Big Nose Buddies Jungle (or Grasslands) Series: The Zebra


Technically, a zebra would have to be part of a grassland series instead of a jungle series, but we're just generally talking African wild animals, so we'll throw it in here, anyway. The problem with doing full face zebras tends to be that because of their black muzzle, that's a lot of black on the face of a child, and it's around the mouth—the most likely place to be rubbed and smudged. This design is great for younger children because it moves the entire zebra shape up above the eyebrows. If you have a wiggler in your chair, you don't have to add the background trees on either side, but just stick with the zebra in the center and add the green grass below him. 


Black, grey, and white small split cake 
Green small split cake (TAG colors)
• Sunset colors split cake (Global Maui or Caribbean)
Black face paint (Diamond FX)
White face paint (Wolfe)
Sponge (Always Wicked butterfly sponge)
1/2-inch flat brush
#5 round brush (Loew Cornell golden handle)
#2 round brush (Loew Cornell golden handle)
Cosmetic grade glitter optional


As always with the Big Nose Buddies, make your nose shape first in white with a small brush, just above the eyebrow line. For an animal like the zebra, this will help you sponge the background around it without getting colors where you're going to be painting with white later. 

After the shape is in place, sponge around it with your sunset-colored split cake. If you're dealing with a child who doesn't want you near the eyes, just stay up on the forehead for this design. 

Load a #5 round brush with white and fill in the upper part of the head and the ears. Load your 1/2-inch flat brush from the black and grey split cake, staying as much on the black as possible. Color around the muzzle shape, keeping the black on the outside. Fill in the center with the grey side of the brush. The center will still be quite black, which it should be, but there will be just enough lightness to give a little 3D quality to the muzzle. 

Use the #2 round brush and black to add details to the zebra's head.  

 Add silhouette grassland trees to either side of the forehead.

Use the 1/2-inch flat brush to add green grass below the zebra and under your silhouettes on the sides.

Use a dot stencil and black with a dauber or sponge to add some texture above the eyes and at the sides of the design. 

Finish up your design by adding white highlights to the zebra and stars in the sky with a #2 round brush and white. (Glitter is optional for a glittering zebra design.) 

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in Elgin, Illinois, and her artwork has appeared in The Colored Palette and SkinMarkz magazines. She services the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs, Chicago’s north side, and the eastern and southeastern suburbs of Rockford. Stop by to enjoy more of Beth’s face painting tutorials.