Face Painting Tutorial for a Sleepy Koala

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This sleepy koala was inspired a design by Australian artist Kiera Ellana Taylor, and I believe the animal fans in your chair will love this fellow as he snoozes away in the midst of his eucalyptus leaves. As it turns out, koalas really do sleep about 18 to 22 hours a day to conserve energy, and by using the supplies below, you’ll be able to create your own little koala as well.


• TAG pearl white
• Black, grey, and white small split cake
• Paradise light blue
• Paradise light brown
• TAG light green
• TAG medium green
• Diamond FX or Wolfe black
• Diamond FX or Wolfe white
• #5 round brush
• 1/2-inch flat brush
• #1 or #2 round brush
• Sponge


Begin by sponging some pearl white on the forehead over the eye on the side you’ve chosen for the koala. The white will lighten the blue which we add later and keep it from overwhelming the design.


Load your 1/2-inch flat brush from the split cake of black, grey, and white. Make a curve over the eyebrow and fill in the center from the lighter side of the brush. Use the same brush to create two furry ears on either side of the koala’s head.


Make two teardrops with the same brush to create the arms your koala is resting his head on.


Sponge a light blue around the background, blending it with the pearl white beneath.


Load your #5 round brush and create clouds around the koala. If you have a cloud stencil, you can make your clouds using it and a sponge instead of the brush if you prefer.


Use your #5 round brush and brown to pull branch shapes away from the koala shape. Don’t add too many of these. Three is a good number to use for this.


Eucalyptus leaves are fairly slender, so load your #5 round brush with light and medium green and add the leaves to the branches, staying on the tip of the brush and pulling away from your branches.


Load your #1 or #2 round brush with black to add outlines and facial features. Begin with the oval shaped nose on the koala, and then add the smiling mouth just below it. The koala’s eyes should be on either side of the nose, so watch out for your placement of these. Add outlines to the rest of the design, including the leaves.


And finally, add white highlights to make it pop off the face and you have completed your koala!


Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz, and she services Elgin, Illinois, the NW Chicago suburbs, and northern Chicago, as well as the eastern suburbs of Rockford. Stop by Facepaint.com to check out her other face painting blog posts and tutorials.

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