When I post something on Facebook, I usually like to make sure it is a piece of work I am happy with. I will spend extra time, than what I would usually at events, making sure it is just right.. sometimes I will even go back and touch it up after taking the photos, and re shoot the design until I get that perfect image.
Now not all my work turns out the way I intend it too.. sometimes designs I have sketched on paper just don’t translate well on the face.. sometimes my model gives up before I have a chance to tweak the design.
Recently, I attempted to paint a bear. We were inspired by a loveable bear on a favourite movie..(can you guess who?) When working with small children (especially ones that are my own), I do only have a limited time.. I get one shot to get it right.
I knew there was something not quite right about it but couldn’t put my finger on it right away. I spent some time studying the image figuring out how to make it look less like a monkey and more like a bear. In this particular design I needed to pull the cheeks down, making the overall shape more square. The ears needed to be (a lot) smaller, and there were some changes that needed to be made around the top of the muzzle/nose area. All subtle changes that completely changed the overall design. I am still waiting for an opportunity to re-paint it on a face but for now I have my photoshopped version to work from.
By taking a good look at the design, I feel that I am ready to paint the design the next time it is asked for, and will remember the key shapes to making the that bear look like a bear.
I am always trying to find the balance, I want to keep the line moving as quickly as possible, yet create create something people are going to remember. For larger events I will simplify my designs a little which means I can get up to 24 faces painted in an hour. (I try not to do this too often as it is exhausting! But it can be done.)
For me, my magic number is 12 faces per hour. This gives me enough time to paint our favourite designs with just the right amount of details. It also gives me time to interact with each child, making sure their moment is extra special. It also give me time to breathe.