Sunday, January 22, 2012

East Coast Face Painting Convention 2012

Even though I’ve been face painting for over thirty years, or maybe because I’ve been face painting for over thirty years, I thought it was time to take a refresher course. Well, actually 13 classes at the 8th Annual East Coast Face Painting Convention in Manchester, Connecticut.

To save money, I commuted each day for four days. Driving in on Thursday and Friday mornings wasn’t bad—I missed the Hartford rush hour traffic. (Thank goodness!) Driving home those evenings I wasn’t so lucky, especially Friday where three lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper, came to a screeching halt on Route 91 North just inside the Massachusetts state line. Traffic on Saturday and Sunday was very light so the commute was a breeze.

Another money saving strategy I used was to pack my own beverages, lunch, and snacks. That way I wouldn’t be tempted to stop and pick something up. My frequent mini meals kept me going throughout the day. Sitting through three to four classes per day was pretty intense. That’s a lot of information going into the brain in a short amount of time.  I took pages of notes and took about 500 photos.

So when I went into the vendors’ room to shop, I didn’t feel guilty. I got a “face” to practice on. It’s the front half of a human looking head. If I’m going to do full faces at some point, I figured I better work on a surface with a nose and eyes. I could practice on my own face but my skin doesn’t need that much wear and tear.

I learned so much! I’ve been trying to teach myself using various face painting books but I didn’t understand all of the terminology. Now I know what a chisel brush is and the proper brushes for getting those gorgeous outlines. Split palettes are now in my vocabulary as well as my paint kit.

Some designs, while amazing, just are not meant to be in my repertoire. I have about 45 seconds per child to get a cute and well-crafted picture on their face. I’m working on drawing various designs on card stock for the children to choose from. I’ll laminate them and put them on a binder ring. While I’m painting the birthday child, the rest can flip through the pictures and make their choice. I’m hoping that will speed things up.

The two things that I did not participate in were the additional pay-per-classes ($75 each for a three-hour, hands-on, small group session) and the nightly jam sessions. I would have to stay overnight in order for that to be doable.

There’s always next year! I’ve got a convention fund set up just in case!

Have you learned anything new lately?  Leave me a comment!  I'd love to hear from you!

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