Tutorial: One-Stroke Cartoon Loch Ness Monster


Dragons and fantastical creatures are always popular with kids, especially boys. This reptilian cartoon pokes some fun at the Loch Ness monster. Is he real or not?


TAG light green
TAG dark green
TAG royal blue
Wolfe white
Diamond FX black
Paradise light blue
1/2-inch flat brush
#1 round brush
#5 round brush


Begin by sponging a light blue on the forehead with a sponge. On one side, right above the outer edge of the eye, use your #5 round brush to create two eye shapes. The placement of these eyes is important, because if they’re too far down, there won’t be room for the rest of the head. They should be about two thirds of the way up the forehead.


Load your 1/2-inch brush with TAG light green and dark green. Beginning at the eyes, make a curve for the back of the head and the monster’s neck. Reverse the brush to keep the dark on the outside and create the front of the neck as well. To make the head, it will take three strokes with the 1/2-inch brush. Begin with the top of the snout and bring it around to go back and create the upper part of the mouth. Finish by creating the lower jaw.


For the spine, reload the flat brush and place it behind the eyes again, pulling it along the back of the monster in a zig-zagging motion. (You may find it necessary to re-establish the back after this.)


Repeat the process to create the second hump in the water and the tail. Load your #5 round brush with TAG royal blue and make some ripples in the water at the base of the monster.


Load your #1 round brush with Diamond FX, Global strong black, or Wolfe black. Carefully outline the shapes and create the eyes. You can change the eyes however you like to reflect the mood of your own Loch Ness monster.



For texture, make small u-shapes on the body of the monster.



Finally, check the highlight on the eye of the monster and add highlights to the monster and the water.



Have fun as you create rare sightings of the Loch Ness monster!

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.