Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hand Paintings, Jams, and New Products, Oh My!

I haven't posted in a little while as I've been running around crazy since the Jamvention, so today is my "playing catch-up" post! I really want to give the Jamvention the recap it deserves in it's own post when I get a chance, so for now I'm going to just share a few things I've done since I got back! (Though those of you who subscribe to our free e-newsletter will get a mini recap of the Jamvention in this month's issue, going out soon!)

I saw a piece of graffiti/art spray painted on the side of a building in Amsterdam that gave me an idea. Of course I'm kicking myself for not snapping a photo of it as I did SO, SO many things in Amsterdam, but it was a graphic of a hand holding up a peace sign, and the two fingers held up were pencils. It made me think of the art supply illusion hand I had just done recently, but for whatever reason made me think of trying it with crochet hooks instead...

 Yeah, my brain works weird like that.  Anyway, I jotted the idea into my phone and went on my way. I had to give it a try as soon as I got home! Here's how it turned out!
I wanted to film this but sadly my GoPro's battery was dead.  And we artists know, you can't just stop and wait for a battery to charge when inspiration strikes.  Sorry, I'll try to keep it charged and ready so I don't miss any more future time lapse paintings! ;-)

My hand was pretty cramped trying to hold poses for photos after this, ha! But I think it came out pretty cool! And yes, I do love to crochet, by the way. I find that my best paintings are usually those that have something to do with my other passions....like my recent piano mask and honey bee designs that I entered in Illusion's contests.

After doing the art supplies and crochet hooks, it made me think of my hand as some sort of pocket knife, so naturally I had to give that idea a try...



Fun stuff!!  Earlier this week I hosted a paint jam.  It felt like forever since our fun belly jam in September, but I just couldn't swing it to host one in October this year with all I had going on.  It helped those of us Midwest artists who sadly couldn't make it to the convention this week feel better, haha! We had a small group of 4 artists but had plenty of space to sprawl out with our kits!! Small jams never disappoint though...we had plenty of chatting, sharing, and AMAZING food to sample as always!

It also gave me a chance to paint something for my November e-newsletter...pinecones!

 Of course, we love it when the kids join in to! My boys were so bummed that this jam was during school so they couldn't join in, but they love to join the fun with their own little kits when I host evening jams!

Loved the adorable gingerbread man done here by Victoria Welch, and the super cute cupcake and snowman design by Anita Beal! I did a little practice on myself and my PainterTemplates.

I have a few new items coming into the shop this month, including the "Next in Line" mats I shared in my last post.  More will be added later this week, but right now we also have these cute little petal sponges, just $4 for a set of 8, great for tiny faces:



Thanks so much for stopping by and stay tuned for more on the Jamvention!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Now Shipping: "Next in Line" Mats!

It's been over a year since I shared this floor mat that I designed and had custom made for my gigs.  There was a LOT of interest in having me sell these in my shop at the time, and I am thrilled to say that I now have a very limited number of these in stock NOW and ready to ship!
I have to say that this is one of the best components of my setup I've invested in over the past year, and that's why I decided to get a few of them into my shop.  This mat not only helps kids to know where the line starts, but more importantly, helps me to define the space that I need to work in comfortably.   Check out this post from last year to see how I use this mat and other tools for crowd control!

This 17" x 27" mat is made of an anti-fatigue foam, and the finish is like a matte felt surface.  As I said, I've been using this for over a year now, and it's still looking great. I did spray mine with some Scotch guard spray before the first use, which I think helps to keep it clean.  It's lightweight, and easy to roll up and tuck into whatever you use to tow your gear!  These are now available (until I run out) for $44.95.  Check them out today in the shop, along with some more crowd control items and fun things to trick out your kit!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting! :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Product Review: NEW 2" Wide "Paddle Brush," wide enough for large rainbow cakes!

I'm one of those artists who just prefers brushes to sponges.  I like the amount of control I get, and I especially like the ability to rinse and change colors without accumulating a pile of dirty sponges.  SO, for years I've been using wide, 2" brushes to match the width of my large rainbow cakes.



