A Nautical Variation on Father’s Day


A nautical theme is a common choice for Father’s Day, so here’s one last graffiti-style lettering design for your holiday board, in case you’ve got some future captains in line.


TAG light blue face paint
TAG royal blue face paint
Diamond FX black face paint
Diamond FX white face paint
#1 round brush
#3 round brush
1/2 inch flat brush (for the dolphin)


1. For this design, I chose TAG light blue and TAG royal blue colors, since they are vivid on the skin, and I absolutely fell in love with them the first time I tried them out. Load your sponge with both of them, and then squeeze it into shape as you form the letters for DAD, beginning with the D on the bottom, since it will overlap the others. I found it took a little practice to make letters with my sponge, but one of the great things about sponges is that you can change their shape easily by scrunching them. (I also cleaned up the edges with a corner of wet wipe if my shape wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be.)


2. Next I added a few extra shapes around my design. Since this was an oceanic theme, I chose, in addition to the heart, a dolphin and an anchor. If you’d like to change it out a bit and go with a more piratical look, you could substitute a pirate skull and some cross bones instead and omit the heart.


The dolphin was made with a 1/2 inch flat brush which I had double-loaded with light blue and royal blue. If you haven’t tried using one-stroke techniques, it may take a little practice, but it’s the fastest way I know of to get a nice dolphin shape, and the light interior and dark exterior also add to the 3D illusion of your dolphin.

3. Once my shapes were established, I loaded my #1 round brush with Diamond FX black and created an outline for my letters and images. If you find outlining is a challenge, make sure you’re staying up on the tip of your brush while working. A wax base paint such as Diamond FX will thin out nicely for outlining while still retaining it’s deep black color, so it’s an excellent choice for this.


4. As a last step I went in with my Diamond FX white and #1 round brush to create highlights. This time I added some dots which transitioned from large to small on the letters. You might also add water splashes around the dolphin if you like.


Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in the NW Chicago suburbs. She also writes for as the Chicago Face Painting Examiner.