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How to Paint Blood Dripping

Liquids are hard to paint realistically. Blood is no exception, especially when you're trying to paint realistic-looking blood drips. Dripping blood looks different than other dripping liquids because blood is thicker than water and many other liquids. However, you can follow specific steps to create realistic-looking blood drips that are ideal for Halloween, set design or even macabre pictures. The first time you paint the drips will take the longest. After that, the project should take less than 20 minutes.

Draw the basic outline of the dripping blood onto a piece of paper or canvas, in pencil. Use a very light stroke, because you do not want this line to show once you are finished. Common shapes for blood drips include semicircles and ovals. Draw faint lines to show the blood dripping from the main glob of blood. Remember that blood will drip unevenly, so vary the length of the lines.

Fill in the shape of the blood drips with the base paint colour. Most blood drips occur in teardrop shaped patterns, because of the gravity that it takes for the blood to stretch and drip off of a ledge or down a surface. Make some drops bigger than others. Add a few splatter lines for a more realistic picture, depending on how the blood drips were made. A gun shot will have more dramatic drips and splatters than an animal bite.

Fill in the blood drips with one solid colour. Blood is more reddish-brown than bright red, so keep that in mind as you fill in the blood.

Add shading to the blood drips with brown or black paint. Feather out the colours so that the image looks 3D, rather than looking like stripes.

Add white or lighter red highlighting to the drips to complete the image. Only add highlighting to a few key areas, based on where the light is coming from onto the page, according to the rest of the painting.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Drawing paper
  • Pictures of dripping blood (optional)
  • Coloured paints
  • Paintbrushes
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.