Painting With Speed

A common question asked of the facepainting artist, when someone is booking services is ” How many kids can you do in one hour, and how fast are you?” The reality can be tricky, as there are many factors that establish speed when also hoping to provide a quality product.

When working at events or parties where there are lots of excited children all wanting their faces painted, speed is such an important thing!  The impatient people tend to be the parents, who would prefer not to stand in long lineups while waiting for their childs turn to be the artists canvas.   As a face painter  who wants a beautiful and authentic result, it takes some time to paint properly  without making the work look like an amateur.   it is important to find the balance of working fast whilst still maintaining quality.


Face painting isn’t a race, and my concern is  hearing some personnel at these fairs  people brag about how they can paint 40 faces in a hour.  But to be honest, what you can produce in that time isn’t exactly going to be fantastic.  Face painting is about the experience, and you want them (as well as yourself) to be proud of what they have painted on their face.  It is similar to a hairdresser who is provided with half the time to dye someones hair… The public will see that the results are poor and you have lost your reputation in one stroke of a bruch.

There are also others that don’t want to race at all. They like to take their time to create a masterpiece on each face. This is fantastic when you have heaps of time to fill, but doesn’t always work when you have a large line of people.  I have heard a number of clients complain that they did not want a Rembrandt on each childs face when 100’s of kids are in a lineup. Quite often, a 4 year old is quite happy with a simple Cupcake or Pokemon  symbol on their cheek.

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.  What I do, in advance, is find simple cheekart or symbols to paint on a hand, arm or leg, with a couple colors to keep it elementary. If kids are provided with these choices, they are usually happy that they got painted, and the parents are pleased that they arent spending too much time lined up with a hyper lineup of impatient kids.

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.

If you are wanting to make a booking for face painting at a Birthday Party or Small event, but are unsure how long you would like to book us for, here is a rough guide of the number of faces we can paint in an hour.

Our Super Talented painters can paint up to 10 ‘regular’ faces in an hour, and up to 16 faboulously fast faces in an hour. In some cases we can paint even more, such as a sports event where the same design is painted again and again.

The time it takes to paint a face is based on the detail on the design, not necessarily by the size of design (for example a small cheek art character often takes longer than a full face due to the ammount of detail involved).  Using a stencil can also add complexity to the background, without taking a lot of time to complete.

Some of our designs have been painted by us so many times that we can also paint them faster than other designs

that may appear to have the same amount of detail.

We do have ‘deluxe designs’ which take a little longer and have even more detail, these are especially popular with the ‘bigger’ kids (grown ups), or are great if you have lots of time to fill. Let us know if you would like to book more time for more detailed designs and we can work out a price and time that works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *