Adding Airbrush face painting to your business can expand your client base. Clients look for artists and family entertainment companies who can offer more than just one service or who offer different options. Airbrush face painting is a natural extension to traditional sponge and brush face painting.
In this article I will guide you through getting started and the tools you will need to start airbrushing and making more money before the busy season starts.
An airbrush is just another painting tool. Think of it as a fancier brush. You will still paint with it but, in a different way. The most important part of learning airbrush face painting is learning to take apart your airbrush, cleaning it and putting it back together again. Once you master this you are more than half way there. You can find airbrushes from many companies like Iwatta, Paashe, Grex and Badger. These are the top brands but, don’t let the price on these brushes be a hinder to getting started. You can find many good deals on non name brand airbrushes that will work while you are practicing. I recommend starting with a top feed or Gravity feed if you plan on using it strictly for face and body painting,
You will want a compressor that doesn’t make a ton of noise if you plan on using it for public events and works for your specific business whether it be Make-Up, Face Painting, Body Painting or Airbrush Tattoos. Compressors come in different sizes including small Make-up compressors, hobby compressors, of course the name brand compressors and industrial compressors (these are NOT recommended for face painting). Find a compressor that fits your chosen area of painting and fits your budget. Some will say go for the Gold and buy the name brand but, I know many artists who use a generic compressor and create amazing art with them. It’s not always about the tools you use, it’s how you use them.
Airbrush face paint comes in two formulas – Water based and Hybrids or Alcohol based not to be confused with Temporary tattoo paint. Water based airbrush paint works much like your water based face painting cakes. It removes with soap and water.
Hybrid face paints like ProAiir Hybrids are alcohol based and are waterproof so to remove this type of paint you will need to use a liquid hand soap first, lather then, add water to remove.
This is a great option if you want to offer face painting to clients who may be having a pool party or parties during the summer months when traditional paints will melt down in the heat or sweat. Although, it is alcohol based, it is completely safe for the skin as it is made with a cosmetic alcohol not Isopropyl.
Although you can freehand airbrush face painting designs, face painting stencils just make it so much easier especially if you are working with a large line of kids. You can find airbrush face painting stencils that can create and entire face painting design all in one or you can find fun textured stencils to add some wow and pop to your designs.
You will need hoses to fit your airbrush. Most of the time when you purchase an airbrush you will be given the option to purchases a hose that matches. Purchase a couple just in case. Purchase a cleaning kit from the start. It will include tiny brushes,solvent and lube. Invest in some Latex free gloves, when you are painting many different people chances are you will end up with messy hands from overspray. Gloves will be your best friend. A Water spray bottle or Alcohol spray bottle depending on the type of makeup you will be working with. A Black towel to cover your working area or table cloth and paper towels and cotton swabs for cleaning up on the job.
Now you know what you need to get started. Invest in the basics and add/upgrade as you go. There are many forums and groups online and on facebook where artists share freely. Join the community and get started making more money by offering more than just traditional face painting to your party and event entertainment business.
Happy painting my friend,
Shawna Del Real XOXO
Owner of Face painting Los Angeles by Professionally trained artists