Recently someone on Facebook posted the question of what kind of brush to use on a large TAG split cake.  Nearly everyone's answer was some variation of: "a sponge."  I think sometimes we get in such a rut with our products, we tend to overlook some other methods that have been right under our noses the entire time! I like to work under the belief that there is never just one way to do things.  Try out your ideas...sure, you may find the way you did it was the best way all long, but the process of being creative with your tools just leads to more ideas, and often times more efficient ways to do things! So experiment, have fun, and find your OWN way of doing things!

Ever since I posted this new 2" brush I'm now carrying in my store, I've been getting a ton of requests for a video of it in use.  SO, while I didn't think I'd get the time until after my trip to Belgium, I decided to set aside this afternoon to film, edit, and publish this video so you don't all have to wait for answers!!  If you still have questions, please feel free to email me and I'll do my best to answer.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Time Lapse Paintings: "Art is in my Bones!" and a realistic eye

Whew! Since the boys have gone back to school I've been busy busy busy catching up! I just sent out my FREE monthly e-newsletter last week. If you didn't get your copy, please contact me...I have had a few emails bounce back lately.  Our Halloween shop is also now open, and our brand new glitter tattoo shop is growing!!  Check out all the new products available now!

I've also been getting in a little time to paint! Last week I hosted a belly paint jam, and you can see the work of myself and the other artists here.  But, here's what I painted to enter in Illusion's mask competition this month, wish me luck:
Inspired by the 10 years of piano lessons I took as a kid!

Last night I had another hand painting idea pop into my head as I was lying in bed, so I thought I'd give that one a try.
Art is in my bones!

Here's a time lapse video of me painting this one! I like to call it, "Art is in my bones!"


I'm also gearing up for my hands-on workshop teaching "Realistic Eyes" in Belgium next month!! In preparation I put together another time lapse video of me painting an eye.  Click here to learn more about this workshop!



Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September Belly Painting Jam!

This week I hosted my first ever belly painting jam and it was a blast!!  In the end, 6 bellies were painted by 5 artists. One of the artists is also pregnant so she got to be a model, and then we had a couple more artists who just came to hang out, visit and watch!
Photos of the jam in action!
Artists came prepared with pot luck contributions and a design to paint! I also had an assortment of body painting magazines out for inspiration, with belly painting sections marked of course. Here are a few mini paintings that I did on the backs of my practice heads before the jam:

The back of your practice head is perfect for practicing bellies!
I wasn't sure if we'd be able to find enough moms interested, but the numbers worked out just right.  The only catch for the moms to get a free belly painting was that they had to allow the artists to choose the design they want to paint (unless the artist lets them help pick), and then they signed model release forms allowing the artists to use photos of their work for promotional purposes.

The first painting I did was on my beautiful friend Andrea! She has 3 boys and is expecting a GIRL!

 The fox design was inspired by an illustration I found online.  For the background I laid down a base of pearl blue paint. I then brushed on a layer of the new Pixie Paints ("Blue Monday") with a rake brush to give it a cool, chunky shimmer!  This is the first time I've used the pixie paints but they really worked great.  I then used a lollipop blender loaded with a white Mehron INtense Pro powder (lightening) and my BAM 1035 stencil to give the background some soft texture...


It was SO much fun to watch all the artists at work in my house!!  We had artists who have never painted bellies and those who have, but the beauty was that they all got to paint what they wanted, without the pressure of it being a paying client.  Belly paintings are expensive, they take a lot of time to create, and time to design beforehand.  They commemorate an unforgettable and life changing time in a woman's life, and photos go into baby books forever, so there is always pressure to make them amazing! 

All the bellies painted at the jam!

Of course we had amazing artists already, but some pretty amazing things happen when you remove all the stress factors! :-)

I was so super lucky to be able to paint two bellies!!  This one was on my beautiful balloon twisting and face painting friend, Jelly! This design was inspired by some Google image searches of moms and babies.



Here is a great example to illustrate why I always start by having the model stand up while I sketch the design outlines, THEN I have her sit down...


