Big Nose Buddies Jungle Series: Monkey Tutorial

Last weekend I had one of the requests that I dread most—a full-face monkey. While I've painted lots of full-face animals, the reason I dislike painting a monkey is that, as in this case, the little boy wanted the monkey to be brown. All brown. Since he was a fairly tan little kid already, that didn't leave much room for artistic imagination past the black outline and the white highlights. Also, he didn't want me to paint anything near his eyes, which made it doubly difficult to get a decent monkey on him as he tried to bury his chin in his chest. 

So for kids like this little guy who want an animal design but hate getting face paint near their eyes, Big Nose Buddies are for them. They're fun, with a big nose for extra whimsy, and they contain bright colors. We'll start this week with the jungle series and a monkey. 


• Light brown face paint (Paradise)
Brown face paint (Paradise)
Green small split cake (TAG)
Black face paint (Diamond FX)
White face paint (Wolfe)
Royal blue face paint (Paradise)
1/2-inch flat brush
#2 round brush
#4 round brush
Sponge or dauber
BAM dot stencil


Load the 1/2-inch flat brush with light and medium/dark brown. Keeping the dark to the outside, make a large oval which ends just below the eyebrow line. Add a small curve above it and two small ears as shown.

Load the 1/2-inch flat brush from the small green split cake and make two leaves over the eyebrows. 

As you add the other four leaves, make sure that the are not parallel with each other, but come away at an angle. 

Load a dauber or sponge with royal blue and sponge over the dot stencil to fill in the empty space around the monkey and leaves. 

Carefully outline the design with the #2 round brush and black. I used to use a #1 round brush, and some artists do prefer it, but I have begun to prefer the bolder line which comes from the #2 round brush.

Finally, use white to add highlights, dots, and starbursts.

The beauty of this cute little monkey is that the cool greens and blues complement the warm browns, and the paint is not near the eyes, so hopefully those sensitive kids in your chair will love it.  

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.