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The Ultimate St. Patrick's Day Face Painting Blog Post
St. Patrick's Day continues to be a very popular holiday in the United States and in many locations around the world! Face painting has long been a fun part of dressing up to celebrate this shamrock filled, green and white themed holiday that features kisses, rainbows, pots of gold, orange beards, green hats and leaping leprechauns!
If you are going to a St. Patrick's day party and are looking for some creative ideas so that you stand out in the crowd, check out these fun face painting ideas that were submitted by our face painter friends. If you are not a professional face painter you can still make some fun simple designs that will impress your friends. All you need are a few colors of cosmetic grade face paints or a couple of face paint rainbow cakes, some good brushes, cosmetic glitter and you are ready to go. Scroll through the article to see links to products we suggest that are easy to use and safe for the skin.
You might want to be the life of the party and bring these face paints to the event you are attending and spread some rainbows and shamrocks all around. This could be a ton of fun for all ages! Just remember that face painting takes practice and if you don't have the time to learn how to use the paints and tools, another option that is sure to be a success is to hire a professional face painter in your area. There are many amazingly skilled artists who will bring all the needed professional supplies and can paint fabulous designs rather quickly and turn any St. Patrick's day party into an unforgettable one! If you do have the time to practice and want to own your own magical products, keep reading along to get some inspiration and guidance!
The quickest Saint Patrick's Day design that I like to paint is a rainbow with a Shamrock or a Pot of Gold at the end. The rainbow can be done in just a few seconds with a rainbow cake. Rainbow cakes are amazing because you can apply all of the colors in one load, instead of painting in all of the individual colors one by one. Rainbow cakes are also called 1 stroke cakes, split cakes and arty cakes. They come in neon and regular colors and can be applied with a 3/4" or 1" wide brush. You will have a lot more control with a brush, versus a sponge, because you can twist the brush easily to make your rainbow go from thick to thin, which comes in handy if you want to hide the end behind a shamrock, like in the image below.
Leanne's Neon Rainbow is one of many 1 stroke split cakes that you can use! This is by far the most popular one we sell at Jest Paint. Click here to see our whole collection of best selling small rainbow cakes!
Stencil on the Stars!
Use a star face painting stencil to magical stars to your wild rainbows. Check out all of our star stencils here. Face painting with stencils takes a little practice to make sure that the paint consistency is dry enough so that it doesn't bleed under the stencil. Read our Face Painting with Stencils Instructions and Best Stencils Guide to learn about stenciling with face paints if you are interested in this technique and haven't done it before.
Add the Sparkle!
Magical rainbows can look even better with some special accents that don't take a lot of time but add a huge wow factor! Besides adding little white dots and stars with face paint, one of the easiest things you can do is add some Chunky Glitter Gel or Glitter Creme. These giant specks of colorful glitter will make you or your clients sparkle all day long.
Chunky Glitter Gel, like the Art Factory's Festival Glitter, has a gel base similar to aloe vera gel, so you will want to use it carefully on top of the face paint. The newest glitter pastes, like Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes, have an oil and wax base and are good for applying on the skin and on top of dry face paint with out any smudging.
Lucky Pot O' Gold
Painting A Pot Full O' Gold at the end of your rainbow is very simple if you just paint a black or brown pot and add gold paint or fine or chunky glitter for the gold. You can also use body glue to attach gold gems coming out of the pot if you want some serious bling! If you hand paint the gold, you can outline it with brown with a very fine brush. I like to paint a circle for the pot and then a horizontal curved line across the top for the lip of the pot. Then I add a half circle on each side for handles. A little white highlight on the gold coins and pot will add a lot of dimension to the design.
Shamrocks are a Saint Patrick's Day must have for face painting designs! Below I will walk you through a few different ways to paint shamrocks that are fast and easy. Use different size brushes and stencils to make the right sized shamrock for the space you working on. Add them to rainbows or just paint one on the cheek for a fast design.
Painting shamrocks (a three leaf clover) can be done in many ways. You can use a shamrock face painting stencil if you want the easiest solution that will give you perfect shamrocks every time. You can also paint a lot of small shamrocks really fast with a stencil for a back ground pattern, or a flow of shamrocks that go around the side of the face like this really cool Ooh face painting stencil below.
Basic Shamrock Painting
You can paint a shamrock with a round brush and some green face paint. Paint each leaf like a heart and add a stem at the bottom. To make it look even fancier outline the shamrock with a darker green, black or white face paint using a fine brush. Adding some white highlights to the petals really makes them pop.
"I usually avoid painting 4 leaf clovers because it is a lot harder adding that 4th leaf with out all of the leaves getting smooshed together into a blob." -Anna
If you do get a special request for a 4 leaf clover, paint a green x and then paint the leaves more elongated and try your best to leave a gap between the leaves to help keep the shape of each leaf. I use a Bolt Small Firm Blender Brush to paint the rounded edged leaves, pushing the edges of the bristles against the skin and twisting it to make each half of the heart shape for each leaf. I used Fusion Prime Deep Green in the image below for a strong contrast with the white highlights and the skin color. You can also try these with metallic green colors for extra shimmer!
