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!!


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!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Carver County Fair 2016 Recap

This year was my 19th year painting at county 4th year at Carver County Fair in Waconia!  I really love this fair.  It's the only fair I do all year, and is my "home" fair, just 20-25 minutes from home.  My boys enter their artwork in the fair every year, and I spend my one afternoon off taking them to visit the fair while Grandma paints at my booth!  I've been working at this fair long enough now to recognize many faces who come back every year to get painted, and enjoy seeing so many of my friends who visit the fair every year!

This year was another good year at the fair. I had some fun with my GoPro camera, filming myself painting and the crowds flowing through on my busiest day: Saturday! Check it out below or here on YouTube!

Here are a few photos!

The Booth all set up and ready to go!

new cabinet for 2016!

I found this great cabinet on Craigslist just days before the fair for $100. It is a food serving station, but worked perfect for my booth! The larger surface was great for my growing paint kit, and built in light fixture was awesome.  The casters were a huge help as well.  I did have to put another $60 or so into it replacing the light bulbs, ballast, and lock, but am really happy with the end result! 

My paints set up on the countertop

I also got a new banner this year...ordered at the last minute as I was waiting for Vistaprint's 40% off sale! But, it did arrive in time for the 2nd day of the fair!

Invisible glove is my friend at the fair! Fair week has always left me with hands that are stained for a week after. This stuff works just have to remember to put a little more on after you wash your hands, which I do constantly with wipes! Find it in the shop, here!

I always love painting my arms up big for the fair. It was busy enough I didn't have a chance to do this every day, but here's what I did on myself this year:

My photo prop boards are always a big hit with the kids at the fair! I keep them piled on the lower "shelf" of my painting chair. You can get your own via my site here. Here are a few pics...

 I love seeing all of my friends who visit me at the fair! My favorite people of all are of course my husband and boys...
Love seeing this face peek over my shoulder during the fair!

cheese curd break with Toby!

Here are a few photos of paintings from the week...

My mom is always a big help at the fair!!  When I started working full time as a designer, she helped me keep my booth by working weekdays while I came at night and on weekends.  When I left my corporate gig and started having babies, she helped me with some of the days so my husband didn't have to take off work.  She worked Thursday until 7 pm, giving me a chance to catch up on other work and actually attend the fair with my boys! (yes, I spend my slice of time off visiting the fair, haha!)  12 hour days do a number on you after a while so it's nice to get a little break in there!

My boys visiting Grandma in the booth!
Here are some paintings that my mom did...

paintings by Rollie Brandt
I always have my faithful trio of strong men to help tear down the booth on the last day of the fair...

...thanks again for another amazing year, Carver County! Hope to see you in 2017! :-)