I received a surprise gift in the mail from my buddy Anne – a copy of Nick & Brian’s new book Extreme Face Painting: 50 Friendly & Fiendish Step-by-Step Demos. So now I can review it for you.
I’ve admired the twins’ work for years and have been painted by, um, one of them, at the 2004 FABAIC in San Francisco – that painting appeared in a couple of magazines too! I was a purple and green wookie…
My hair was actually really purple and green so it HAD to match!!
I’ve run into them at various conventions over the years too – they are excellent teachers and fun to hang out with.
The new book has a good first section covering supplies and techniques with lots of photos to accompany the text. As well there is a DVD included which has two demonstrations on it. I do not own a DVD player so haven’t watched it but have heard from many that they liked it.
The step-by-step designs are divided into 25 friendly faces and 25 fiendish faces typically with five to six step photos and a final photo for each design with written instructions for each photo. The instructions are detailed and fairly specific – including the size/shape of brush used for example.
The designs are all typical Wolfe designs and cover a wide skill level. Some will be easier for beginning painters than some of the others. But all designs will inspire and provide excellent opportunities for practise.
This book is aimed at the mass market rather than specifically at face painters – the publisher also puts out drawing books (Manga, Fantasy, Dragons, etc.) It is great that such excellent painters and teachers have had an opportunity to put out a book of really GOOD face painting for the general interest public market.
There is a BUT… if you are already a face painter AND already own the three Wolfe Cheat Books, the Nick & Brian books and Creative Face Painting you will already have MOST of the designs included in this book in your library.
Frankly, I have seen MOST of the designs in this book in other places – the previously mentioned books, magazines, other books that feature different artists or at conventions. There are only a couple of designs that I don’t remember seeing before (one is the Alien, my least favourite design in the book, er, no I think the Clown is my least favourite – that rainbow dripping is quite disturbing IMO.) Most designs are either exactly the same or variations of existing designs.
This isn’t a negative except if you bought it expecting NEW stuff from them for inspiration…
I would highly recommend this book to a NEW face painter who is just starting to look at expanding their design repertoire. And to experienced painters – if you collect face painting books it would be a nice addition to the library BUT be aware there really isn’t anything new in it.
The list price on the book is US$24.99/CAD$28.99 but it is widely available for less (just saw it on Amazon for US$16.49.) It is a large format soft cover.