On our daily basis we usually paint classic designs like butterflies, kitties, tigers, superheroes, which are frequently full-face designs. But what happens if we get asked to paint a certain character? Here’s where the struggle comes. 🙈
How to make it the right way, so it looks proportional and recognizable? I will teach you how here. 😉
Steps of face painting a character face
Let’s see the steps of creating a character face basing on the Rocket the Racoon example:
1. Start by designating the main shape. Most of the characters (especially animals) have a pentagonal head-shape.
2. The top corners are the places where the ears are usually placed. Same rule applies for tigers, cats, dogs etc.
3. Split the face into two parts: vertically and horizontally. The eyes are always placed in the center of the face, that why we needed the horizontal guideline.
4. The space in between the eyes should be of one eye minimum. A fantastic character or an animal will look even more cute if you’ll leave even bigger space there, like I’ve made it here with 1,5 eye size.
5. The muzzle is placed right in between the eyes and its bottom touches the bottom corner of the pentagon. Pay attention to the eyes shape — to create an angry look I’ve “cut” their top inner part with the brows, making the inner corner sharp. This is a very important part in achieving correct facial expression.
6. I went with an angled brush loaded with old gold and the tip loaded with black to fill in the face of my Rocket.
7. I used a small blending brush then to soften up the edges and create a furry effect.
That’s why we have an entire Module dedicated to it at the International Face Painting School, where we learn all types of blending — from blending with sponges, to dry brushing and creating fur effect.
8. The nose is placed in the middle of the muzzle area (if we measure from the brows level down to the chin).
9. The darkest shadows should be placed in the deepest parts, which are the areas under the brows in our case (that adds even more to the angry look).
10. Using the same black and a #3 round brush I’m painting the nose and the angry smile, softening the black from the fur with a blending brush again.
Adding highlights to the eyes and here is the result! 😎
What I would like you to learn from this lesson is that proper face painting education isn’t about copying designs from tutorials.
A proper education is about explaining the deepest nature of things, the rules that can be applied for various designs. It is about unlocking your own talents and style.
What about Groot? Can you paint him by yourself now using these guidelines?
Post your attempts in the comments! 👇 We’d love to ohh and ahh over your work! 😉