40 Years of #FunOnFaces

My Anniversary Gallery of 2016

Christopher Agostino     updated 1/12/17 

2016 was my 40th year of painting faces, from a start as an apprentice with a theatre company painting volunteers as clowns for a bi-centennial parade in 1976, and it’s taken that long for me to begin to figure out how to really have some #funonfaces by incorporating cartooning and pictures of people on their own faces. The recent cartoon explorations have been driven by my need to add comedy to my StoryFaces performances (see  The Amazing Face Video ), and also to develop new design tools for creating theme-specific faces, which we do to keep the facepainting an adventure while giving clients a reason to hire us for interesting events (see galleries: Science On Your Face and Winter Olympics ). Here’s 2016 in faces, starting with a group of some of the more playful, #funonfaces ones, plus groups of new StoryFaces images, continuing explorations of  Art On Your Face and other types of faces. Fotos first, at the bottom some more text.

Learn more about StoryFaces and all we do at: agostinoarts.com

 

Faces from StoryFaces performances 2016:

Art On Your Face and other themes 2016:

This year included more fun on faces than usual, as I experiment with cartooning to make faces people can play with at events, and to animate faces in my StoryFaces shows. We surprise people with what we paint on them at events, usually just asking the participant if they want to be “nice or spooky” and then surprising them. To accommodate these kind of faces we are offering a new, third option of becoming funny-looking, and then put a cartoon of them on their face. We also had a few Art On Your Face events this year, including painting faces for a Red Grooms exhibit at the Hudson River Museum and at the Sculpture Center’s LIC Block Party, plus a number of circus themed promotional events.

The animation of the face designs is entering my new StoryFaces pieces also, both in the faces I paint on stage and in the performance style. I started the year working on “Monkey King, Yo!” for performance at the StoryCrossroads festival in Utah, and ended the year premiering a new story called “The Storyteller and the Magic Fish” in which I paint a picture of myself onto an audience volunteer.

Special thanks to the participant/victim who let me use his face for the general amusement of the crowd at First Night Morristown, to create the Happy New Year “FaceCard” ™ at our final gig of the year for the gallery’s final image.

See also galleries by theme:   Christopher’s Faces Gallery;   Christopher’s BodyPainting Gallery;  Art On Your Face — Gallery;  The Amazing Face GalleryDia De Los Muertos ; Science On Your Face ; Halloween 2015 ; Christmas in New York ;  Winter Olympics 2014

Learn more about StoryFaces and all we do at: agostinoarts.com

 

 

Halloween 2015 — Face Painting Gallery

#transformationsny

Some of the designs I explored during Halloween season. We had been doing Halloween-themed events from the start of October, and it kinda crept up on me. After the first weekend I took some time to make sketches for faces using the cartooning/animating techniques I’ve been experimenting with for my StoryFaces  performances, and trying to use the mouth and nose in more playful ways.

 

Learn about all that we do at: agostinoarts.com

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Zombie Make-Up – How-to do a simple Zombie Facepainting

( this is an update of a post from 2013)  #zombieattack

Our Transformations technique is to create bold face designs that look exciting, creating a unique design for each person we paint. It’s the over-all effect of the collective faces at an event which creates the transformation. Each face should look good both up close and from across a room, it should draw your attention and excite the person wearing it. To maximize the effect at an event we paint as many people as we can, using a simplified technique and concise imagery to paint effective designs as quickly as possible — a face like this zombie would take 3 minutes.  

For this how-to I took these step-by-step fotos on a guest as I painted him at one of our events.  This is the fast version of a basic stage make-up approach to shaping a face with shading, with some zombie details on top. A basic make-up concept like this then leads into all sorts of variations and explorations at each event, see #ZombieAttack — Halloween Gallery

zombiehowto_1base_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 1: BASE — With a sponge, put a solid base color over the whole face (except the eyelids). Use any medium shade: grey is classic zombie, but can be green, blue or others. (See below for info on the makeup, brushes and sponges we use — and also for a pdf of a green zombie and other variations)

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zombiehowto_2shading_131016c_agostinoartsSTEP 2: SHADING — Add shading to exaggerate the sunken parts of the face: the eye sockets, the sides of the nose, the lines from the edge of the nose going around the mouth, the hollows on the cheeks and chin. Generally with horror make-up, you want to make the face more dramatic looking by putting shadows into the sunken, fleshy parts of the face and highlights on the bony parts (step 3). I do my shading by painting thin lines with black liquid make-up, then “pulling” those lines with a large soft brush to blend them into the grey base. You can also do your shading with the edge of a sponge — a triangular sponge works well for that.

