How to Paint the Face of Medusa

Written by kathryn stanley
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How to Paint the Face of Medusa
The most important aspect of painting the face of Medusa is her hair made of snakes. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Medusa is a figure from Greek mythology most commonly known for her hideous face, hair made of snakes and ability to turn anyone who looked at her into stone. Over the centuries, various artists have created paintings and mosaics of the face of Medusa. The mythological creature is popularly considered by art and literary critics to potentially represent ideas of nihilism. Whether you would like to paint the face of Medusa realistically or in the manner of a cartoon, this project will take some time, planning and patience.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Acrylic paint
  • Primed canvas
  • Pencil
  • Cup of water
  • Paintbrushes
  • Image of Medusa (optional)

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  1. 1

    Sketch the face of Medusa onto the canvas with the pencil. Use an image of Medusa as your basis for her overall features and hair made of snakes, if you would like. Given her character, the expression of Medusa should be intimidating, ominous and/or angry.

  2. 2

    Use acrylic paint and paintbrushes to paint the skin of her face. Being a villainous creature in Greek mythology, her skin should appear sallow and cold. Use shades of grey, blue and green paint to create this appearance for her face.

  3. 3

    Paint the eyes and mouth of the face. Once again, to make the visage look dark and ominous, mix paint colours that reflect this. Make her eyes dark and full using shades of brown, dark green and a hint of black. Use the same shades of blue, green and grey for her lips.

  4. 4

    Paint the hair of Medusa. This is the most crucial element of Medusa, so it should be accented in relation to the rest of the painting. Use whichever colour you feel is best for the snakes; a dark green or blue works well. Paint each snake individually. Use white or yellow to paint eyes, a mouth and fangs on each snake. Use a bit of dark red to paint the tongue protruding from the mouth of each snake.

  5. 5

    Paint blood coming out of the bottom of the head of Medusa, if you would like. In Greek mythology, Medusa was beheaded by Perseus, who then used her head to fend off enemies.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to dry. Continue adding layers of paint until you have reached your desired finished product, allowing time for the paint to dry in between each layer.

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