How to Paint a Skull Mask for Beginners

Kristin Olsson — 26 October 2018 —

Are you looking for a quick and easy skull face paint idea that would be fast and easy to implement on long lines of clients this Halloween season?

Our School certified instructor Kristin Olsson prepared a great solution! 😃

Get Your Beginner Skull Face Paint Kit Here

Many boys (my own son included) are not very fond of getting paint near their eyes. But they still love a cool skull design!

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to create a fun and easy one stroke skull mask that is fast but impressive looking — just what we are looking for when we have our busy Halloween gigs!

This design can be painted in just 3-4 minutes if you have a long line.

And if you have the chance to spend an additional minute or two, I will show you how to add some super cool details that will definitely impress your little customers! ;-)

Kristin Olsson

Products used:

Tip: Click here to download this super useful “Top 10 products a face painter needs” handout! It’s FREE!

Step 1: Add Contour to Your Skull Face Paint

For the first step of creating this skull face paint, I start from the main shape, I use a ¾ flat brush and a one stroke.

As you can see, the outline is not very accurate and in places, I have lifted up the brush from the surface and placed it down again.

That is intentional — I will add some cool cracks here in the next step!

I have used Swan from Cameleon here which is black, silver and white, but you can always use another one stroke of your own preference, for example, a brown and white combination.

In the School, we have a whole module dedicated to one stroke painting technique — and nailing this is so useful when it comes to painting fast designs.

a boy with a skull mask face painting thats in the beginning stages of development
Tip: Are you a beginner? Check out our Free Guide for Beginner Face Painter and learn where to start, what tools to buy and how to face paint many amazing popular designs!

Step 2: Filling in the Mask

For this step, I fill in the empty area of the skull.

You can use the lightest part of your one stroke color to fill it in very fast, or you can use a sponge with some white color and dab it in the white areas, which is what I did.

I used Superstar white for this, as its glycerin based and blends in more easily with the other colors.

For an additional effect, I very lightly dabbed on a bit of light blue as well, but you can skip the blue if you are in a hurry. 😉

a boy with a countured skull mask face painting filled with white
Tip: Find out what is the best white and black paint in our free face painting guide!

Step 3: Halloween Skeleton Face Paint Cracks

In this step, I add the black outline and paint the cracks in the skull.

As you can see, the gaps I left are now turned into some cool, deep cracks as well!

You don´t have to be very accurate but it is good to keep in mind how cracks would look in reality.

This is where you can put your thick to thin line practice in use, so make sure your brush strokes are not too heavy and finish this Halloween skull face paint in nice sharp tips.

a boy with a countured skull mask face painting thats more shaded and with added cracks

By the way, don’t miss your chance to take our “Improve your linework in 3 Days” Free Online Workshop! 😍

Step 4: The Teeth

For the teeth, I use a flora brush and the double dip technique — the shape of the flora brush is perfect for this shape!

I load the brush with white first, wipe off the excess of paint on the tip and reload the tip only with black. Press the brush down flat and voila — your skull face paint instantly have perfect teeth!

In this step I also add a bit of stenciling — I do love to add stenciled details to my designs! And instead of spending time on the shading, why not use some gradient dots instead?

It is a really fast way of adding interest to your Halloween skull face paint design and it looks super cool as well!

If you have a very long line, you can leave the design like this and you will have one happy customer…

a boy with a compleated skull mask face paint design
Tip: Find out how to stay booked and paid in our free face painting guide!

Step 5: Another Level to Complete Your Skull Face Paint

…or you can take your Halloween skeleton face paint design to the next level and add some cool stitches and a bit of dripping blood for an extra effect! In the photo below, I have made a little step by step for you on how to paint the stitches around the mask.

  1. With black paint and a round brush, paint the basic shape. If you curve some of the stitches very slightly and paint a few on top of each other like a cross-stitch, they will look more realistic on the mask.
  2. Paint the white highlights on top of the stitches. This highlight will make the stitches pop on your design!
  3. Wipe off the majority of black on your brush and dry brush the black on the tips of the stitches to add a shading effect. If your brush is too dry, you can moisten it a little bit on a wet wipe.
  4. Adding a few little drops of blood here and there will give your design an added creepy effect!

Add the stitching and voila — you have a super cool and fast Halloween skull face paint!

a boy looking at the camera at an angle wearing a compleated skull mask face paint design

Want more Halloween inspiration? Our Ultimate Halloween Face Paint Inspiration Guide won’t disappoint! Full of hundreds of designs, video tutorials, and step-by-step instructions. The only way you won’t find the perfect inspiration you’re looking for is if you don’t check it out. 💀 😱

Did you enjoy this easy skull face paint tutorial? 😃

The International Face Painting School team is always working hard to help you stand out from the crowd and learn the most effective techniques and designs!

Share this article with your fellow face painters! 👇👇👇

 — Kristin Olsson

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