you can’t live without?
My ¾” Flat brush and my makeup blending brushes are the most important tools I absolutely cannot live without. Paints I use religiously are my gold range and Leanne’s colors. Leanne and I are the best of friends and work together often so combining our colors together is something we have done for many years, and combined are a great balance of bold sophisticated colors balanced with bright and colorful and combined creates beautiful balance to my designs. Fusion Paraffin white is my go-to white for all my line work and when worked into a paste can be used on the edge of a brush to create a beautiful pastel effect on darker skin tones. I also cannot live without Mehron white in my kit.
How often do your practice, and in what ways do you practice, on people, boards or practice heads?
The only practice I get is on the job of a weekend or if an idea pops into my head I'll paint on my leg or arm. When I run workshops, I like students to paint on water color paper or their own face as I find boards and practice heads to be too slippery and do not absorb the paint so brush control and layering colors is very difficult. Plus, with water paper all the work they do in class is taken home and will not be forgotten.
What is one piece of advice that you have for brand new face painters?
We all start somewhere!!! Take your time and get to know your tools and paints. Investing in good quality brushes and paints can save you time, money, and a lot of frustration. Repetition and practice is the only way forward. Muscle memory and brush control takes time so don’t compare yourself to someone who has been painting longer, this is your creative journey so just enjoy the process and back yourself.
Well, if you haven´t yet, we highly suggest you get yourself a Natalee Davies Gold Range Palette and look into her Gold Range Single Cakes as well, and while you are at it, white look into some of Leanne Courtney's amazing palettes and cakes as well, you will not be disappointed!
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