The Scottish Face Painting Advice Site



Lorna Strachan is one of the top professional face painters and body artists in the UK. Lorna, based in Scotland, has been consulted throughout the compilation of this site, deigned for the purpose of advising both aspiring face painters and prospective clients of professional face painters in Scotland.

Lorna has been operating a successful face painting business (Cool Faces) for some years and is one of only about a dozen in the world who are qualified to judge and assess advanced professional face painters. In May of 2008, Lorna was one of the three judging panelists for the World Masters face painting competition in Orlando, Florida . 

On this site, you will find places to discuss the main products used by professional face painters and to ask Lorna questions. Before posting, please use the search facility to ensure that the subject of your post has not already been fully discussed.

Before proceeding to the discussion area for the first time, please take the time to review the information below and to the right on this page.

What is a professional face painter? This is a very big question. Both the artistic ability and the speed of professional face painters varies very dramatically. This only means that the kind of job that each is best suited to also varies. What is very important, in determining professionalism,  is that the artist fulfills the following criterion.

Public Liability Insurance:- All professional face painters must carry adequate insurance, not for their own benefit but for he security of their subjects. The minimum recommended level of insurance is 2 million.

Presentation:- As in any industry, a professional face painter must be able to deal properly with their customers. In the instance of face painting, this includes good communication skills with children, parents, corporate representatives, and other entertainers.

Equipment:- A professional face painter must carry adequate and proper equipment. Lorna's current recommendations are detailed on the far side of this page and will be updated, from time to time, as new products appear on the market. There are a number of products, sold as toys, which are readily available. No professional should ever use these and even parents would be well advised to avoid them. Professional quality paints are normally carry both FDA and EU cosmetic approval. Avoid products that are not marked as such. Most manufacturers of professional quality paints will offer small packs, suitable for domestic use, and which are little more expensive than the toys. If in doubt, use the "ask Lorna" option inside the forum.

Competence:- In order to properly qualify as a 'professional' face painter, the artist should be able to paint at least 20 different basic faces from memory and to be able to produce about 10 of these consistently in each hour. Warning bells should always ring if a painter indicates a need to use an example book or board. This is a clear indication of inexperience. The current world record for faces painted in an hour is over 217, set by Gary Cole in September 2007 at an event organised by Lorna, but these faces would not have been considered to have been of professional quality. Far from it. They were designed only to fulfill criterion set Guinness World Records. Top professionals will consistently produce good faces at anything up to about 25 per hour but will be at their best at a considerably slower rate. Be wary of face painters who claim to be able to consistently paint at more than 12 per hour, unless they can demonstrate a proven track record as a top face painter. Remember that even painters like Lorna only claim to be in their comfort zone at between 15 and 20 per hour.

How much should a professional face painter cost? Yet another big question. Several variables come into play as well as the standard of the face painter themselves. There are slight geographical variations in price. The time and distance involved in the painter getting to the job needs to be taken into account. If the job falls in the evening, or midweek, the cost may be less than it would be at prime times (during the day on Saturdays, Sundays, or Bank and School Holidays). A professional will expect to a achieve a minimum rate for a prime time job, irrespective of how short the period that they are actually required for. Remember that the opportunity cost of attending a 2 hour party can be that of a 6 hour corporate booking. As a basic guide, we would suggest that booking a professional face painter at "prime time" you should expect to have to pay an absolute minimum of 120.00 for an entry level professional and that, should you wish to book someone with Lorna's skill and experience, at the time of writing, you should expect to quoted a minimum fee of 160.00 (for up to 4 hours) and about 20 per hour thereafter.

Where can you get proper face painting training? Be careful. There are a number of organisations offering training in face painting together with a wide variety of other disciplines. We have found that some of these courses are being conducted by tutors who have no 'hands on' knowledge of face painting and  are qualified only by virtue of a general training qualification. Numerous other training courses are offered by face painters of very limited experience, indeed it has almost become a standard feature of the vast majority of face painter's website!

Lorna offers both group and one to one training courses. Lorna's face painting credentials are in no doubt and, in addition, Lorna has formal qualifications in both training and heath and safety. We would thoroughly recommend that you contact her before seeking training elsewhere, perhaps with the notable exception of the London School of Face Painting, run by the 2007 world champion, Bibi Freeman.  

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Lorna Recommends

Snazaroo:- Manufacturers of both cake and cream face painting products, based in the UK. Suppliers of basic books, small kits, glitter products and body gems.

Grimas:- Based in the Netherlands, Grimas are manufacturers and suppliers of a vast range of theatrical make up products. Amongst their face painting products they have a range known as "Pure" which is especially good for sensitive skin.

Mehron:- American based manufacturers of suppliers of a vast range of theatrical make up products including Paradise face paints.

Fardel Creations:- Belgian based cream face paint supplier and manufacturer.

Ben Nye:- Another American based manufacturer and supplier of professional stage make up and face painting products.

Kryolan:- A manufacturer and international supplier of   professional quality makeup and face paints based in Germany.

Diamond FX:- A face paint which is manufactured in the far east. The paints are similar in their consistency to Wolfe paints, but do not contain any perfumes. This is now the preferred product of the internationally renown Wolfe Brothers.

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