Author Archives: Ashlea

Favourite Brushes

Brushes come in all shapes and sizes and often it can be confusing as to which ones you should choose, especially if you are new to face painting.  There are also many different brands out there, some selling the same style of brushes (e.g. round no. 4) but under different names, such as Loew-Cornell or Mark Reid.  I haven’t tried every single brand or style available on the market so please keep that in mind. The brushes I have listed are my favourites, but there may well be an alternative that is equally as good, I just haven’t tried it.

Brushes are very personal to each artist and we all have a different set of criteria that we want our brushes to meet, what works for me may not work for you.

I have around 15 brushes that I keep in my kit but I tend to find that I always stick to the same 5 every time.  I couldn’t be without a single one of them.

My current top 5 brushes

My current top 5 brushes

 

Loew-Cornell - Round No.2

Loew-Cornell – Round No.2 & Diamond FX – White

1. Loew-Cornell – Gold Grip Round No.2
This is my go-to brush for most designs.  It has a very fine tip, perfect for creating thin lines and teardrops.

I have had mine for around 18 months and it has lasted well considering how much I use it.

Favourite Strokes –
Tear drops, outlines, dots, star-bursts, swirls & webs

 

Loew-Cornell - Round No.4

Loew-Cornell – Round No.4 & Superstar – Black

2. Loew-Cornell – Gold Grip Round No.4
This brush is almost identical to the No.2, it’s just a little fatter.  If you use a light hand you can easily create the same strokes as the first brush but it has the added benefit of being able to paint thicker lines when needed.

Favourite Strokes –
Tiger stripes, Leopard spots, scales, teardrops, horns & lipstick

 

Grimas MR6 & Paradise - White with Wolfe - Metallic Red

Grimas MR6 & Paradise – White with Wolfe – Metallic Red

3. Grimas – MR6
With this brush I can create perfect flower petals every time.  The bristle aren’t too long and they taper off to a very fine point.

You simply load 1,2 or 3 colours and then press the brush on to the skin. Easy Peasy!

Favourite Strokes –
I don’t use this brush for any line work at all, just flowers.

 

Grimas - Round No.10 & Diamond FX - Metallic Green

Grimas – Flat No.10 & Diamond FX – Metallic Green

4. Grimas – Flat No.10
I use this brush for all of my dry blending.  I’ll paint a line with one of my round brushes and then before it dries I smudge out the edge with a clean, dry No.10.

Favourite strokes –
Dry-brush blending on butterfly wings & around the eyes of zombies and monsters.

 

Paradise - Prisma brush & Jenny Saunders Rainbow Cake

Paradise – Prisma brush & Jenny Saunders Rainbow Cake


5. Paradise – Prisma brush medium (3/4 inch)

This brush works amazingly well with split cakes and rainbow cakes to create multi-coloured strokes and designs.

It’s also one of the best looking brushes I own.  I love the transparent design, it looks very professional and the plastic won’t crack and chip like normal painted/wooden handles.

Favourite strokes –
Eye design base work, roses, snakes & dolphins

 

Get your own  –
Loew-Cornell – http://www.thefacepaintingshop.com/
Loew-Cornell – http://www.sillyfarm.com/store/
Grimas & Paradise – http://www.facepainting.uk.com/sponges.html

I hope that some of you have found this helpful, and as always, if you have any questions please ask :)

Ashlea xxx

My Set-up

I thought it would be nice to share how I work with you guys.  I love to see how other artists set up their equipment for events, mainly because I’m a nosy parker but also because it gives me ideas for things that I could add to my kit.

I have been using my current set-up for just over a year now.  It took me a long time to get everything perfect and exactly how I wanted but I am very happy with the systems that I have.

face painting set-up
My Set-Up

The directors chair and the table came as part of a set and are both made of aluminium so are incredibly light-weight.  They also came with a large bag which makes transporting and storing them very easy.
The table has 4 different height adjustments which is fantastic as I am able to use both the tall directors chair or, if my back is a bit achy, I can use two smaller fold-away chairs and not have to reach up high to get to my paints.

I purchased mine on Ebay for around £70 but unfortunately they are no-longer listed from the seller.

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You may be surprised to learn that I only ever take a pallet of 24 colours with me to my events and even then there are some colours that haven’t been touched for months.  I know that most painters like to collect as many colours as they can and the thought of leaving some of them at home is just too much to handle, but for me, too much choice is confusing.

I keep all of my cakes together (excluding my black & white) in these wonderful Mehron pallets with the foam inserts.  They are easy to clean, they look professional, they prevent my paints from wriggling around my table and at the end of a busy day I can just close the case and not have to match up 24 lids to 24 pots!

I also have a fairly small collection of brushes, and again, I tend to stick with 4-5 of my favourites and ignore the rest.  To keep them tidy I like to use a fold away brush easel.

I will be posting a separate article about the brands of paints and brushes that I use very soon so stay tuned for that.

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At the top of my table I keep a box of clean sponges.  I like to keep the lid of the box tucked underneath so that I can access it quickly should the wind start to pick up.  It’s never fun to chase your sponges round and round a muddy field.

I have two water cups, one for washing brushes that have been used for white paint and one for all of the other colours.
I also have my spritzer bottle and just behind that I have a dish dispenser.  Now I have been painting for a long time, but in my 17 years I have never come across another artist who carries a dish dispenser in their kit and for the life of me I cannot work out why. THEY ARE AMAZING!
Basically you fill the bottom section with water, screw on the top and when you press down on the pump the little cup fills up.  It’s perfect for dampening your sponges without having to dip them in your cup.  They are available here –http://www.facepainting.uk.com/containers.html.

I keep a small pot of stickers to give out to the children.  They have been printed with our company details so parents can contact us if they’d like to book us for their own events, and finally I have my mirror.  I lay it faced down on my table so that the sun or any overhead lights don’t reflect into peoples eyes.

If you have any questions about my set-up please feel free to ask, I am always happy to help :)
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First Ever Tutorials

Some of you may not know this, but I actually have a very old second channel over on YouTube called – xMIMICKSx

I first started uploading face painting tutorials way back in 2009 and instantly fell in love, but being the perfectionist that I am, I was always disappointed with the quality of my films.  Back then I didn’t have any fancy camera equipment or studio lighting and my videos would end up dark and shadowy no matter how many bedside lamps I shone at my face.

The editing process was also a bit of a nightmare.  I would try to work on my ancient laptop but everything seemed to take 3 times longer than it should have, and eventually I got so fed up with it that I stopped making tutorials.

A few designs from my old channel

A few designs from my old channel

I had a break for almost 2 years, during which I discovered the incredible YouTube channels of Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoo sisters Sam & Nic . I loved everything about their videos, their clean white backgrounds, their professional lighting, their amazing websites…just everything!  I was well and truly inspired.

I decided that this was exactly the look I wanted for my films, so I saved very hard and invested in the recording equipment that I needed to help me achieve my goal.  This was also when I decided that I needed a new channel name.  I absolutely hated xMIMICKSx, it looked ugly, it was difficult to read and it didn’t look at all professional.  Unfortunately at that time you couldn’t change your name on YouTube so I had to bid my 2500 subscribers farewell and start all over again on my shiny new channel MimicksTV.

My old channel is still live if you’d like to watch any of my original videos (promise that you won’t laugh!).  I have a lovely Winter Butterfly, Kitty Cat, Skull Mask and a couple of others to choose from – http://www.youtube.com/user/xMIMICKSx

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