Skeleton Face Paint Design

Written by christine harvey
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Skeleton Face Paint Design
There are a few approches to face painting a skull. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Skeleton face painting designs are seen around Halloween as part of a skeleton or Grim Reaper costume. The spooky skeleton face painting design has a few variations from which to choose. With basic face painting supplies, you can create a face painting design to complement your skeleton dress-up intentions.

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Base Coat

The standard skeleton face painting designs begins with a white base coat. However, any light-coloured base coat will work. A light yellow base coat gives the impression the skull is old and discoloured while a light green base coat creates a slimy bone effect.

Areas to Darken

Darken the eyes to make it appear the eye sockets are empty. Paint two black marks on either side of the nose to create the hollows for the nasal passages. Shading the area under the cheeks will give the face a gaunt look, appropriate for your skeleton face design.


Add cracks to your skeleton by painting slightly wavy thin lines with a small, round, soft-bristled detail brush. Lift your brush as you end the line so it comes to a point. Add shorter lines coming off the first line to give the impression the crack is branching out. Add cracks randomly around the face, starting at the hairline, jawline or chin, and cracking toward the nose. Do not add too many cracks, or it will make the face look too busy.


There are different designs for the mouth on a skeleton face. One mouth design is to paint the lips black as if there is just a hollow in that area. The most traditional approach is to paint black teeth outlines around the mouth. Teeth can be rounded or sharp and jagged; they can be painted yellowish for dirty teeth or very light blue for sharp white looking teeth. You can blacken a few of the teeth to create the effect that some of the teeth have fallen out.


Add blood, pus or slime drops to your skeleton face with teardrop strokes coming down from the eyes, nose, forehead and mouth. Create teardrop strokes by dragging only the tip of the brush a short way on the face and then ending the stroke by pressing the whole brush down. Paint a patch over the eye and a bandanna across the forehead to make a pirate skeleton. Add horns or fangs to your skeleton to make your skeleton face design look less human and more like a monster skeleton.

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