So many colors, so little time - by Gary Cole


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A common question from face painter's is "what colors should I have in my face painting kit". If you asked ten people this question you would probably get ten different answers. I'll give you my opinion and then you can alternate your kit to what you think. I often can judge a person's NATURAL artist's ability by the number of colors in their kit. A NATURAL artist will always be the one with 24 to 50 colors in their kit. For some reason NATURAL artists tend to think they need every color available in their kit. For this reason, Ruby Red Paints carries a full line of over 100 colors (see ). No other face paint company in the world carries so many colors. To add to this we pantone match to almost any color. Most of the other top, quality brands also carry a very wide selection of colors. Not that I do not want you to buy the full range of  Ruby Red Paints colors but unless you are trying to build muscle mass for the next Olympics, I would think, you do not want to carry around so many colors. On the other hand you do not want to be locked into only eight colors. When you have the basic eight colors (white, black, red, yellow, blue, orange, green and pink) you have to do a lot of mixing when you need browns and even then you can not mix a metallic range. You will find this dilemma with all of the major brands.
In my opinion the ideal number of colors for a kit is eighteen. This comes form ten years experience on both the manufacturing and painting side of this industry. When I paint, I carry with me a binder with about 120 full face designs and another 100 cheek art designs. With the eighteen colors I carry, I can paint every one of these faces with no additional missing. In the standard assortment you might find the top selling Ruby Red colors and these are white, black, dark grey, turquoise, royal blue, blue, pastel blue, pastel green, bright green, lilac, purple, red, orange, yellow, pink, pastel yellow, light beige and light brown.
One nice thing about the new Ruby Red Paints color wheel is it is a refillable system. All eighteen colors can we swapped out for other colors if that is your preference and you simply drop in a new 2ml paint in the slot as you run out of a color. There is no more scooping paint out of one container to fill a multi-colored palette. It is a very economical and flexible system.
The last thing you would need to take into consideration is, what is your venue and does it require special colors? As an example... if you were going to go to a Dallas Cowboy football game to paint sports faces you would need to consider the very specific colors needed for both teams played. For the Dallas Cowboys your colors would already be there in the top eighteen colors suggested above. However if they were playing the Miami Dolphins that week, you would want to compliment the palette with the Dolphin teal color. You do not want to substitute another color for teal because it would screw up their team logo to put bright green where the teal should go and you also do not want to have to be custom mixing the teal all day long. With the Ruby Red Paints system, even when you order only a 2ml unit of color it is inexpensive at $2.50 and one 2ml paint will easily paint ten full faces.
As my personal evolution has come along in face painting, I tend to be more and more of a minimalist. I like to carry as little as possible and I like my set-up and tear-down to be quick and easy. In fact I put everything inside a back pack and with that I can paint all day long and have literally everything I need in terms of painting supplies and tools. The color wheel, especially when I use the hard shell base, it is very durable and with the eighteen colors I can literally paint anything the child asks for. So go out and do your over version of the paint set evolution. The trick is narrowing down to YOUR basic eighteen colors. As time goes on you will learn that you rarely use a couple of colors and also you feel a need for a couple more. Simply swap these out and you will have the perfect eighteen color kit customized to your liking. If that does not work, then we still have another forty two colors we are willing to sell you.




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