Paint job

Don’t buy a costume this Halloween. Artist Greg Labold shows you how to paint it on.

Think twice before settling for the cheap face paint that crowds discount aisles at stores that offer drugs, food and one-hour photos with its Halloween stock. A poor face-painting job can transform a fun costume into a monster faster than in An American Werewolf in Paris.

TTN reporter Jimmy Viola features the work of Kensington native Greg Labold, co-owner of the Labold Brothers Original Art Company. Labold professionally paints cats, monsters and beards on people at the Philadelphia Zoo (Jimmy Viola/TTN).

Greg Labold of the Kensington-based Labold Brothers Original Art Company knows the horror stories well.

He attended a shoddy face painting class, slept with the paint on and awoke to an itchy, crusty monster melding on his face. Just like house parties on Halloween, leave someone huddled by a toilet or sucking on a water tube in a hospital, Labold knew the incident would likely happen again.

Labold learned from his mistakes after joining the Philadelphia Zoo as a professional face-painter.
He said the best paint material is water-based paint available at Pearl Art and Craft, Dick Blick Art Materials and Artist & Craftsman.

He suggests using a brush made of synthetic hair instead of horse hair to avoid allergic reactions. Labold also said sponges and cotton swabs help to flesh out life-like detail for costumes.

“For a scary face like a monster or to look like you have lots of scars, those are all easy things to sort of pull off with a limited amount of paint,” he said. “It’s very easy to make cuts and bruises or a mustache, unibrow or beard. Any kind of cat, like a tiger or lion, are really successful and exciting faces.”

Jimmy Viola can be reached at

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