Taking your cheek art from special to spectacular

Posted by Elizabeth Mackinney on



While most kids opt for masks and full faces, there are still a good bunch out there who prefer what is considered as cheek art, consisting of a small image, on either their cheek or their arms. By adding some extra flourishes and details to your cheek art, you can not only take it from so-so to super, but you’ll also impress your hostess and other potential clients at events. If you’re not sure where to begin in order to ramp up your cheek art designs, here are some suggestions.


Paradise dark pink face paint
Paradise Amazon green face paint
Paradise lime green face paint
Diamond FX white face paint
TAG orange face paint
TAG yellow face paint
#5 round brush
#3 round brush
#1 round brush
Liner brush (optional)
Glitter (optional)
Liquid bling (optional)

How to

1. Start with any design. Don’t feel like you’re limited to certain cheek art when it comes to adding extras. I chose a simple heart from my example, but you could apply the same flourishes I’ll use here to many other cheek art options, such as a lady bug, a cup cake, an ice cream cone, or a round tropical sunset.


2. Add an outline. An outline gives boundaries and definition to the background color of any design, and it almost always makes a design look better. With something like a heart, I added a swirly outline in white, but you could change it up with scallops, dots, or tribal shapes in other colors, depending on the wishes of the child in the chair.


3. Add some swirls. In my case, I used Diamond FX white because it goes with everything and has beautiful outlining qualities. Wolfe or Cameleon also work well for this purpose, and you can experiment with other colors. You can use a liner for this if you feel you have plenty of control, or you can go with a shorter #3 round brush, if you prefer. The advantage of the liners is that they hold more paint, so you can use them longer before having to reload.


4. Add tear drops. Marcela Murad is a huge proponent of practicing tear drops, and if you take her advice, you’ll see consistent improvement in your control and quality of this element, which adds elegant beauty to pretty designs.


5. Not everyone will want flowers, but many little girls won’t object to the addition of a few to spruce up a design. If they aren’t in my visual example, I ask before adding these. For this design, I used a #5 round brush for the larger flowers and dipped them first in TAG orange followed by Paradise dark pink on the tip of the brush before making them. For the small flowers, I used a #3 round brush dipped in TAG yellow with the tip dipped in TAG orange. The leaves are a combination of Amazon green and lime green, also done with the #3 round brush.


6. Add starbursts in areas which need a little sparkle and dots here and there in areas which feel a little empty, as I did in the photo above. These are a popular addition, and even though they are incredibly simple, add a great deal of visual appeal.

7. Finally, try some slender outlining with a #1 round brush. For a very young child, it may not be practical to add outlines, since they sometimes have trouble sitting still. You’ll have to evaluate the person in the chair and decide whether it’s a good choice, but for an older child, teen, or adult, this step adds a pleasing delicacy to the design.


Stop in later this week for more tips on cheek art enhancement.

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary artist for Face Paint Pizzazz in the NW Chicago suburbs. She also writes for Examiner.com as the Chicago Face Painting Examiner.

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