Patriotic Mask Design

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Independence day is just around the corner, and nothing screams “celebration time!” like a patriotic paint! Here’s a mask I designed to complement the holiday’s theme.

I used:

Like always, start out with a clean face. Load your fine tip brush with white paint and outline the shape of your flag.

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Start outlining the shapes on your flag. Try to keep your lines smooth and flowing, with your stripes somewhat parallel, to give the flag’s design an organic, intentional appearance.

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Using your sponge, begin filling in the blue patch on your flag and around your eye. Don’t worry too much about clean edges–these can be cleaned up with a baby wipe or dampened cotton swab.

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Blend black paint from the hairline down into the undefined area around the eye using the same sponge. This will be a sort of background behind the flag.

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Load the flat brush white paint and start defining your flags stripes. A standard American flag has a red stripe on the top and bottom, which will help sharpen any soft or messy edges from the sky area. It’s a good idea to paint your white stripes first in order to prevent your red from bleeding and turning the white stripes pink. The flat brush will create a smooth texture–don’t worry about the thinner areas of your tapered lines just yet.

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Use your fine tip brush to fill in the thinner lines. You might want to brace your elbow against something solid to ensure clean, smooth lines.

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To paint fireworks, visualize a sort of flower shape, and use your small brush to paint teardrop shapes towards an undefined center. You can use any bright colors; I liked DiamondFX’s neon purple, yellow, pink, and blue. Try to vary your shapes between circles and ellipses; you can also add dots (like sparks!) to make each firework unique. Then, mix each color with a bit of white to accent the heads of each flame and create a more fiery effect.

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Optional: Give your flag some depth by creating shadows. Accent the folds in the flag with darker shades of the stripes–gray over white, and burgundy over red. I also decided to outline my eyes at this point (but as always, be aware of what you and your model are comfortable with).

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Load your small brush with white or silver and outline a star at the gap in your flag. Fill it in with white for opacity, and then paint silver over it. Then, divide each tine of the star in half and create shadows/highlights by adding black or white to the silver. You can also outline the edges of your star to make it stand apart from the flag.


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To contrast the 3D star on the cheek, paint softer stars on the flag by avoiding sharp outlines. You can also add some color to your lips if you like (totally optional, but I think this ties mask designs together nicely).

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Voila! Time to throw on a festive costume and hit the streets for some hotdogs and fireworks.

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