Adventures in Face Painting

Hello Friends!

Welcome to my blog, where I share my adventures in face painting: new designs; challenges; funny stories; and life lessons.

To schedule me for your party or event in the Summerlin area, email me at:

I hope to see you at an event soon!



Friday, November 6, 2015

Well, I moved to Las Vegas!

That's still really strange to say, but my husband and I moved here in May of 2015 because of his work.  And I haven't posted anything in about two years, so here are some of my best designs for 2014 and 2015.  I miss all the little faces I painted in Utah, but I'm making lots of friends here in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas and I'm having just as much fun painting faces here as in Kaysville. I realize that I need to do this more consistently to get better at it, but I'm please with much of my work. Also, Wes (husband) bought me an Iwata airbrush and Iwata Ninja compressor, so I can start having fun with that too!  (By the way, these are not in order.)

This stitchy skeleton is probably one of the prettiest designs I've painted. I don't know who the original artist is because my client just brought me a photo that she found online. Anyway, I really like how it turned out. October 2015

 I face paint the children in my neighborhood on Halloween every year, and this girl wanted to be an escaped prison inmate. I thought they would look like a normal person, but maybe a person who had recently been in a really bad fight.  I have to admit that it's a little disturbing to see her look like this, but I guess that means that I did a good job.  October 2015

 This was at a church party where I had to paint about 5,000,000 kids with super-quick and easy designs.  I like this photo because this little guy LOVED how he looked.  He didn't want to wash it off that night, and him mom told me that he cried the next day that it was wearing off. October 2015

 This young man hired me to paint his face for a party.  He had seen a photo this design (on my husband) from last year and wanted the same thing.  It's difficult to produce the same detail exactly, but it turned out well, I think. October 2015

 This little one wanted to be a Japanese girl. I think her mom might have put a black wig on her later, I hope.  It turned out cute, I think. October 2014

 When I child asks to be painted as a zombie, I always have to judge just how zombie-ish to make the design - really super gross? Kinda cartoon-ish? Somewhere in between?  I chose in between for this one.  October 2014

 Adorable Iron Man! He didn't really enjoy me pouncing the gold paint on his face, so I didn't want to get too close to his eyes. October 2015

  The Joker. This is kind of a sloppy, slap-on-the-paint-and-make-it-messy technique.  October 2015 

 Me. This turned out to be a mistake because my nose started running and I needed to blow my nose - which was difficult to do without messing up the makeup.  Next year - no makeup on my nose.  October 2015

 TMNT. October 2015

 R2-D2.  October 2015.  (She had a photo that I copied.)

 My darling husband, last year.  I love showing people this photo. October 2014

 The rattle was a little too big, and I need to do better detail on the under-side of the snake, but this was another super-fast design at the church.

 Okay - my lines are a tad messy and thick, but spider webs are a Halloween classic.  And those eyes just make it amazing.  October 2015

 Storm Trooper.  She had a photo.  I'm not super pleased with it, but it is the very first storm trooper that I ever painted.  October 2015

So those are my favorites.  Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Woefully Neglected Blog

Hello Friends,

Facebook has taken over the world, and I mostly post photos and updates on my Facebook Page, which is...

Face Painting by Jennifer Van Dyke

But it has come to my attention that not everyone in the world is on Facebook.  (Gasp!)  And who can blame them?  It really is a great big black whole that can devour hours of your day without you even realizing it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm not on any other social media website, but I still struggle with the best way to have a digital presence.  I probably need an official website (and I'm working on that), but, in the mean time, I will try to do better with my blog.

Anyway, Halloween is just three weeks away, and I've been having fun painting!  (Which is a nice way to cover the needs of my addition, which is buying new face paint.  It works out nicely that way.)  So.... here are some of the cute faces I've painted since the last time I posted.

This Sugar Skull is not my design.  I kind of followed the design of a picture I found online, but I don't know who the original artist is.

This Easter Bunny is my own design.  For small children, I really try to do designs that do not involve the mouth.  That way they can eat and drink without messing up the paint.

In a Frozen-obsessed year, I had to do some icy designs.

Very simple flower crown.  Plus eye lashes.

Hello Kitty

My design for a company that makes bicycle components.  I used clip art for the inspiration.

As I was cleaning up at the end of a very long event, this little straggler came and asked for a rainbow pig design.  How could I say no to that?  I'd never done a rainbow pig design!  So this is what I quickly painted, and she was thrilled.  I think it turned out cute.

