Amazing Face Painting:
Face painting is just a localized version of body painting, which we’ve already discussed. It is another form of temporary tattoo and usually lasts only a few hours before it begins to smudge or slide off the skin. Traditionally face painting was a native ritual of tribes and indigenous people to countries like South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In India the practice of Mehndi, tattoos stenciled with henna, are practiced still.
Face painting specifically was used for battle camouflage, ritualistic or religious purposes, and to ward off evil spirits. Now they have a strong place in media such as fashion photography and film special effects and costumes. Some artists even choose to incorporate face painting as part of their art installations, since using real people’s faces has more impact. For example in this photo, the artist managed to turn a real woman into a drawn one.
It’s important to note that the quality of the paint is important. Art supply store paints and markers simply won’t do. Their ingredients are not meant for human skin and so they wouldn’t last or color, and might even cause a serious irritation. Body paint is closest to makeup than it is to industrial and artistic paint, so think of it in terms of using lipstick or an eye pencil than say, wall paint. The skin on the face is especially sensitive, so it’s also important to make that distinction between face and body paint if such an option is available at stores especially when it comes to children’s faces (though usually body paints are also okay for the face.)
Face and body painting is a lot of fun and so have inspired numerous festivals dedicated to this art all across the globe. Children fairs’ also usually offer a face painting stand, where they can turn your child into a cute cougar, for example! The cartoonish nature of dace painting is one of the reasons it’s so commonly used in Halloween costume. With the right colors and brush strokes you can look like your favorite cartoon villain, say two-face. And girls can do it too!
Of course if you’re going for something less scary and more romantic, you can adorn the outlines of your face and eyes to make yourself look mystical and exotic, like this mermaid costume. In performing arts that require a stage and a large audience, face painting comes as a natural addition. In plays the makeup must be exaggerated so that the audience can better denote the actors’ expressions from far away rows, but to the Cirque du Soleil troupe face paint (as well as body) is indispensable – they need it to tell a magical story.