Facepaint UK Blog

Dolphin Step by Step

Mar 15, 2017

While summer's still with us, thoughts of sun and glistening sea reminded us of this ocean cool design. Some Face members may recognise this one, but it was in their magazine so long ago that it's worth repeating!

It seems that some painters are still having trouble with dolphins, but once you get the hang of them they are easy, lovely to paint and very popular. So, rather than a step by step, how about a stroke by stroke?

Bibi painted this on Sisina:

Paint a white wave in a stripe diagonally across the face. While the paint is still wet, blend away from the bottom of the line with a damp sponge. Use the residue left on the sponge to paint the top right of the forehead, fading away.

Paint a turquoise blue line (Grimas 402 used here) directly above the white and blend upwards into the white on the forehead. Reload the sponge with blue and, starting from the bottom left of the face move towards the white stripe until they blend.

With a No.6 round brush well loaded with black paint, sweep from the dolphin's forehead down to a point where the tail fin will be. Paint another line for the beak and extend towards the tail, pressing as you get to the middle of the body to get a good 'fatness'. Look at where you are aiming, rather than where the brush is, to end up in the right place! Repeat for the bottom of the beak. Paint a triangle shape leaning backwards for the fin about halfway down the back. Most people put this too near the head, it really is about halfway! Your dolphin's body may end up longer than you expect when you come to do the tail fins too.Add a white belly starting from over the lower beak.This will streak the black paint nicely. Dolphins are very muscular, and do have a bit of a tummy! Add the tail fins which should follow through gracefully from the body, no hard angles allowed, they don't swim so well! The flippers are similar brush strokes and. like the tail, slope downwards, not straight out. Add an eye and a few highlights to show that your dolphin is wet, and add the impression of roundness. This dolphin got a touch of pink blush too!

Repeat the process on the other side in a different position, facing the other way. This dolphin is smiling because he's so happy to be there!

Add some swirly lines, white 'spray' with a coarse stipple sponge and some bigger white dots with an S2 brush for contrast. I also used some silver cream (Grimas 701)for lipstick, and extra shiny highlights on the dolphins. Finish with irridescent glitter (Grimas 04) on the waves and we're ready to sparkle in the sun!

Here is another version as a 'mask' rather than a full face that teenage girls just love!

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