Big Nose Buddies Fantasy Series: Dragon Tutorial

For our second tutorial in the fantasy series of Big Nose Buddies, we'll be doing a cute dragon design. Dragons are always a popular option on the board, but sometimes I become tired of painting the same one over and over. If you feel the same way, change it out with this fresh design using a small split cake of whatever color you prefer. 


Green small split cake (TAG light and medium green)
Orange face paint (TAG)
White face paint (Wolfe)
Black face paint (Diamond FX)
Light blue face paint (Paradise)
Pearl light blue face paint (TAG Pearl Sky Blue)
Cloud stencil (Léa Selley Ultimate GrafittiEyes stencils)
#2 round brush
* #5 round brush
1/2-inch flat brush
Lime green cosmetic grade glitter


Load a 1/2-inch flat brush from a small green split cake or from a TAG light green/medium green split. Keep the darker green to the outside and make an oval shape between the eyes. Add two extra bumps to the top (for the nostrils) and one small bump in the middle on the bottom (for the chin). Use a small round brush with white to create the eyes above, and a #5 round brush to add two eyebrow shapes above them. If you have lime green glitter, add it now while the face paint is damp.

Load a sponge with a combination of light blue and TAG pearl sky blue and sponge it around the background and over the eyelids. Use the cloud stencil of your choice and white to sponge clouds in the background as well. 

Use the #5 round brush to add horns/spines to the head of the dragon, and reload the 1/2-inch flat brush to create wings which sweep out and away from the dragon head.  

Outline the design with a #2 round brush and black. I find that Diamond FX or Wolfe black are great blacks for crisp outlining because they flow easily from the brush, but I've also heard good reviews from artists who use Cameleon or Global strong black. Everyone has his or her favorite, so choose the black for outlining which you prefer. 

With a round #5 brush, place orange dots on the nose and wings of the dragon. I chose orange because it's very close to a complementary color for green and keeps the design from becoming too bland with only the analogous colors of green and blue. Use a small round brush and white to add highlights, dots, and stars. 

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in Elgin, Illinois, and her artwork has appeared in The Colored Palette and SkinMarkz magazines. She services the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs, Chicago’s north side, and the eastern and southeastern suburbs of Rockford. Stop by to enjoy more of Beth’s face painting tutorials.  

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