Today I will be demonstrating how to paint a skull on someone's face. This is a fun and easy look for Halloween parties and festivals. The skull painting goes well with a skeleton costume but can be worn with whatever you like. The photo on the above right shows some other skulls I recently painted. I have been face painting for over ten years and am majoring in Art Education.
Feel free to watch my video if you need farther instruction. I hope you enjoy my tutorial.
Let's get started!
Here is a link if you want to purchase the costume worn by the model in my pictures.http://www.partycity.com/product/totally+skelebones+costume+adult.do
Step 1: Basic Supplies
You are going to need the following supplies:
1. Square Brushes : Small (#2),Medium(#4 or #6), Large (#12 or 14) Large brush is optional. You can get these at your local craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Micheal's. Any brand of brushes will do the trick.
2. Small Round Synthetic Sponge. You are going to need to cut or tear the sponge in half. This can be found in the ceramics section at most any craft store. It is also known as a round throwing sponge.
3. Paper Towel
4. Cup for Water.
5. Black and WhiteWater Based Face Paint. It is very important to get a good quality water based paint. It will make the process much easier. I am using Paradise make-up professional size by Mehron. I highly recommend this brand. It can be found at a Halloween supply shop or purchased on the web. http://www.mehron.com/Paradise_Makeup_Professional_p/800.htm
Step 2: Lay in the Foundation: White Paint
This is the ground work to your skull.
1. Dip your sponge in the water and ring it out. You want the sponge just barely moist so the paint doesn't run.
2. Get a good amount of paint saturated into your sponge.
3. Dab or wipe paint with the sponge all around the face including over the lips. Make sure you warn your model when you sponge over the lips so you don't get any paint in their mouth. (Optional: large brush to apply the paint instead of sponge.)
4. Leave a rounded rectangular shape blank around the eyes. This will be the only part of the face without paint.
Optional Large Brush:You can use your large dry brush to blend in the sponged texture if you want the white paint to appear even more smooth.) I don't mind using only the sponge for this step.
Step 3: Shaping and Hollowing Out the Skull: Eyes, Cheeks, and Temples.
1. First you need to get your sponge a tiny bit wet and ring it out.
2.Tap your sponge in the black paint until it is nicely coated.
3. Sponge in the rectangular black shape around the eyes. Be careful going over the eyelids by applying soft taps of the sponge. Tell your model to keep their eyes closed until you are finished with this part.
4. Take your (#2 or #4) brush, which ever feels more comfortable for you to smooth out the eye sockets with your black paint. This will cover up any messy sponge mistakes and make the eyes look more symmetrical.
5. Sponge on a small amount of black on both sides of the temples and cheek bones. This will create a nice greyish tone over the white and give the skull more depth. Have your model suck in his cheeks, then dab on the black where they are sucking in. It is a paisley shape that gets smaller towards the lips. This will make the cheeks look sunken in like a skull.
6. Take your small or medium brush and outline the sunken cheek shapes with more black.
7. (Optional) Create the grey tone over the lips. While you still have this smaller or medium brush, bring a little of that black over the lips and then blend in with a dry brush of any size.This will create more depth to the teeth by having a grey mid tone. This isn't that noticeable in the end.
Step 4: Adding More Depth: Brush on the Teeth and Nose
1. Brush on the nose with your small or medium brush with black paint.This a rough triangular shape. Make sure you leave one side of the nose with some white showing to emphasize a highlight in the nose.
2. Draw vertical lines over the lips slightly spaced apart to indicate the teeth. Use your smallest brush. It helps to have a steady hand for this part while slowly applying the thin black lines. If the lines are a little wobbly like mine that is fine. ( Remember to always blot your brush on paper towel if the paint seems too runny.)
3. Connect the teeth with a "M" shape on the top and bottom. It is an upside down V for each tooth which creates the M.
4. Add a black horizontal line across the top of the "M" shapes. Do this on the bottom and top teeth with your small or medium brush. This makes the teeth look more connected.
Step 5: Final Creepy Detials
1. Add cracks around the face with black paint using your small brush. These are just jagged lines that look similar to lightning or tree branches. A nice place to start is on the forehead. You can add as many as you like all around the face. I think the more cracks on the skull the better.
2. Using your medium or small brush, add white paint over the eyes. This is an oval shape that covers the eye lid.Be careful not to get the paint too runny so that it doesn't run in your subjects eyes.
3. Highlight the teeth. While you still have some white on your small or medium brush, highlight the teeth with the brush on its side. This will make the teeth pop. Each tooth should only need about one swift brush stroke.
4. Last all you need is a black dot for the pupil using your small brush. Dab a small amount of paint on the brush and lightly draw on a black dot. The dot can be bigger if you want the subject to have a more creepy stare.
This is the ending to your gruesome and creepy skull !
(Optional: Making the eyes look blood shot.) This is achieved with red and yellow water based paint. Using your small brush, draw jagged lines with red paint from the outside of painted eyelid towards the pupil. You can look at a picture of eye veins as a reference if needed. You can add yellow veins and a yellow pupil to make the eyes look even more scary.
(Optional: Adding a bow on the forehead for the girl skull.) Outline a bow with a small brush using black paint. If you need to look at a reference photo of a bow that's fine. It is basically two sideways triangles with a square in the middle.Fill in the bow with red paint using your medium brush. I like to add Wet and Wild glitter on the bow while its still wet.You can apply the glitter with your finger or a large dry brush.
I don't recommend buying the yellow and red since these paints are too expensive for such small detail. They go a long way though, so if you want to do more face painting they are worth it. You will have them for a long time. Good luck!