Tribal paint has been used by many different cultures for a variety of reasons, and the patterns, colors and symbols can vary greatly. Individuals in tribes tend to use sharp, geometric shapes and bold colors to intimidate enemies, or use paint to make their faces resemble animals or tribal gods. These instructions inform you on how to recreate a basic Plains Native American face painting design.
Gather your materials
Native Americans used berries, roots, tree bark and clay to make their colored face paint, but today face paint can be easily located at most department or costume stores. For this design, you need black face paint, white face paint and red face paint. You also need a clean paint brush or facial sponge and a bowl of water. If you are painting your own face, you should have access to a mirror.
Paint your entire face white
Dip your paint brush into water, then into the white paint. Carefully outline the entire surface of your face with the brush, then paint your entire face white, including your eyelids and lips, making sure to stay within the oval line you created around your face. When you are done, rinse your brush.
Paint straight-lined designs on your face
Using your brush, paint a straight, vertical red line from the center of your forehead down to the tip of your nose, and another one from just beneath your bottom lip to the bottom of your chin. Next, rinse your brush, and paint four long, black horizontal lines across each cheek. Finally, finish by outlining your eyes with black paint.