HOW TO FACE PAINT - STEP 7: FACE PAINTING DESIGN COMPONENTS
Once you have the basic elements of face
painting down, you need to start working on your designs. There are 4 very
important aspects to keep in mind for a face painting design to work:
- - Focal
Point or Flow
- - Balance
- - Position
- - Color
We have already covered focal points when
talking about line work on a previous post: "How To Face Paint: Focal Point For Your Line Work" but make sure to keep the focal
point/s in mind when face painting your background shapes as well.
Think as if your face painting design was put
on a scale and divide the design in half (in whichever direction you might like
to); will the scale tip on one side? If that is the case your design is
unbalanced. Sometimes that unbalance is an intentional thing and it can look
good, although most of the time if the design is unbalanced in one direction it
is balanced in a different direction.
I would suggest that if you are just starting
to face paint you work on creating balanced designs. If you work with symmetry
it will be easy to create balanced designs. The easiest starting point is to
simply divide the face in 4 quarters using the nose bridge as the center for
them. For the face painting design to be balanced make sure that the design is
equally distributed in between all 4 quarters.
Once you are capable of creating balanced
designs you can work on creating some imbalance or asymmetry. For example, you
can create designs that are balanced when divided vertically in half right
through the center, but unbalanced when dividing them through the center
horizontally. A clear example for that is the typical butterfly face painting
Get creative and think of different ways to get
there. Remember, balance doesn’t mean symmetry, although symmetry does help to
Learning how to position your face painting
designs on to the face is a very important skill to have. There are no general
rules as to where a design should be but I can give you some tips to keep in
Unless you are going for a full face design I
would suggest for you try to keep your design above the cheekbones. Most face
painting masks, butterfly designs and other designs that concentrate around the
eyes look best when kept above the cheekbones.
Try not covering the entire forehead when face
painting. A lot of times leaving an empty “V” shape in the middle helps make
your design look better, although that is not always true. A rainbow across the
forehead can look great even though you are not leaving an empty “V” shape.
Wrapping your design around the eyes is always
a good choice and you can hardly ever go wrong if you go in that direction.
More recently, new trends have come up when painters choose to paint a design
focused on the nose (nose art), the eyebrows, eye lids or even the lips (lip
art). You can get creative and play around with your face painting designs.
A lot can be said about color and it is not the
purpose of this post to cover every aspect of it, but the most important thing
to keep in mind when choosing colors for your face painting designs is that the
colors must look good together and they should be balanced as well. If your
design is too dark at the top and too light at the bottom it might look
unbalanced. Colors can be highly contrasting, or blend nicely together in a
gradient, either way works. But, keep in mind that although Green and Red can
make a great Christmas face painting design, when mixed together they make
brown, so you need to plan your design for it to work with the colors you
chose. Remember that color can also
change a design even if the overall shapes and position are the same. This is
great because you can paint the same butterfly face painting design using
different color combinations and obtain a completely different look. You can
use pastel colors for a more gentle look (think baby blue, baby pink) or use
darker bolder colors for a more mature look (think dark purple, dark blue,
We will go over some color theory on a later post. In the mean time, here is a color wheel you can download to start playing with it.