...If you start painting while mom is sitting down, your design will turn into an egg shape when she stands up. As you can see above, the design looks squished while I'm starting it in the top photo, but then rounds back out when she stands up. 

Babies' arms are chubby, so while I was painting I thought, "I need to add some more to that little arm!" Of course that was one moment I forgot about the squish factor...and when she stood up baby grew biceps! Oops! ;-) Sometimes the hard part is trusting your squished looking outlines while painting, and sticking to them! ;-)

We were even fortunate enough to have a REAL photographer attend as well!! So, I may just be updating this post in the near future with some way better photos, ha!

If you're interested in having YOUR belly painted, check out my belly page HERE! I also do belly henna as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!!


























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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

So many new products!

Well, I haven't posted in a little while as I've just been crazy busy getting my boys back to school and catching up on the pile of work I've been saving for when the boys get back to school! ;-) But among the craziness I've been adding a lot to the shop!

We are now offering glitter tattoos and supplies! Check out this entire new section, where you'll find tattoo stencils, an expanded assortment of glitter, adhesive, brushes, tweezers, alcohol wipes, mica powder, & glitter storage solutions!

We've expanded our assortment of glitter colors!

oh so many tattoo stencils...this is just one! ;-)

We have tweezers in pointed and this slanted style to help you grab those tiny loose pieces of stencil film!



More new options for storing your loose glitters...



Empty lip gloss containers you can refill with body glue!

Body glue too of course! (order now before it dips below freezing here in MN!)
Mica powder for those pesky anti-glitter clients! ;-)

Brushes ideal for freehand glitter tattoos, sturdy enough to stand up to body glue and alcohol!

Eyeshadow crease brushes are fluffy enough to pick up lots of glitter when using stencils! We have two sizes!

Long handled kabuki brush for brushing away loose glitter

Alcohol wipes, perfect for cleaning the skin before applying tattoos!

And have you seen the new Pixie Paint by Amerikan Body Art?  AH-mazing. I finally had a chance to try some out the other night on a couple belly paintings, and I'm in love.  Some new products you think are really cool, but you'll maybe use them on 1 or 2 designs and it'll end up just another thing taking up space in your kit.  This stuff...well, let's just say I'm going to have to hold myself back from putting it on EVERYTHING.  It glides on beautifully with a fan rake brush, and it's just so fun to watch the trail of bright, chunky glitters appear, staying right where you put them! Want even more glitz and opacity? Simply poof, dab, or spray on more cosmetic glitter while the aloe gel is still wet!

1 oz jars of Pixie Paint, available in 6 colors for $6.99 each!
Last night I hosted a belly painting jam which was a BLAST! So stay tuned for photos from that! Until then, thanks so much for stopping by and happy painting!  :-)

Monday, August 29, 2016

REAL TIME Cheek Art, recorded On the Job

I see a lot of YouTube videos of thorough, step by step tutorials. These are GREAT for learning and perfecting new designs!! But they are slowed down a lot for explanations and don't give you an idea of how long the design will take at an actual job.

I also see a lot of SPED UP, time lapse videos.  These are really fun to show how a design comes together from start to finish, especially intricate designs that take a long time to paint. But these often are not the kind of designs you can do on the job when you have a long line.

I have published videos of both these types on my channel. However, there seems to be a lack of videos out there of face painting being done in REAL TIME, and at REAL GIGS.  That is where the idea for this next video was born from!

In this video you can see me painting some of my cheek art designs, on the job, during my busiest day of the county fair.  Yes, I do a lot of awesome full face designs too!  But I've decided to record myself doing cheek art to help dispel some myths out there that cheek art is way more time consuming than full faces, because it doesn't have to be.  In these videos I am not going all out and embellishing on the designs (which I sometimes do if there is no line), but at the same time, I am not rushing myself at all. This is my normal pace, and most of my cheek art designs take less than 2 minutes.  Many are around 1 minute.

Cheek art really CAN be cute, quality, and FAST when you get the technique down!! This is what I have been attempting to teach in my "Achieving Detail with Speed" workshops, and in my next book! Check out the video below, or watch it here on YouTube. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel while you're there!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!