Face painting dates back to ancient times; we’ve always been attracted to it. Whether for tribal fighting, ceremonial rituals, opera, or court jesters---painting our faces and bodies seems to be ingrained in us.
I stumbled across an amazing slideshow of pictures taken by German photographer Hans Silvester who documented the extraordinary body painting of the Surma and Mursi peoples of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia. According to the New York Times review of his documentary “…They paint themselves or one another two or three times a day, using pigment made from earth or ground stone mixed with water. Executed quickly, the abstract, vibrantly patterned motifs reflect a sophisticated vocabulary of mark-making, finger-painting and hand-printing techniques…”
Take a look at this beautiful pictorial and be prepared to feel a bit humbled.
When my kids were young, we did plenty of face painting with store bought products, but I think I would have really enjoyed making our own. Here’s a tutorial to do just that:
How to Make Your Own Face Paint on wikiHow – “the world’s collaborative how to manual”. The advances of collaboration has to be one of the coolest things about the internet---I love wiki.