This skeleton wanted to have a Hulk face.  Never assume you know what the child will want.



The adorable Bat Girl!

Captain America

By the way, this was a HERO party, and this little guy wins the prize for the BEST hero costume EVER.  What better hero could there be?

It is actually very difficult for me to do thin swirly lines on myself.  I must practice more.

Trying to be scary - but not too scary.

The tricky thing about Halloween is wanting to try scary faces, but not wanting to get into the really creepy designs.  So I either try to make things sort of comic-book-ish, or I try to lighten it up, like putting a party mask on a zombie.

Another thing that I always consider is taking the make off.  Most of my paint comes off very easily with just a baby wipe.  But little boys especially aren't all that comfortable with anyone touching their eyelids in the first place (while little girls seems to have plenty of experience imitating their mothers' styles of eye shadow application and have no problem with it), let alone rubbing off black face paint, so I try to avoid the eye area as much as possible.  I want the children - and their mothers - to be just as happy at the end of the party as they were at the beginning.   --  Eh-hem, though I must confess that I am always a bit gratified when a mom reports that her child did not want the face paint taken off at night.  And I am even more gratified when moms send me photos of what the face paint looks like three days later (impressively good, in some cases) before they finally have to insist on washing it off, much to the child's dismay.

I have such a fun job!  I just love it!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Designs

I really love it when a child asks me to paint a design I've never done before. It's always a fun challenge, and sometimes I really like how the new design turns out. Here's an example: this young lady wanted me to paint an owl mask. It turned out cute!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

TIGER, tiger, burning bright...

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

This hand could do it with face paint!
I'm excited to get back into the fun of face painting this summer.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So Much Fun!

Face Painting is so much fun!  I did a party yesterday, and the girls had a blast running around acting out their face painting characters.  The girls who had "people" designs, took care of the girls who had "animal" designs - like pets.  The panda and the dalmatian were growling at each other, but they weren't fighting - they were communicating.  When asked what they were saying to each other, they had to go into the othe room for a second to figure it out.  It was so cute!

Anyway,  I'm really happy with the new Blow Fish design, and the Ice Princess.

Ice Princess

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Creative Journey

My Creative Journey:
I've learned a lot from doing face painting. I'm really happy with how many of my designs turn out, and some designs are just - meh. Okay. Not great. It's the same thing as when I'm scrapbooking, or cooking, or writing, or singing - or pursuing any artistic endeavor. Not everything is perfect. Not everything turns out as I had envisioned it. Sometimes I feel really bad about that. But I'm realizing that that's okay, and that very few people expect perfection. Mostly, they just want a positive experience. Maybe a recipe doesn't turn out exactly right, but the meal can still be enjoyable. Maybe a scrapbook page looks a little unbalance, but the memories that I have preserved are still precious. Maybe I don't hit a note exactly right in a song, but the message can still be felt. And maybe a few of my brush strokes are little crooked or clumsy, but the child can still feel very special, very important, very cared about. The positive experience is what's really important, so that's my goal - to make every child have a positive experience where the get to be the star for just a few minutes. And then I get to see that great smile when they look in the mirror, and that's what makes it such a positive experience for me as well.
And, speaking of positive experiences, the kids in the following photos got so excited about having their faces painted that they kept coming back and wanted designs on their arms and hands.  So here's what they wanted:

First of all, this little girl wanted to be a Winter Fairy (and I'm always a little sad that the snow flake doesn't show up in photos very well), but that wasn't all she wanted. She also wanted Cherry Blossoms on one arm and Bumble Bees on the other.  Apparently, she didn't care about seasonal continuity, but that's okay. ; )
Butterflies are always a favorite with the girls, and this little cutie ask for a pink butterfly. But she also wanted more than one design. When she saw my picture of Pikachu, she pointed to it and asked for "that yellow bunny". So I painted it on her little hand. She was very good to hold very still and was very happy.

This boy liked dragons!  He wanted one on his face, and two on his arms, AND a scar.  And he wanted me to make the scar realistic.  I did my best, and he was happy with hit, but I think I'd better practice making 'realistic' scars a little more. 


This young lady chose a Christmas Poinsettia.   I really like this design, and it could be easily modified to be a Hawaiian flower in the summer.
Oh - and this is what I looked like while face painting for a Coat Drive for KUTV and the Utah Food Bank. It was a cold morning - and early - but it was fun.