Well for the first time in 4(?) or 5 years, I was not booked out to paint bodies all day from the early hours! Not sure why though we had noted things seemed a little quieter than usual all round this year. I think the disater in Japan (we were being told awful stories by people we painted who had been IN it but were sheltering in HK) had had an effecton the usual cheeriness of this event.
I got the fab HK MTR (underground train) then walked the rest of the way in – at 7.30 a.m. there were already groups of costumed fans congregating in and outside the stadium. I especially liked these Evil Kenivils (sp??) and Beefeaters.
Anyway we set up and had a small queue waiting when we opened for business – the kid’s rugby matches were in full swing with dozens of young teams battling on the main pitch whislt non-related adults started queuing up to get food/ beer/ seats in the coveted south stand. The husband of a painter I know in the UK was visiting the 7’s and came to get painted – Hi Claire Guest!
We offer a range of faces, something to suit each team/country playing in a range of prices (priced according to size/ speed it can be painted). All money taken on the day goes directly into the chairty boxes for the Rugby’s charity fun.
E.g. fastest & cheapest is a rugby ball stencilled on arm/ face etc, sponged/ painted in the flag colours of your choice (some flags have to be simplified but we can also write the country name underneath it). Team logos (england’s rose, South Africas Springbok etc) are slightly more expensive as they are part stencil, part freehand.
‘Half’ faces cost a bit more still, things like ‘princess’ style stuff, eye designs, half face maoris tribals, etc.
‘Full’ faces being the most expensive of the non-body designs.We do a range of non-rugby/ patriotic designs too, with tigers and butterflies (although the ‘flag butterflies’ go down a treat too) being the most asked for.
And inventing new twists on the patriotic stuff helps us painters stay sane after having done the ump-teenth NZ flag or Fiji ball of the day! This lady, who I paint every rugby day, every year, wanted the HK flag’s Bauhinia flower and the English rugby rose, but rather than 2 plain logos on her cheeks I did this.
Some flags fit faces better than others, and some we try to turn about so they look a bit better -this is Zimbabwe.
I find a lot of adults get painted for the 1st time with us, as they want to complete their fancy dress, or in many cases, don’t have a costume but want to join in the festive atmosphere. And we also get a lot of unusual requests to complete outfits of course:)
This hula ‘girl’ was lovely, as were the rest of his troupe but I’m quite glad he only wanted face paint – its hard to get good artwork onto furry chests like his!
I did still do ‘walk-in’s’ for smaller face & body art. It was actually quite chilly for HK – I ended up being a souveneir rugby jumper – so most of the lads were going for front torso rather than full torso paintworks, so they could still wrap a flag or whatever round their shoulders. This was 2 quick flag torsos’s.
As you can see I mainly work freehand, but cut my own stencils in the shape of useful things like the asstd styles of stars used on the flags we do. I hadn’t had space/ weight to bring my usual big tall makeup chair this year, my back was missing it, but for young lads like these, standing on a normal stacking chair was perfect.
And his mate (who actually got painted 1st after his own DIY effort vanished shortly after he arrived at the stadium – another reason to buy good quality paints!).
There was an odd moment where there was a new voice talking before and between one of HK Rugby 7’s ‘theme songs’, Sweet caroline, by Neil Diamond. The crowd stood up (and so did I) as we realised it was Neil himself talking and wondered if he was there live, but he’d recorded a thank-you message and a new ‘live’ version of the song just for the stadium and they were playing it over the screens! Brilliant.
The South China Morning Post ran a competition getting public to vote for their fave photo from a choice of 40(? I think it was?) shots their press photographers put on their facebook page. A large % were of facepaints by us:) Here they are – as said, SCMP’s not mine…
Anyway another fab event, raising money for a good cause. Thanks again to the HK Rugby 7s and HK Youth Arts foundation for hiring me!