Patriotic Skull by Natalia Malley

Skulls are always a favorite... especially among boys! Why not put a fun patriotic twist on your skull this Fourth of July!? 

Products Used in this design:

Kryvaline Metallic Blue 

Global Red

Diamond FX White

Global Strong Black

Always Wicked Art Half Round Sponge

Always Wicked Art Butterfly Sponge

Finger Sponge Dauber

Bad Ass Mini Stencils - Tiny Stars BAM 2016

Paint Pal Filbert Brush

#4 Round Brush

Mehron Black Starblend Cake Powder Makeup

Lollipop Applicator

Paint Pal 1/2 inch Angled Flat Brush

Step 1: 

First, decide if you want your flag to have horizontal or vertical stripes. This will determine which section of the face you want to apply the blue square. If you want the flag's stripes to go horizontally, you will want to place the blue square on the top left corner of the face. If you want the stripes to go vertically, as I have chosen to do in this design, you will place the blue square on the top right corner of the face.

Using a half round sponge and Kryvaline metallic blue, sponge one quarter of the face with blue paint, making sure the edges are sharp and end in the center of the forehead and right at eye. 

Step 2:

Using two 1/2 inch flat brushes, one loaded well with Global Red and one with DFX White, make a red stripe down the face beginning at the outer edge of the face. It is helpful to have two 1/2 inch flat brushes for this step so that you can alternate between the red and white and not have to clean the brush between each stripe. Also, if you try to make all the white stripes first and then clean your brush to make all the red stripes, the spacing of the stripes may be off. You're better off having two brushes, one designated for each color, to keep this step quick and make sure your stripes are evenly spaced. Continue alternating between red and white stripes all the way across the face.  

Step 3:

Using the BAM Tiny Stars Stencil and a finger sponge dauber or a small sponge for stenciling loaded well with DFX white, I stenciled the stars onto the blue area of the flag. Since this stencil is smaller than the blue area that I needed to cover, I moved the stencil to different areas by carefully lining up the stars and continuing the stenciling until the whole blue area was covered with stars.  

Then, using Global strong black and a butterfly sponge, I blackened out the eyes, then went back with a #4 round brush and sharpened the edges of the shape around the eyes, and created the nose.

Step 4:

Using a #4 round brush loaded well with DFX White, I created the teeth by placing the brush on its side onto the lip and pressing. For the upper teeth, I pointed the tip of the brush upward, and for the bottom row of teeth, I pointed the tip of the brush downwards and pressed. Because there was red beneath some of the teeth, I had to go back a couple of times and apply another coat of white paint so the red wouldn't show through. Another way of handling this would have been to wipe away the red on the lip or not paint the red on the lip to begin with.  

Then, I used Global Strong Black and a #4 round brush to create the black areas below the cheekbone, at the temples, outline the teeth, and frame the whole design.  

Step 5:

Continuing with a #4 round brush and Global Strong Black, paint a curved line above each eye for the bony structure of the brow, as well as below each eye and in between the eyebrows curving them up and back towards the temples to give the skull an evil appearance. I also added cracks in various places by making wiggly irregular lines that varied in thickness and break off into different directions.  

For the shading, I used black Starblend and a lollipop applicator to add dimension to the forehead, beginning on the outer edges of the forehead above the brows and moving towards the center of the forehead, as well as under the cheekbone to cast a shadow onto the lower jaw. Then switching to a filbert brush I used the Starblend to add shading to the edges of the teeth, as well as between the teeth and leading up above the upper row of teeth and down below the lower row teeth to emulate creases where the teeth protrude from the skull. I also added a bit of shading around the eyes to accentuate the evil-looking eyebrow lines.

Step 6:

Last but not least is the highlighting. With a #4 round brush and DFX white, add white highlights to the edges of the eye sockets, edges of the cheek bones, around the nose, and on the cracks. This gives it a little more dimension and finishes the look.  

I hope you'll give this design a try, and if you do, please tag me so that I can see!  It is sure to be a big hit at your 4th of July events!


Natalia Malley is the owner and lead artist of Peace Love and Paint LLC in the Washington DC metro area. She has been face painting for about 10 years, has won numerous face painting competitions and has been published in several face and body art magazines including SkinMarkz Magazine, The Colored Palette, QMagazine, FABAIC Magazine and Silly Farm Newsletter.