Easy Santa Face Painting for Beginners

Santa Face Paint
Annabel Hoogeveen — 20 December 2018 —

Boys like superheroes, so why not make Santa a superhero too? 😃

This Super Santa mask is perfect for boys who don’t like to be painted on the eyes or around the mouth. It will look beautiful all day long, despite drinking and eating all the Christmas treats.

No big beard and rosy cheeks this year for the little Santa’s, but a super cool Santa Claus face paint with his assistant — Rudolph! 😉

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Materials used:

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Step 1: Santa Face Paint Outline and Base Colors

I started this design with a very simple sketch to determine the placement of the mask and Santa, so my blue background wouldn’t interfere with Santa’s face and the red colors later on.

I loaded a 1/2 flat brush with red and a tiny bit of black from the colorblock. With the black on the outside, I painted the mask, the cape, and Santa’s hat.

Because I also wanted a bit of a black outline on the inside of the mask, I repainted the mask shape. But his time with the black on the inside. Between the mask and the cape, I kept a bit of space for the white border.

Next, I filled in the empty spaces on the forehead with a sponge loaded with light blue and added some darker blue on the edges. This is an optional step. If you have little time, just skip the background (and the sketching). It will look super cool without the background too. 😉

a boy with a santa face paint around his eyes and on his forehead that is in the starting phase
Tip: Check out Your Favorite Christmas Ideas with Easy Tutorials for more holiday inspiration!

Step 2: Adding Rudolph and the Belt Buckle

With the same ½ flat brush, loaded with a brown split cake, I continued making my santa claus face paint. I painted Rudolph’s head behind Santa’s left shoulder (on the opposite site from Santa’s hat) and the base for the belt buckle on the nose just between the eyes.

Next, I added the buckle itself with a round brush #4 and some gold shimmer paint.

a boy with a santa face paint around his eyes and on his forehead with an added reindeer

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Step 3: Adding White

With a small chisel brush (or a round brush #4) loaded with regular white, I painted a characteristic white border on the mask, Santa’s beard and the white on his hat.

The faint black outline on the mask now seems to create a shadow underneath the white border, which makes it look more 3D. 🙂

Using two different stencils and a sponge dauber filled with the same white, I then added some snowflakes and stars around my santa makeup.

a boy with a santa face paint around his eyes and on his forehead with an added santa clause
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Step 4: Red, Black and Blue

With a round brush #3 and some red from the colorblock, I painted the noses of Santa and Rudolph, and added rosy cheeks and a bit of red in Santa’s mouth.

Then I loaded a round brush #4 with light blue and added some low lights on all the white parts except the stars, to give it some dimension.

With a round brush #2 and #3 and some regular black, I painted all the black details and outlines. This will tie the entire Santa face paint design together.

a boy with a compleated santa clause face painting design
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Step 5: Shading (Optional) and Highlights to Complete My Santa Claus Face Paint

The final steps in this design consist of adding some additional shading and highlights. For the shading, I used a small blending brush and a baby wipe, but black Starblend powder is a very good alternative too.

With a moistened clean blending brush I went over some of the black lines, in places I wanted to add some more shading. E.g. underneath the mustache, beard and belt buckle and in the cape. If you don’t have time, you can just as easily skip this part.

For the highlights, I used a round brush #3 and some regular white. There is quite some white in this design already, so I only added a few small highlights on Santa’s head and nose, Rudolph’s head and nose, the belt buckle and the cape.

a boy with chirstmas santa clause face paint arount his eyes at an angle

Additional Info:

Like with all my other designs, the focal point theory plays an important role in this one too. The belt buckle is placed in the central FP and the cape (and bottom snowflake) are directed towards the chin FP.

As you can see I didn’t do that with the top snowflake… 😬 And although that’s a mistake, for this tutorial it is very good. 😄 Now you can see how important direction and flow really are. 😜 So remember, when elements have a direction, they need to be placed keeping that direction in mind!!

Because Santa’s hat is asymmetrical I tried to balance it out by painting Rudolph on the other side, and this time I did think of the direction. 😉

a boy with a christmas santa clause around his closed eyes

Ideas for Adjusting This Super Santa Face Paint Design:

For an event, this design may take a bit too long, but you can adjust it easily by skipping some of the steps, e.g.:

  • Skip the blue background (and the need for sketching 😉).
  • Skip the black outlines on the red mask and cape and on Santa’s head. If you use a split cake with red and black you will have a black outline already. It may be a little bit fainter, but if you work neat, it will look perfect and will have enough contrast to just leave it as it is.
  • Skip the black outlines on the white borders and beard. Especially when you don’t have a blue background, the white will stand out enough on itself. You do need to separate the hat border and mustache from the beard with a little line and paint the face (draw the eyes and mouth and paint an outline on the nose), but that will take less time.
  • Skip the blue lowlights. I think they will make it look much nicer, but… when there is very little time, you can also skip these.

It is also possible to just paint the mask and cape and add some snowflakes as a base and paint the letter ‘S’ (for SuperSanta) in the colors of a candy cane, on top of the mask.

For the ones who don’t like to paint faces, that’s a great alternative too. You could even use the shape of a Superman logo (maybe you have a stencil for that one?) and paint it in the candy cane or Christmas colors! 😃

Santa Claus Face Paint Step By Step

Want more Christmas tutorials? Check out our other tutorials:
Arctic Ice Princess by Kristin Olsson
Christmas Reindeer by Kristin Olsson
Three Magical Christmas Butterflies by Annabel Hoogeveen
Super Quick Snowman by Kristin Olsson


Did you enjoy this Santa face paint tutorial? Hit “SHARE” and let your fellow face painters know about it! 👇👇👇

Let’s spread more smiles this Christmas season and make as many children happy as we can! 😍

 — Annabel Hoogeveen

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