How to Make a Fake Scratch on Your Face

You can paint realistic scratches on your face to enhance a scary costume, use as stage make-up or play a practical joke on your family and friends. By learning a basic brushstroke, or by using face painting accessories, you can create dramatic looking scratches of various sizes and severity. Paint a deep-looking scratch or a scratch that appears like an animal scrape. Learn how to easily paint convincing scratch marks on your face.

Things You'll Need

  • Mirror

  • Skin colored and red water-based face paint

  • Water

  • Soft-bristled medium round brush

  • Soft-bristled small round detail brush

  • Scar wax

  • Soft-bristled fan brush

Animal Scratch

Step 1

Look in a mirror as you paint so that you can see what you are doing. Load a round brush with red water-based face paint by dipping your brush in water and then rotating it in paint. Use a medium round brush for scratches from bigger animals, such as a tiger, and use a small round detail brush for smaller animals, such as a house cat.

Step 2

Press the tip of the brush against your face where you would like the scratch to begin. Drag it across your face to halfway of the desired length of the scratch. As you drag, apply more pressure so that the stroke thickens as you drag until it is fully pressed. For the second half of the stroke, release pressure as you paint so that the stroke gets thinner and thinner until it ends in a point.

Step 3

Paint torn skin marks to represent each claw in the scratch mark – paint 2 to 4 scratch marks for best results. Paint the scratch marks a realistic distance apart to mimick the distance between each nail of animal claw. House cat scratch lines should be be very close together, whereas tiger scratch marks could be an inch apart, extending across the entire face.

Step 4

Add blood drops coming down from the scratches. This is done by pressing just the tip of a small round detail against the scratch, then apply pressure as you slide the brush a short way, and then pressing fully down to end the stroke.

Deep Scratch

Step 1

Look in a mirror as you apply a scratch on your face. Scoop three fingers full of scar wax and roll in into a cylinder shape. Put the cylinder on your forehead horizontally and flatten all the edges against the forehead so that the scar wax attaches to your face. Hold the wax in place with one hand and drag the bottom of the handle of a brush, the non-brush end, across the wax horizontally with the other hand. The wax will look like a small canyon on your forehead.

Step 2

Load a face-painting sponge with water-based, skin-colored face paint by dipping the edge of the sponge in water and then rotating it in paint. Dab over and around the wax until the top of the wax is skin colored.

Step 3

Load a soft-bristled small round detail brush with red face paint by dipping the brush in water and rubbing it in paint. Paint the indent in the small canyon red.

Step 4

Use a red-loaded soft-bristled fan brush to paint around the edge of the small canyon. Add as many blood drops as you want coming down from the deep scratch using a small round detail brush.

References & Resources