1 Stroke Shamrocks
A lot of face painters like to use rainbow cakes (1 strokes) in a green gradient to paint 1 Stroke shamrocks. This a great technique because you will have a variety of greens that will shape and outline the shamrock. Follow the step by step below to master these green little guys! I used a Bolt Medium Firm Angle Brush to paint the one below. That is perfect for a cheek art or forehead crown sized shamrock. You could use a 3/4" flat brush for larger shamrocks on the body.
The one stroke shamrock consists of three heart shapes that make up the three leaves, and a stem. You can also paint a shamrock eye mask by painting one leaf over each eye and one on the forehead, and the stem on the nose.
Check out the link for the Fusion Body Art Cake designed by Leanne Courtney called Tink. It is perfect for shamrocks!
Magical Eye Designs
Create magical eye designs using different shades of green, gold, and white along with the techniques you learned above. Large rainbow cakes, like the Diamond FX one below, are perfect for fast eye designs and full eye masks. Pat down the base with a soft face painting sponge, or apply it with strokes from large flat brush. Use your creativity to paint flowing swirls and twirls, tear drops and shamrocks to fill in the empty space. White dots and stars or Chunky Glitter will finish off these super free form designs! You can incorporate some orange if you want to have the Irish Flag represented in the design. Painting butterfly wings, a unicorn or a cat in the Irish themed colors is also an easy way to incorporate regular designs that kids love into a Saint Patrick's Day Party.
What about the phrase Kiss Me I'm Irish? This phrase has inspired a lot of people to paint lip prints on their face or body. We have a TAP Stencil (Lip Print 042) that is perfect for this fun design it! You can even pat some glitter over the paint to create red glittery lips. You can use a fine brush to write Kiss Me, I'm Irish on the face as well or stencil some little shamrocks in the back ground.
Making a St. Patrick's Day themed crown is easy to do with a rainbow cake band across the forehead and colorful strokes over the eyes. Make it fit the theme by adding shamrocks on the crown and green and white swirls and twirls. Instead of a straight band of rainbow combo on the forehead you could also do a one stroke crown in a green gradient with sticky gems to accent it. Check out our blog post on line work if you want to get some tips on creating flowing line work. How to Face Paint: Step 6 - Introduction to Line Work
Painting a person to look like a leprechaun is a fast easy design that will get a lot of good natured laughs! To transform someone into a Leprechaun you can use some orange face paint with a little bit of brown strokes on top to create the beard and eye brows. Note in the image below by Becki Butler that she didn't paint a mustache, which goes along with most of the leprechaun images you find these days. The simple black glasses with fine white highlights add an extra dimension to this expressive face painting design. If you want, you can even paint the green had with a buckle on the forehead just above the eyebrows.
If you find yourself with a client that has a nice full beard that wants to add an Irish twist to it, what about using the colors of the Irish Flag on it?! You could do it all in green or orange as well and add some glitter to spice it up. You can use water based face paints to paint beards, but I can't guarantee if the pigments will wash out easily from their hair, especially if you are painting a blonde beard. Make sure to warn the model that they might need to wash their beard very well a couple of times if they see any lingering green.
Glitter beards are all the rage and you don't have to worry about staining the hair with glitter! All you need to do is rub some aloe gel, hair gel or glitterless gel base into the beard and use a poofer or fluffy brush to load on the glitter. You could also paint the beard with a product like Glitter Glaze. This is a super thick glitter gel that will give you great glitter beard coverage.
For adults only! Try painting mugs of Green Beer on the cheeks, arm or make green beer glasses by painting them around the eyes. Use a light and medium green for the beer and white for the beer foam and off white for the mug. This would be very popular at St. Patrick Day pub crawls!
Practice Makes Progress!
Like I mentioned at the top, face painting really well takes some practice if you haven't had experience painting. If you have artistic talent and like to draw or paint or do makeup, you just need to get used to how to use face paints and the special accents and tools. Check out this blog post about face painting basics to get you started. The first post How to Face Paint - Step 1 : Get Your Face Painting Supplies talks about everything that you can get to complete a face painting kit beyond the basics that we mentioned here, and then the following posts give you all the tips we have for using sponges, brushes, stencils and more!
Cute Shamrock Bear by Irene B Melvin from KATZNC
If you want to practice a lot and have a hard time painting your own face or lack others to be your model, check out the Sparkling Faces Practice Boards! They are super easy to paint and and super easy to wash off! You can paint all of the designs you want to do for Saint Patrick's Day on these boards an take pictures of them to make a collage that you can print out and laminate or put in a page protector or photo album. Click on the image below to see the big selection of practice boards at Jest Paint.
Thank you for checking out our latest Holiday themed blog posts! A special thank you to all of the artists (Donna Cox, Barbara, Breitung, Alyson Harris, Becki Butler, Doriane Zorio) who submitted images for us to use for this post as well. Have a super fun and colorful St. Patrick's Day everyone!