Flaming Pirate Skull Tutorial

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No matter what the party theme might be, kids often go for pirate skulls, which can even be popular with teens and adults. Here’s a simple one-stroke pirate which uses the TAG Dragon split cake and


Paradise Shadow split cake
TAG Dragon one stroke cake
Diamond FX black
Diamond FX white
Paradise red face paint
1/2 inch flat brush
#1 round brush
#5 round brush


1. Begin by loading your 1/2 inch flat brush with black, white, and grey from the Paradise Shadow split cake.

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2. Fill the center area with Diamond FX white. You can either use your 1/2 inch flat brush for this or your #5 round brush.

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3. Load the 1/2 inch flat brush from your TAG Dragon one stroke, trying to pick up just a little black on the very edge. Above the skull shape, make several u-shapes and then connect them to make flames. This will create the outer edge of your flame.

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You’ll repeat this process inside the flame area to create more depth and detail to this part of the design.

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4. Add a pirate bandana over the top of the skull with your #5 round brush. On one side, add a small circle shape with the ties coming out of it.

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5. Use your Diamond FX black, which is an excellent lining face paint, to create detail with your #1 round brush. At this point you’ll add the eyes, nose area, and teeth. If you’ve got a long line of kids at an event and you need to work faster, you can make a straight horizontal line for the mouth and draw shorter vertical lines through it. Since I had more time while creating this design, I made the teeth shapes individually.

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