Being Thankful: Little Friends Tutorial


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. While thinking of what I’m thankful for this year what immediately came to mind was that I’m thankful for my many friends. In honor of all the good friends I’ve accumulated through the years, I created this little cheek art design of two best friends. I hope you enjoy learning to paint it.


TAG Skin Tones Face Paint Palettes
Paradise light blue
Paradise light purple
Paradise dark purple
Paradise dark pink
TAG light green
TAG yellow
TAG orange
Diamond FX white
Diamond FX black
#1 round brush
#2 round brush
#5 round brush


1. Begin by creating an outline of your two friends in Diamond FX white using a #2 round brush. They are very simple, and anyone can paint this design if they remember the simple shapes.


2. The TAG skin tones palette is a wonderful palette for creating cartoon characters with varying skin tones, from light to very dark. I choose a couple of middle tones for my two little girls and painted them in with the #5 round brush.


3. Next fill in the colors for the hair, clothes, and grass for your two friends. Since some of the areas were small, I used the #2 round brush for this, but any round brush you’re comfortable with will work.



4. Sponge some light blue around the design for the sky. If you feel it’s hard to get around your characters, it’s okay to do this step first while you have only your white outlines of the design.


5. With a #1 round brush, make some black outlines for your characters. All of a sudden they’re coming to life!


6. The background will be plain without some fall design, so use the #2 round brush to make some white swirls to show the fall wind carrying the orange leaves through the air. As you outline the leaves, makes sure to put a few tiny lines near them to show their movement in the air.


7. As a final step, use your #1 or #2 round brush and some Diamond FX white to put in a few highlights.


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.