Little Fire Truck by Pam Kinneberg

What little boy doesn’t love fire trucks! Even better if you can paint it on their face and they can be a fire truck for the day. This simple design uses one strokes to speed up the design along with a few other speedy tips.




3/4" pouncer sponge on a stick (coming soon!)

1/2" flat brush

#4 round brush

2/3" Paint dauber

Global rainbow split cake—Antarctica

Wolfe yellow paint

Kryvaline one stroke—Lava

Tag red paint

FAB silver 056 paint

BAM stencil: Long Dashes—1202

Hot Wingz Stencil: Steampunk Gears—8012

Neon orange paint

Wolfe black paint

Wolfe white paint

Gray paint


Step one: windows

I chose the Global Antarctica split cake for the windows because it has pearl colors giving it a sheen like a window would have. It also enables you to quickly get the shading with the dark on top and lighter color towards the bottom of the eye lid. Load the white, light blue and medium blue colors onto the back edge of the sponge with the darkest color on the edge. Make sure the blue goes above the eyebrows so that when you do your black line work, you are painting on the skin rather than through the eyebrow. Be prepared for giggling from onlookers as this step makes it look like you just applied some awesome blue eyeshadow on this poor child.

Step two: headlights

To quickly apply the yellow headlights and the top flood light, use a small pouncer. You can pick them up at any craft store. This one measures 3/4". A quick spritz of water on the pouncer and then loaded in yellow paint will ensure perfect round headlights. Even though the top flood light is not round, still use the pouncer for it so you can get all the yellow done at one time. You can wipe off the bottom of the top round circle if desired. Be sure to get the headlights in the same position on either side of the nose. 

Step three: truck shape

The shape of the fire truck can now be painted using a narrow flat brush with the Kryvaline Lava one stroke. Start from the outer corner of the eye and bring it around to the other side. Make sure the yellow is on the outer edges so that when the fire is painted at the top, there is a color break in between. It also provides easy and quick highlights. Notice how the yellow is facing in toward the eye when painting around the eyes. You want the red to be on the inside all the way around so you can fill it in later. There is limited space on the forehead, so be careful not to paint too high as you still need to add flames. 

Step four: fill in with red

At this point, fill in all the inner areas with red, using whatever brush works for you. I like to use a small filbert brush for this. Keep in mind where the front “grill” will go over the nose and do not paint that area. Don’t worry too much about perfect lines as you will be going over all of it with black line work later.

Step five: metal parts

I love FAB silver! It looks so metallic and is nice and opaque. Using a #4 round brush, paint silver in the “grill” area on the nose, around the headlights and the front bumpers which curve up towards the nose. I also like to put a couple highlights on the windows with the silver. Don’t forget the side mirrors (see inset photo). 

I also painted orange floodlights on both sides of the top yellow light. You can skip this step and leave the red as is and just outline that area with black later.

Step six: stencil work

To add some interest to the design use stencils! For the headlights, the steam punk Hot Wings stencil has the perfect size gear to use in the center of the lights. I used a combination of orange and red on a finger dauber. Then, using the BAM #1202 stencil, add some silver detail between the eyes. 

Step seven: flames!

Every fire truck is speeding towards the fire! So let’s add some flames! Use the same Kryvaline Lava one stroke and a 1/2" flat brush for the flames. If you have more forehead room, you could use the 3/4". Make sure the dark red is at the bottom and the yellow is on the outside so there is a nice separation between the top of the truck and the flames. Add flames to the sides of where the tires will go also (see inset photo).

Step eight: black line work and highlights

Now to bring it all together with the line work. I used a #3 round brush and Wolfe black for all the line work and the tires. Paint the tires first so that the paint is dry when you put the tire tread detail in at the end (use gray for the tire treads). Note that I only painted a black line around the top and inner edge of the window as young children, especially boys, don’t handle under the eye painting very well. 

Paint some white highlights on the truck body, the flood lights and mirrors to give it more dimension.

And there you have it! One cute little fire truck that is ready to race to the next fire, sirens blaring! (And it doesn’t look like blue eyeshadow anymore!)


Pam Kinneberg is the owner and artist for her business, PiKadilly Face Painting located near Fargo, North Dakota. She has won numerous contests and can be found in various magazines including SkinMarkz Magazine, The Colored Palette, QMagazine, Wet Paint Magazine and SillyFarm Newsletters. 
Instagram: @pikadillyfacepainting