What to do when you can’t bodypaint during a pandemic, #1.

Soooo…. what a year! I still subscribed to a lot of the Chinese newspapers from living and painting in Hong Kong, so had been alarmed by virus reports, and stopped taking bookings over Dec 2019. Which meant that aside for 2 bookings in January, I didn’t paint any bodies at all in 2020.

Luckily, I had a 4 year old, who (to begin with) was very keen on face painting. His elder brother hates it, and has been painted maybe 5 times in his whole life, including, once, by someone at Centre Parcs who’s ‘creation’ confused even my incredibly polite mum.

Usually, with school runs/ kids, house, working for Hobbycraft and my own face/ body paint bookings and craft orders, I had to fight Euan off my facepaint kit and restrict him to faces at weekends. He does have his own mini kit, but of course my big expensive setup is far more interesting to him.

Luckily, his infant school set fairly vague themes every week of that first lockdown. As long as we did things (suggested, or our own ideas) to vaguely go with the book or theme of the week, and sent in photo evidence, we were OK. So we did crafts, attempted to read books (nope – he loves being read TO, just not DIY-ing it). And, face painting.

As I began my facepaint career when I was a Zoo Education Officer, I have always talked about the creature I was painting to the face getting painted, as an extra learning opportunity.

Euan and I would watch some research – usually a marvellous BBC Wildlife episode, or the bits chopped out by Andy on CBBC, followed up with facts from the amazing Arkive site which was contributed to by my old workplace the Natural History Museum and many of my University Biological Imaging colleagues. Then I would paint whilst chatting to him, and later film him explaining his facts, to send to school.

Some of the parents in his class asked to watch, so we started filming or even live-facebooking these face painting chats. This was a bit of a learning experience for me as Paintopia Jenn usually deals with all the techy / social media bits and I just talk or paint on them! I’ve a setup to film myself body painting in time-lapse, but it didn’t really work for live faces/ chatting, as I couldn’t always see if we were properly in the screen.

So here you go.

Squiggly random 4 year old…

1st week – Super hero Week & Bat Appreciation Day

A rainbow bat. (Yes I had yet to order our first shaver to do his haircuts). I was still trying to set up my phone whilst accidentally filming so please excuse the flapping around at the start.

Still Super Hero Week – so, Spidey. This was the 2nd attempt that morning, as tears had destroyed the first.

The live for this Batman-city is on my facebook…

Same for this Teenage Mustant Ninja Turtle

The Enormous Crocodile Book week – interactive talking crocodile facepaint

And look – 1st every haircut by mummy! Poor soul, they do improve, I hope…

Another reptile, a lizard

Hmm, a lizard…cant find the video think it was a Facebook live only…

Still on Roald Dahl, so, a snake arm paint…

A favourite, DINOSAUR week. He didn’t want my standard easy talking dino, but a stegosaurus, which I need to think more on.

And more, my 1st go at a Pteranodon flying dinosaur, needs another go… I wasn’t allowed to finish either.

This week – Sealife! So we made a Shark fin/ teeth headband , and this…

Africa was this week’s lockdown homeschooling project, so I had LOADS of ideas as 1 of the Zoos I worked in is now called Africa Alive so even back in 2000 specialised in African species. Ahhh, doing the lion talks whilst trying to avoid reg the male spraying us with urine through the fence…

Anyway, grumpiest Equine things I have met, a Zebra.

And then a tiger, of course. Memorable events at ‘my’ zoos included one tiger charging straight at me (still 1 fence between us) then clapping his gigantic paws together and showering me with a puff of feathers and blood, as he caught a very confused pheasant in front of a large audience.

This cheetah facepaint suited him…

Hopefully that killed off an hour of lockdown for you, we (mostly) had fun doing them!

All products are cosmetics, mainly Csmeleon paints & brushes from the Paintopia store. Most stencils I make and sell myself on Cats Craft Cabin , or contact me.

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