Warthog Tutorial by Artist Ashlie Alvey

As I was sketching ideas for new designs to incorporate into the animal series I'm currently creating, I was so excited when this plump wild pig took form. 

And hey, isn't it nice to have a few designs of some slightly less popularized animals at the ready? You know, just in case! 

The supplies needed for this design are: 

Step 1: Load your 3/4" flat brush with a white, light pink, and dark pink gradient such as Global Dublin. With the darker pink on the outside make the pig snout in the shape of a rounded triangle over the bridge of the nose and ending just above the top of the lip.


Step 2: With a petal sponge and light pink face paint, fill in the center of the snout and add small triangular shapes above the eye brows. These will be the inner-ear of our wild hog! 

Step 3: With the same 3/4" flat brush, load up with a brown gradient one stroke like TAG Teddy Bear. Always be sure you're keeping the darker brown on the outer edge while you paint the stroke that swoops between the eyebrows. Connect this stroke to the inner corner of the light pink of the ears we laid down in the step before. 

Step 4: Continue to outline the remainder of the design with the brown one stroke. Start with the ears. Make sure the ears end in a point. If you know how to paint a simple one stroke leaf then you are familiar with this ear shape. Paint the outline of the chubby cheeks. Try to position the cheeks right on the apples of the cheeks of the child (or adult) you are painting. 

Step 5: With another petal sponge and tan face paint, fill in around the eyes, cheeks, and above the snout. However, be sure not to cover up the beautiful light to dark brown gradient we've just created with our one stroke in the step prior. 

Step 6: Let's get our line work on! With Diamond FX Black and a number 4 round brush, follow around the outer edge of the forehead and pig's ears and down around the cheeks. This is the time to decide if you'd like to make this into a domestic pig or a warthog. If you do prefer a domestic pig, then you would continue outlining the the snout, adding in the nostril holes, and adding wrinkle lines around the eyes.before finishing with highlights.

But, we're aiming for a wild and untamed warthog here, so let's carry on with adding in our tusks, hair and final black details in the next step. 

Step 7: Finish those black details! Snout, nostril holes, wrinkle lines, unruly black wisps of hair, and some eyebrows for added character if you like. I decided to add eyebrows to mine as an after-thought, but I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. So, you can decide which way you prefer to paint this design.

We are also going to be adding in the outline to our tusks in this step. A key to speed when painting any design is planning the order of operations in a way that you will not have to go back to a color you've previously used in steps prior. So, be sure to get all of the black details finished in this step. 

Step 8: Fill in the white tusks and add highlights! 

And you've done it! You've got one positively porky warthog that will be sure to please even the pickiest of pig lovers! 


Ashlie Alvey is the owner and artist of Chubby Cheeks Body Art in coastal Savannah, Georgia. You can find her artwork featured in such publications as SkinMarkz Magazine, The Colored Palette, and Wet Paint Magazine. Ashlie is most passionate about creating happy memories for her clientele in the form of birthday party entertainment and one-of-a-kind maternity art. You can follow her on Instagram at and view her Facebook business page at