Flaming Tribal Name Design Tutorial


Tribal designs are popular in their own right, but when you combine them with flames, they become even more striking. This arm design is based on tribal flames Onalee Rivera shared on one of our face painters’ forums.


Diamond FX black face paint
Diamond FX white face paint
TAG flame split cake
Sponge (cut in quarters)
#5 round brush
#3 round brush
3/4 inch flat brush (or 1 inch flat brush)
#2 round brush


1. Load the flat side of your quarter sponge from the TAG flame split cake. I chose to put the red on the top for this design, but you could put it on the bottom instead if you prefer. Dab out the general shape of the letters, overlapping them so the lower letters overlap the higher ones. (It’s easier to do this if you put the red on the top.)


2. Load the 3/4 or 1 inch brush from the TAG flame small split cake. Create flames in several locations around the lettering. I tried to balance them by putting on set on the top right, one in the middle area to the left, and one down on the bottom to the right.


3. Load your #3 round brush with Diamond FX black and outline the letters of the name.


4. Reload your #3 round with more Diamond FX black. First outline your flames, lifting as you reach the tip of each so that it comes to a nice, fine point. Inside the flames, add some simple tribal lines and swirls. On the outside of the design, add a few, small tribal flourishes which flow with the design.


5. Finally, add a few white highlights to the letters and you’re finished with your flaming tribal arm design.


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.