This is a simple step by step tutorial showing an easy method for painting a skull / skeleton face. No specific supplies are needed besides grey, black, and white makeup, and a brush for application. You can use creme, oil based makeups, or cheap Halloween store colors. This makeup took approximately ten minutes to apply. Be creative. Once you have mastered the basic design, experiment! The base color of the skull can change to create a different feel and all the lines and shapes can be angular, to create an even more terrifying look. Use a skeleton face to “scare” up any costume.
Begin by covering the face with a solid coat of grey. Leave the areas around the eyes and mouth clean.Later, these clean areas will be painted. It is best to leave them open so that the different color makeups do not blend together.
With black makeup, draw the large forms around the eye. This creates the illusion of deep skull eye sockets. You can use your models actual anatomy to gauge where to place the shapes. Try to not have the top of the eyes much higher than the eyebrows or the bottom any lower than the middle of the nose. An “A” shape is painted on the top of the nose. Once the shape is complete, fill it in leaving a “V” at the top. This is the sunken in skull nose. Draw vertical lines from the inner corner of the eyes. This is the beginning of an angry brow.
With black makeup, draw “L” shaped brackets around the upper corners of the skeleton eye sockets. Comma shaped vertical lines are drawn from the top of the “L” brackets to the upper peaks of the forehead. This shape defines the forehead anatomy of the skull.
Ovals on the cheek create the dark space inside the jaw bone.
With black makeup, draw “V” shaped checks above the cheek ovals. The inner corners of the checks towards the nose should end in a slight curl. This curl should end pointing toward the lips.
With black makeup, draw around the outline of the jaw. This is creating the illusion of a jawbone. Accentuate the front of the chin with two half circles. This visually pushes the jaw forward.
Half circles are drawn between the cheek ovals and ears. They should be placed just underneath the cheek checks or “V”s.
Use black makeup to draw the teeth. Make small upside down “V” shapes. Start from the center and work your way out to the corners of the lips. Remember top teeth are larger than the bottom teeth. This is a simple detail that really adds to the final design.
With a clean brush or finger, begin to blend the black into the grey to create soft edges and gradations.
Start with the forehead lines, blending towards the ears. Blend the bottom of the cheek checks towards the lips. You can also blend the chin and under the cheek “V”s on the sides of the face.
White makeup is used to carefully paint in the teeth.White may also be placed along the upper and lower corners of forms. This helps create the look of light hitting the skull.
The skull makeup is complete!