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zombiehowto_3highlights_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 3: HIGHLIGHTS — In this step I use a sponge to lightly put white makeup onto the bridge of the nose, the cheek bones, chin and forehead, to increase the sculpting of the face.

I also put a bright color (yellow in this case) onto the eyelids to begin to make his zombie eyes.

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zombiehowto_4eyesmouth_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 4: EYES & MOUTH — I add a red spot for the eyes and black to create the open mouth shape. It’s part of the style that I work in that the mouth is kind of loose and jagged — I like my monster faces to look “ill-formed”, not too precise.

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zombiehowto_5details_131016c_agostinoarts  STEP 5: FINAL DETAILS and EXPRESSIVE LINES — In this case I gave him small pointy teeth with some red dots for blood. I used what I term “expressive lines” to give his eyes an angrier look — they same kind of line techniques a cartoonist would use to change the expressions of an illustration can create the modern, fast type angry zombie or, with different eye lines, the old-fashioned shambling type zombie (in this case, I modeled off of those furrowed brows they always give the Hulk when he’s angry in comic books).

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zombieeyes_131016c_agostinoartsZOMBIE VARIATIONS —  Starting from this basic formula of using shading and highlights to make the face dramatic, using bizarre colors, and adding playful details like a gory mouth and zombie eyes, you can make a whole range of zombies, monsters, and other horror make-ups. The blue shaded zombie here was also painted at the same event.

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Click here for this printable pdf of the step-by-step for a green zombie, and some examples of variations:   Halloween_ZombieHowTo_agostinoarts

Halloween_ZombieHowTo_agostinoarts

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Kit-060507eMAKE-UP AND TOOLS — There are a  lot of good face painting make-ups available today, so please be sure to get a safe, comfortable make-up product for any facepainting. Never use paint on someone’s skin, even paints that say they are non-toxic — always use make-up.

The brand I prefer is Kryolan’s Aquacolor because of the vivid colors, ease of application and removal, and how comfortable they are to wear. Learn more on our web page http://agostinoarts.com/AboutTheMakeup including where you can get quality make-ups in the NYC area and online. And check out my book: Transformations! The Story Behind the Painted Faces

I apply the Aquacolors with sponges and brushes. I prefer the round craft-type sponges and synthetic sable watercolor brushes.

Learn about all that we do at: agostinoarts.com

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The Amazing Face Gallery

You are amazing — and so is your face.

You can be anything — and so can your face.

AmazingFaceShow_balloonLogo_video

see The Amazing Face Video on YouTube

My explorations of this “face on a face” imagery came as we started incorporating cartooning techniques into the faces we paint at events — particularly for clients for which it was helpful to be able to put characters and action scenes on faces (see  Knicks,   Citibank’s Winter Olympics event  The World Science Festival galleries). For the Summit Wellness Fair, for example, I would ask a kid questions about what they like to do, or want to be, and then put them into a picture of that activity on their face. Eventually I used the technique to tell this story about how I learned to facepaint, which I present as part of my StoryFaces performances and in arts-in-education workshops. Given that the idea of putting a face onto someone’s mouth is not a new one in facepainting (I have a traditional Chinese Opera design which uses this trick for a frog face that I’ve been imitating for years), I’m kinda annoyed with myself that it took me this long to start having so much fun with it.

These are some examples of the Amazing Faces I’ve painted.

Learn about all we do at:  agostinoarts.com

Learn about The Amazing Face Show

Animal Surprises at the Bronx Zoo — Facepainting Gallery

We had a team of 6 artists at the Bronx Zoo for a company’s family outing this past weekend, which gave me a chance to do some more specifically animal and nature themed facepainting then I get to do on most of my gigs these days. Although at our zoo facepainting concessions we post a list of about 40 animals for people to choose from (just a list — no photos), at our special events there we prefer to be more adventurous by surprising people with the animal we turn them in to. We ask each participant if they want to be “nice” or “spooky” and then surprise them with the transformation. Here and some of the faces I painted myself over the 4 hour event. (You can click on the photos to see the names I give the face designs.)