Polar Bear Mask Tutorial


Here’s another arctic mask idea for a winter design which should be popular with both boys and girls during the cold months. You may even find a few adults who can’t resist this friendly cartoon polar bear.


Paradise light blue
TAG green
Diamond FX white
Global dark blue
#2 round brush
#4 round brush
1/2 inch flat brush


1. Begin by painting a half circle over the forehead with Diamond FX white (or another white which gives opaque coverage) with your 1/2 inch flat brush. You can use a sponge for this step if you prefer. If you use a brush, you may also have to sponge over it with white to make sure it isn’t streaky.



2. While I could have used black for the outline, I decided to paint the outline with Global dark blue. In one of the classes I took recently, Margi Kanter used colors for outlining rather than black. I liked the effect, so I decided this would be a good design to try the colored outlines out with, even though I’m more comfortable using black. Use your #2 round with the Global blue for outlining. You may prefer to use the #4 to fill in the polar bear’s nose.



3. Sponge light blue in the background around your polar bear, leaving a space for the hat. Normally I would have put my hat in earlier, but I didn’t want to pick up any of the pigments in the sky background, so I waited until this step was past.



4. Choose a bright color for the bear’s stocking cap, and use your 1/2 inch flat to color it in. I chose green for this, because I used red on my recent penguin mask tutorial. I try to alternate color choices so when children look through my idea book, it contains plenty of colorful variety in the pages. I also wanted to choose Christmasy colors, since we’re in the month before Christmas.


5. Finally, add your blue outlines to the hat as well, again using the #2 round brush. Global dark blue is a very intensely pigmented paint which makes an excellent liner.


6. Finish up by adding some teeth to your polar bear (because who ever heard of a polar bear without teeth!), highlights to the hat and nose, and snow to the background. I also added some bushy eyebrows, primarily because I felt the face looked empty without them. I think they were a good addition.


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.