Gretchen Fleener


About the artist

Gretchen Fleener began face painting 25 years ago at an amusement park and has since turned it into her full time career. Gretchen owns and operates Paintertainment, a USA-based entertainment agency and online retailer of face and body art supplies, and the Glitter Glamper, which provides body glitter at fairs and festivals. She has published 7 books on the subject of face painting, maintains a blog, monthly e-newsletter and YouTube channel, and is the editor of Wet Paint Magazine. Gretchen also loves to share her knowledge live, hosting monthly paint jams in her home and teaching at workshops around the world, and is very excited for her first time participating in EFABE this year!

Weekend classes


In Gretchen’s realistic jewelry workshop, she will take you in-depth into realism, walking you step-by-step through painting a realistic gemstone, all the while explaining lighting and shading principles and the anatomy of a cut gem. Learning the principles behind a realistic gem will enable you to grasp the underlying ideas of realism, so you’ll better understand how to simplify and apply those rules to quicker, on-the-job designs, which will be covered during the second workshop.

As we transform our gems into a more complete piece of jewelry, Gretchen will demonstrate how to make realistic drop shadows, so your jewelry really looks like it’s sitting above the skin! Have you tried painting jewelry but something just doesn’t look right? No worries! We will also be looking at visual examples of some of the most common mistakes people make when attempting realistic jewelry, and how to fix them. If time allows, Gretchen will take a poll to see what YOU would like to her to walk you through, from the large assortment of gems and chain styles illustrated in her book, “Jewelry for Face & Body Artists!” You will leave this workshop having painted a photo-worthy gemstone, equipped with the methods needed to create more in the future, and the ability to pinpoint what needs to be changed in order to achieve that realistic illusion.

Workshop #2:  “ON-THE-JOB JEWELRY”

Where would you ever use jewelry painting on the job? Well, knowing how to paint a gem can come in very handy if you forget to bring your rhinestones, if you get that super picky princess who wants a shape or color you don’t have, or if you simply need a smaller or larger gem than you have in your collection of stencils or rhinestones. Painted decolletage jewelry is Gretchen’s go-to design idea when the party mom sits in her chair and says “make something pretty!” Nothing makes your client feel beautiful and special like a one-of-a-kind decolletage design! Being able to fully customize a gem will enable you to match any outfit. Painted bracelets are also a great idea for those kids and adults who don’t want anything on their face!

While her other class will go in-depth on the subject of realistic jewelry, this workshop will be geared more towards on-the-job applications for jewelry painting. In this workshop, Gretchen will start with a basic recap of gem shading. She will then walk you step-by-step through a gem with a facet design that is simple and easy to remember how to do on the job, and can be adjusted to fit within whatever time frame you have.

Next, Gretchen will show you how to turn your stand-alone gem into an exquisite piece of jewelry or crown in less time than you think! She’ll share her speed tips and tricks for making super fast yet realistic looking details like beads and tiny gems in settings. You will leave with the knowledge of how to make intricate designs that take much less time to paint than they first appear!

Tools to bring (applies to both workshops): 

  • Cameleon small blending brush (or any dried up, fluffy old brush)
    • Round brushes (at least a fine one #0-#1 and a larger #3-#5)
    • Flat brush (1/2″ is preferred but whatever you have will work!)
    • Assortment of small daubers…whatever size you have, from 1/2″ down to dotter size
    • A range of different types of paint in a similar color (ie. green, dark green, light green, metallic green, UV green…any color range will do!)
    • Wax based black and white (like Cameleon, PXP or Diamond FX)
    • Glycerine based black and white (like Paradise)