Webinar: Amazing Butterflies Face Paint Designs With Kathy Vergara

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I am Blake Cabot, and I am the owner of FacePaint.com and I'm with Kathy Vergara - the legend! Kathy got started with me a while back, and it's fun to have her back after a bit; I'm looking forward to it. Oddly enough, we've never done butterflies, which I think is just one of those travesties. Kathy has trained literally hundreds of people on face painting. I met her through a business friend of mine, and it's been great, and I look forward to it! Kathy, take it away!

Thank you guys for joining us, and thank you Blake! So we're going to start with butterflies, which is one of my favorite things to paint. So I have 7-8 designs here that we're going to try to do.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #1: Cheek Designs

I want to start with the absolute easiest ones. So, these are the two easiest butterflies you'll ever have to do. These will be cheek butterflies - everything else will be full face butterflies, but these will only be on the cheek.

Butterfly Cheek Design

So I have a butterfly brush, which is just a fan brush that I cut myself in the shape of butterfly wings. So I just got this bright neon Kraze FX Dome Stroke, and I'm going to load that up using the fan brush. Once you have it loaded up, literally all you have to do, is put your brush sideways on the cheek and tap it a few times. That'll be one side. Then, you're going to flip it over, and this'll be your other side. The boards don't really absorb water all that well, so I'll also show you on my arm.

Blake: Is that a normal petal brush or did you do your voodoo on it?

Kathy: It's just a fan brush, and all I did was cut in the middle and on the sides, to make the shape of a butterfly. Make sure you get a really sharp pair of scissors if you do this and hold the bristles down so that they don't shift around when you're trying to cut.

Now all you have to do, is outline the butterfly design.

Blake: Are butterflies your favorite thing to do?

Kathy: Yes, they definitely are. Because you can do SO many different types. I'm going to try to do 8 today, but there are so many more variations.

So I'm just going to add some teardrops to make the antennae, and then outline the butterfly. These are very simple outlines, because the butterfly is very small and they are usually on people's faces. Usually, you'll do this on a small child, or somebody who moves around a lot, because these are very very quick. If you're super rushed, you don't even have to outline them, but I usually always do. Usually, I'll add a couple of cute little teardrops, some swirls, and make it look fancy.

Blake: What size brush are you using to outline?

Kathy:This is a pretty small one, and the number has rubbed off, but it's probably comparable to about a #1 or #2.


Butterfly Face Paint Design

The second really fast butterfly is using a flat brush. I'm going to load the flat brush with this pink split cake. If you're using a chiseled brush, like an angle brush, I like to get the light colors on the shorter side of the brush, and the darker colors on the longer side of the brush.

For this one, it's very simple. You're just going to lay the brush down, and rotate the outside edges of your brush to make that top wing shape. Then you're going to do the same thing on the other side. Then you're going to make two smaller wings at the bottom, and you can fill in any areas that don't have any paint with the back of your brush. So you're going to finish this one the same exact way we did the other one. So do a couple of teardrops, and then you outline it. You can do these on your arm, on someone's chest area.

Blake: Was the flat brush angled?
Kathy: Yes, the one I was using was angled, you don't have to use an angled one though, you can also use just a flat one.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #2: Full Face

Butterfly Face Paint Design

I'm going to be using a rainbow cake, and it's called Twilight. It's a Pixie Rainbow Cake by Silly Farm. So I'm just going to take a petal sponge and rub back and forth to load it up, and you want it to be pretty dry. You definitely don't want this to be dripping or anything, because that means your cake is too wet.

Once I have it loaded, I'm going to pretend that her eyes are closed and just dab over the eye. A petal sponge basically does the whole shape for you. Once you have that down, normally you would wait for it to dry, but it would take forever on these practice boards.

I'm going to go in with a filbert brush, and this is a #8, and it's about 1/4". I'm going to load the brush with black face paint.

Blake: Laura asked, does shimmer sparkle like you put glitter in the paint?

Kathy: Some of them. I've gotten paint that had glitter pieces in it, so you can see the paint, but it's also got glitter effects. And then I've also got metallic paints that are shimmery in the light, but not necessarily with chunky glitters in them.

So now I'm just going to outline the butterfly with black face paint. I'm going to go really thin in the beginning, add some more pressure as I go around the top, make it smaller, and then come in. Now these lines are very important because they're all going towards this inner corner of the eye, which is your focal point for the butterflies. So if you were to continue this middle line, it would meet right here (middle of the eye). Then you're going to drag the outline to the bottom, and make a little wiggle.

Blake: One question came in from Suzan. She said, on a real face, do you make the bottom wings smaller and directly under the eye, or to the sides?

Kathy: Pretty much just like this. So the shape of the top wing goes up and comes straight down. For the bottom wing, it goes down, and comes in at an angle. The bottom is slightly smaller than the top. On a real face, you also don't want to go too much past the nose, because then it starts to take over and look a little too busy, especially if you're using black to outline, which is a very heavy color on a small child's face. Sometimes if I want to brighten up a design, I'll outline with a different color, maybe like a white or metallic purple is really nice for outlining butterflies.

So make sure all those lines are going right towards the focal point, which is the inner corners of the eyes. I usually don't get too fancy with the middle of my butterflies. I'll just finish them off with a couple of teardrops. Now I'm going to grab some white to finish this design off.

You want to get this brush pretty wet, and make sure that your black is dry before you do this, or else the colors are going to mix in. Varying degrees of pressure, are going to create different sizes of dots. So you just want to be sure random with these dots over here. So that's basically how I do my simple butterfly!

