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In only a few hours, Troy Ganser, director of TAG Art Company, and his team can create hundreds of pale and bloody zombies. No, he does not spread the “zombie virus” by biting innocent victims. Ganser is a painter - a face painter - and each year he participates in the Downtown Improvement District's Fright Night fun at the Zombie Machine.
Ganser shared some of his institutional knowledge and face painting tips to give readers a sneak peek into the life of zombie-creator. Here are some Halloween face painting suggestions from the pro:
Buy quality makeup and always do a test patch
There are a few common types of face paint: water-based, petroleum-based and glycerin-based. Ganser said don't buy cheap makeup. While he typically uses the water-based makeup, he said people who just apply the product during Halloween can use any regular store-bought product.
The greasepaint, which is oil-based, can feel extremely uncomfortable not to mention it's very hard to get off, and the makeup remover for those types of products is just as problematic. However, grease paint is still hypoallergenic and nontoxic, so that's a plus.
Also, do not put makeup that you've never used before on a large portion of your skin. Some types and brands of makeup can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin, Ganser suggest looking for nontoxic and hypoallergenic makeup.
“When in doubt test it out,” he said.
Get a kit with a variety of brushes and colors
The application process is specific, too. Ganser has a kit including a variety of brush sizes, makeup color choices, sanitizing liquid and glass cups filled to keep materials clean. A variety of brushes will give you more opportunity to use different painting techniques. Use a large brush for the overall base color than small, fine brushes for details. Ganser also suggests sponges for personal, not professional, use as long as you discard used sponges because they can harbor germs and bacteria.
The kit does not have to be elaborate at all. Ganser is very creative in selecting his hodgepodge collection of tools. Make sure you get something that fits your purpose and budget, but consider quality when making your purchases.
Understand your face structure and plan your design
Start off with an idea or design in mind. If you find that your idea is not conducive to how you look, make sure to adapt your design. Ganser uses the lines and contours of a face to create a custom look and to execute proper shadowing that brings dimension to any ordinary face-painting session.
Also, be patient and take your time. Ensure you are using thin layers for the most comfortable and best-looking face-painting design. If free hand design is not your thing, try using a stencil.
Now, you're prepared to zombie-fy yourself for Fright Night. If that's a little too much, call the TAG Art Company team. Ganser is an artist who can go above and beyond the call of a simple zombie look. He can design a creation no matter what the topic or subject matter. Ganser said the company does everything from small birthday parties to large events such as Fright Night and Komets games.