How to Do Bird Themed Face Paint

Written by darren bonaparte
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How to Do Bird Themed Face Paint
Close up, face painting may look like splotches of colour, but much like bird wings are formed from many feathers, you'll need many stroke to form the image. (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Face painting is much like painting on a canvas, except that the canvas is now the curved surface of a face. Taking into account the natural shape of the head, eyebrows, nose, eyes and mouth, you can craft a design that either highlights the features of the face or distorts them. Bird themed face paint can turn a nose into a beak and brows into feathers, or change the whole face into a non-specific but avian-themed piece of art. Enjoy designing and showing off your own personal bird painting.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Large round brush
  • Small detail brush
  • Black and white face paint
  • Primary and accent colour (varies by theme and choice) face paint
  • Mirror

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  1. 1

    Grab your brush and check that it is cleaned and primed for painting. You can paint over any face, but consider washing your face if you have oily skin. Mistakes can be easily painted over, so don't worry about perfection. Pull your hair away from your face and secure it with a hairband, hat or pins. Prime the face from nose to forehead with white, painting over the brows and eyelids. Cover with a single layer of white so that skin is not visible. Leave the cheeks free of any and all paint. Only the eyes, brows, nose, and forehead will be involved in this step. Let the paint dry. Most face paint will dry in less than a minute, so wait about 60 seconds before proceeding.

  2. 2

    Use a medium sized brush and paint yellow along from the bridge of the nose to about the tip, but not reaching the tip or going over. Fill in the nose with that same paint about halfway on each side, so that you have a smaller, rounded, upside-down yellow triangle on either side. Try to be symmetrical, if possible. Blend in the yellow above the bridge of the nose with small streaks of yellow less than an inch long. Let all of the paint dry for about a minute.

  3. 3

    Trace over the edges of the yellow with a small detail brush dipped in black. This is the outline of the beak. Trace back up along the centre of the nose, up to the bridge. Line the brush up with the tear-ducts of your eyes and place two dots on either side of your nose, reminiscent of a bird's cere, the part of the beak where the nares -- the nostrils -- are located. Let the "beak" dry.

  4. 4

    Cover your eyelids in a colour of your choice. Black brings attention to the soon-to-be painted plumage, while white will brighten the face. Keep painting up to the eyebrows and cover them as well. Don't paint below the eyes or to the outside of the sockets, though painting upward "cat-eyes" or wings could be a viable option, depending on personal preference.

  5. 5

    Choose the colour you want for your feathers. Blue feathers could look like a blue macaw. Green would be perfect for a city-dwelling parrot. Black and yellow could be reminiscent of a toucan. Adding grey with flecks of green and purple would resemble a pigeon. Add a base layer of your primary colour along your brow and forehead, in the length that you want your feathers.

  6. 6

    Paint over your primary colour with your accent colours in the shape of feathers and allow all of the paint to dry. Feathers can be painted by painting a line and then filling in the space on either side in the shape of a leaf. Add many small lines from the centre going out and upwards. Add alternating layers of sparse accent and primary feathers as you see fit. Allow the painted feathers to dry.

  7. 7

    Finish off the face painting with a small plumage section in between your eyebrows. This small plumage section can be the primary feather colour but a bit lighter, and made of small, feathery lines as opposed to actually painted feathers.

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