Butterfly Face Paint Design #3: Realistic Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint Design

So this split cake is called Barbie, and it's also Silly Farm, just like the previous cake. We're going to do the same thing as we did on our previous design. I always tell my students, "Don't get too hung up on what your sponge work looks like, because yes, you want it to look nice, but it doesn't have to be 100% perfect because what people are going to be mostly focused on, is your line work". So if you can fix messy sponge work with good line work, then it'll be like you never made a mistake!

So this design is going to be a more realistic butterfly. I like doing these when I have more time, or when I have an older child or adult, because you have a lot of intricate lines that you have to do. So I'm just going to outline this butterfly the same way I did the other one. Now I'm going to continue with that same small #1 or #2 brush that I was using earlier.

I'm going to start by going over the top of the eye, making kind of an outline. For the realistic ones, if you look at a realistic butterfly, they usually have one or two bigger shapes towards the middle of the wing. And then you have these smaller sections that branch off from the bigger one.

All I'm going to do is continue making these teardrop shapes, and some parts I'm going to be filling in. If it doesn't make a teardrop shape, I'll just fill in that area. I'm also trying to stay as symmetrical as I can. If you're not 100% mirror image on both sides, don't stress it too much. So we're just going to continue making these little teardrop shapes. Then, what I like to do, is use a really light blue or teal color, or you can even use white. Then we're just going to add some dots around. I'm thinking the teal color, it's a little more interesting.

And if I was really trying to impress somebody, I would take the Liquid Bling and outline a couple of the segments, and that looks really beautiful. So there's my realistic butterfly! You could make it even more realistic by using an orange and red rainbow cake, and it would look just like a Monarch butterfly.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #4: Fantasy Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint

I'm going to do this in black, just so you can see it a little better. I would call this a fantasy butterfly. I just did this one day, I was kind of bored of doing the same butterflies, and I thought I'd do something different. Again we're taking the same shapes, but the outline on this one will be a little bit wiggly. So basically I'm just running my brush down at random points, to make this irregular type of design. Then I'm just going to add in little bubbles here and there. I really like this one because you can do it very quickly, and they don't have to match or be perfect. So here is my fantasy butterfly! You can add dots and stuff in there, but I feel like you've seen that for the two butterflies already, so you don't need to see another one.

Blake: Which black face paint are you using to outline?

Kathy: I'm using Kraze FX black face paint

Blake: What's your favorite black?

Kathy: It all depends on what I'm using it for. I use the Wolfe White a lot. Before using Kraze, I used Paradise a lot, so I switch between Kraze and Paradise. The Paradise I find is really good for dry brushing, and the Kraze works well for that too.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #5: Stylized Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint Design

We did the realistic butterfly, the fantasy butterfly, and now we'll do the stylized butterfly. So I'm going to start with the teardrops here and then I usually give them this curve right under the eyebrow.

Blake: Somebody asked a question. Laura asked where we post these videos after they're finished. We always have them on our Facebook page, and so you'll see them in there.

This one is mostly a bunch of teardrops and swirls, and so it's really important to practice your line work. You can do so many designs just made up of a bunch of random line work.

Most of these butterfly designs are more on the feminine side, but boys can get butterflies too so we'll also be doing a more masculine design.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #6: Colorful Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint Design

So for this one, I'm going to use the Kraze FX Bright Neon Domed Stroke and another split cake called Sugar Splash. I'm going to go right on top of the eyelids. I think I'm going to use a nice dark blue, to give it a nice contrast to these pink wings.

Blake: Laura asked what's the difference between a dome stroke and a dome cake? The dome strokes are the little ones, and they're used for a 3/4 or 1" brush. The dome cakes are really for sponging.

So I'm taking this Kraze FX Blue and just loading right in the corner. So now I'm just going to throw down some flowers. Now don't get discouraged if your flowers look a little janky, because it can be very difficult to do crisp flowers on a practice board or a mannequin head. So I'm just going to start by laying flowers right in the corners. Then I'm going to alternate sides.

Now take a white, and this is a number 6 brush and I'm going to add some dots to the middle of my flowers and also give her some eyeshadow.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #7: Rose Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint Design

Alright, two more to go! So we're just using the split cake to do the outline, and then we'll do some pink flowers in the middle of the forehead and on the sides. So I'm just going to add some roses. And I'm also going to add some green leaves to the flowers. I'm also going to add some dots to make it a little fancy.

Blake: Jose says he cannot do roses. He's been doing it for 4 years, just roses are a plague to him.

Kathy: You just have to really practice! You have to practice the right technique, because if you're practicing the wrong technique, then it's not going to work.

Butterfly Face Paint Design #8: Tribal Butterfly

Butterfly Face Paint Design

So we can definitely finish this tribal design! I'm using a blue and green split cake. This rainbow cake is called Pearl Peace. Now I'm just going to do the lines in black. And this is a tribal butterfly which I did on my son. I guess I made him a little too comfortable because he completely fell asleep.

Blake: We have a question. So when you're doing roses, is it better to have the lighter colors on the outside of the petal?

Kathy: Yes, if you want them to look realistic. You can do light colors on the inside, but they'll just look a little more fantasy-like.

This is a very good design if you have parents that are like "oh no, I didn't want him to have a butterfly", and I'll say "no, I have a boy butterfly!", even though there's no such thing! Then once you pull this out, they'll be like "oh wow this is cool, forget I said anything!".

So these antennae are going to be a little bit different, sort of like lightning bolts. And this is a tribal butterfly, which is a great masculine version that you can use!

Blake: Well that's terrific! We have done 8 designs! Thank you everybody for joining us and we've got all of our upcoming webinars, and I look forward to seeing you guys next week! Thank you very much!

Kathy: Thanks guys!!


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  • Beautiful designs !!!! Thank you

    Sara on

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