How to Face Paint Spiderman

Home > Face Paint Guide > Face Painting DesignsHow to Face Paint Spiderman by Marc Kohler
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Spiderman is one of the most popular face paint designs for boys (along with the Hulk, Skulls, Vampires, Dragons, Pirates, etc.) Today, I am going to show you the nooks and crannies of the Spiderman face to make it as easy for you to do it. As with any of the articles that you read here on, I will discuss general ideas which you can use in your work.

There are two basic styles of face painting full faces. Americans, who have had our craft come out of theatrical make-up, tend to sponge on a base coat first. The base coat can be one color, several colors, or even several colors that overlap. Then, we put the details “on” the base coat. So, when you take a theatrical make-up class here in the States, that is how they will start. In Europe, on the other hand, a different tradition of face paining came about as a result of their “theatre” coming out of a very much older tradition of religious masks and painted faces. Tony van Renterghem, in When Santa Was A Shaman: Ancient Origins of Santa Claus & the Christmas Tree suggests that Santa was a pagan image made to honor the seasons, the discovery of fire, and religion of celebration. Santa is just one mythological figure that was played by dancers in masks and make-up. The masks inspired a different way of painting faces. The style that evolved was to use no base cost, but to paint the face in sections of color. These “parts” had no background color to alter their color making them more vivid than the stage make-up used in the US.

One great example of this European Style is the work of Brian and Nick Wolfe. If you see any of their books, you will find that bold colors are applied separately, so each section has no color behind it. That is the reason that faces in books published in Europe seem brighter than ones here. In fact, even though I cannot read the languages, I have bought quite a few foreign language face painting books. While I cannot read the words, the pictures demonstrate the power of this sectional kind of painting.

Spiderman Face Paint

Spiderman Face Paint - White Eyes Spiderman works best in a combination of the European Style (ES) and the American Style (AS). You see, if we put a red base coat, then the white eyes will be difficult. If we put the red base coat on first, and leave spaces for the eyes, the chances are great that when the white goes on, it will catch the red and make pink in the eyes, so, we use both methods. Following ES, I brush on the pointy eyes first, using a #4 to #8 round brush. This is a stronger and clearer way to make sure that they are the same size, symmetrical, and look great! The size depends on our ability to control the flip of the eyes. You will have to be careful around the eyes - in theatrical make-up we do the whole eyelid which I try to do in my face painting. Do not try this, though, if you cannot guarantee that you will not hit the eye. If you study Spidey’s eyes, you will find that pretty much are always in the same place, so practice hitting the right size and placement by practicing on paper.

This DPW (Department of Public Works? Nope, in face painting, DPW is Draw-Paint Work) will really help anything you later. Spend at least a half hour to an hour a day drawing and sketching - it does not matter what you sketch or draw, what matters is that your hand and eye coordination grows. The results do not matter, what matters is your commitment to you learning - it will last forever.
Spiderman Face Paint - Red Mask Using your brush, carefully line around the eyes, and make a small mask between them with your red. This will make the next step much easier to do, because the red will never touch the white. 
Spiderman Face Paint - Red Base Coat With a sponge, you can do the red base coat now. I know some painters leave the chin or the cheeks undone, but I think it makes the face too much like a mask, and Spiderman definitely does not wear a mask. Applying the paint with the sponge requires lots of work. I start with the chin, forehead, and the bridge just above the nostrils, putting a spot at each point. I then work the paint around the face aiming for an even color. Spread the paint out slowly. Your goal is to make one light, but solid red coat over the whole face, which requires practice. A sponged face that is not even covered will “read” to the viewer as a skin condition. “Read” is a term to describe what the colors in a painting look like to the viewer when looked at from a distance.
Spiderman Face Paint - Black Eye Border The next step is to line the whites of the eyes with black. Here is a another little "cranny" that you can make your own. The style of these black lines around the eyes can be done “quietly”, and be so subtle as to almost not show. They can also be done with a flourish which makes Spidey’s eyes pop. 
Spiderman Face Paint - Webbing The quality of the webbing determines the excellence of the face, so use a fairly fine brush. Check out some Spiderman pictures online. See how the web spokes go straight, and the “arcs” differ around the face? Paint eight spoke lines, skipping over the white eye patches: 2 between the eyes, 2 short ones going from the sides of the eyes up towards the temples, 2 running under the white eye to just between the jawbone and the chin, and the last 2 from between the eyes down on both sides of the mouth to the chin. (See Photo 4). 
Now, paint the arcs connecting the spokes. (Photos 5).
Spiderman Face Paint - Complete If you look at the current pictures of Spiderman, you will see that his webs are not black, they have gray highlights on them. I add these since most of the Spidermen I have painted recently when asked, said that the web was grey. You can get away without the gray, but don’t be surprised if a child asks for it.

Is this enough? Are we done?  Yes and no. I ask the child if they want special Spiderman eyes - glitter!! Some kids will like it, and some won’t. I use liquids and creams so, usually, there is enough moisture to stick on the glitter. If you use cake face paints, then you might need to apply some white paint or mist the area lightly with water to help the glitter stick.
  One last note. sometimes girls will ask for Spiderman of a different color. You can even offer it or have on your poster. The technique is the same, regardless of what base color you use - I have done Spidey’s pink, light blue, and orange. You might also get asked to make a Venom. To paint Venom, after the white eyes in place brush on the black “mask” very lightly - make the black as thin as you can get away with so the webbing will really stand out and make it look good.



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