Face Paint Tribal Basics

Hi and welcome to this weeks ‘paint with me’. This week’s focus is going to be tribal. When it comes to tattoos tribal is everywhere! Down legs, and arms, making up intricate large pieces. It looks so simple and so complicated all at the same time.

Coming from someone that is obsessed by swirls, you think I’d have attempted tribal well before now, right? Other than a half-arsed attempt as a teenager to cover my friends back in swirls (which may I add did not look as good as I had imagined), I haven’t really tried it much before, so this week, I practiced, and practiced (yep back to that word again, we all have a love/hate relationship with it!). Some turned out pretty good, some not so good, and as always; I show the good and the bad.

There was a particularly good video on YouTube by SparklingFaces, and some inspiration I found on Pinterest that really helped with tribal painting. (If you’d like to follow my tribal board you can check it out here: Cosmic Faerie’s Pinterest-Tribal board.

Then out comes to brush and the black paint! Ooooo but what brush is the question? I tried a few this week; The La Corneille Flora , the Loew-Cornell yellow handle number 5 and a flat ½ inch brush. The one I used was Royal and Royal and Langnickel which is a cheap one I picked up until I can afford a lovely one from The Face Painting Shop. The favourite was definitely the La Corneille flora. This is a brush a purchased and was taught how to use by Juliet Eve from Façade academy. You can check out her awesome training classes here.

As you can see from the video below, the brush holds paint well up close the the ferulle, so keeps going for longer (which is handy when you are getting carried away with the curly swirlys), it is able to produce a very fine line, but also a very thick one. Excellent for tiger stripes when you need thick to thin (abbreviated in the face paint community as TTT). This brush is excellent for creating the thick to thin C’s and swirls you need when creating tribal. As mentioned above I did test a round brush, which also worked well, but it didn’t have the contrast that the flora had.

Fancy picking up a flora brush? You can do so here: Flora Brush

As mentioned, I also tried and ½ inch brush. I had this bright idea that I could get some lovely one stroke colours, looking all blended and tribally. The verdict was: I couldn’t. I believe with a bit more practice and brush control that I still might be able too, but I still prefer the flora. Quick and easy and I can add highlights too. Here are my ‘attempts’.

I found when using black as the base colour and highlighting with white it was muddying and going wrong, like the one below (although I managed to do one that looked okay). I am pretty terrible at highlights, and normally prefer to just use dots.

Saying that, I did try some tribal designs in metallic colours with highlights, which I thought looked pretty effective.

This one is Superstar’s (Fab in the USA) ziva and Tag’s pearl blue.

I would say play around with colours. There is no excuse not to practice, you don’t have to haul all of your face painting things out. One brush, one colour and some water and you are ready to go!

You can also integrate these in to your designs. The one below is inspired by Cameron Garrett tribal monster.

I also tried UV one stroke and tribal. I used the pink, orange, and yellow side of a the DiamondFX Neon Rainbow split cake, and a 1 inch flat brush to make a C shape around the eye. I then painted the tribal design on top of this with a normal black. The UV glows really well, behind the dark tribal design.

Tribal desings are really popular, so they are ace brilliant to use on teenagers and as part of graffiti arms.

Check out Mike Tyson’s tattoo. It seems that this design is quite popular, and images of it painted on in various ways crop up all over the internet.

Mike Tyson image from here

Once you get the basics down you can experiment with colour, add gems and glitter and really get some ace effects, brilliant, quick and colourful for the festivals!

Cosmic Faerie


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