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Suicide Squad: Katana Body Paint and Background

Today I bring you a Katana body paint tutorial!

“But why not Harley Quinn”, you ask? Because I’ve done 4 of her all ready, but I do plan on doing tutorials for the rest of the squad between now and Halloween. It’s just gonna take a bit of planning, and some bald caps. So why Katana first? Because her backstory is pretty freaking cool, and I love learning about new characters that don’t get too much of the spotlight *cough* Guardians of the Galaxy *cough*. I’m also super proud of how the jacket came out. Last time I attempted a jacket in a tutorial it didn’t turn out too good… to me anyway. So before we get into this Katana body paint, here’s a little back story on her.

Katana Body PaintFrom House wife to Assassin

Nah, I’m totally just kidding… sorta… Katana has always had a proficiency for martial arts, and luckily for her, her parents were pretty supportive about it. But when she got older, Tatsu Yamashiro (Katana’s real name) caught the eye of two brothers and married Maseo. Takeo didn’t take it too well- joining the Yakuza (the Japanese equivalent of the Mob) and working his way through the ranks. While one brother was working on the dark side of the law, Tatsu and Maseo had twins. Told you I was only sort of kidding. So why is all of this important you ask? Setting up a scene my friend.

Fight for Your Right

While rising in the ranks, Takeo found a little hobby. He liked ancient weapons a little. So much so that he was presented a pair of matching swords, one of which was a little more mystical. Apparently some people just can’t take a hint because Takeo then took both swords to his brother’s house and challenged him to a duel for Tatsu. Maseo was distracted by the welfare of his kids because during the fight they started a fire. I’m sure you can figure out how that one ended. And because of dramatic timing, Tatsu came in just in time to see her husband die.

Remember how I said Tatsu was really good with martial arts? Well she got the upper hand and disarmed him. She was going to run in and save her children, but the mystical sword spoke in her husband’s voice and told her they couldn’t be saved. This sword would later become known as Soultaker.

katana body paint 1So what happened next?

Tatsu escaped and began training as a samurai. Once her training finished, she jet set to America to fight for justice. Katana (who took the name after the type of sword she uses) became part of the Outsiders where she met Batman. She was never officially a part of the Suicide Squad, only being convinced to help them at all in the first place because of a family member of Halo, after she was put in a coma protecting Katana.  It also didn’t help that when Katana refused until things became desperate because of gigi-ninjo (“A debt of Honor even onto death” Direct quote from Wikipedia), the family member was killed. What was so important? A large horde of weapons was on its way to the Yakuza… In the movie however, they say she was brought in to protect Rick Flag from the rest of the members… I wonder why…

So what do you guys think of Katana now that you know a little more of her back story? Check out this video for a Katana Body Paint cosplay!



Couple Tips:

1. Don’t do the sketch lines until after you put the base color down (Sounds like a no brainer, but I keep forgetting lol).

2. Always keep your inspiration pics close by.

3. Don’t forget to shade and highlight complimentary to each other. Basically if you’re going to highlight something, have a shadow close by to match.


katana body paint pictorialProducts Used:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation (6.0)
Wolfe Fx (001, 010, 030, 006, 040, 050)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (Warm Taupe)

Brushes Used:

Bellange Beautiful Blush and Bronzer
3/8 Angled Brush
1/2 Flat Shader Brush
Royal and Langnickel Foundation Brush


Check out this link for the official DC website

I got most of my info from this Wikipedia article 

And a little from this one

Katana Body Paint Inspirations

Inspiration for most of this one to be honest

One of the other images I took inspiration from

And another one because reasons 

69 thoughts on “Suicide Squad: Katana Body Paint and Background

  1. You literally look like an illustration and Katana is such an independent figure that should have been given more of a role. I like it when the spotlight is put on lesser known characters!

  2. Amazing! You’re so talented. A lot of work goes into painting your body or doing make-up like this. I loved that there’s also a backstory of the character. I really enjoyed this post!

  3. This is a fab blog. So creative with the body paints. I love the work and especially that its not confined to the face alone but is blended into the body also. Great work!

  4. Such a powerful back story, there is so much more to ‘comics’ than meets the eye. Body painting is a completely new take on it for me. Looks like great fun!

  5. Your creativity truly amazes me. Your artistic flair is astonishing, and to be able to do it on yourself blows my mind.

  6. You left me speechless, This is AWESOME! You are really a talent in bodypainting! You left me there staring :O
    xoxo My Life as Foteini / Foteini Karagianni ♥

  7. i have still yet to see that movie, but would like to soon! I love your work, it’s amazing! Thanks for the tutorial so I can try making this look as good as yours (TRY!)

  8. I love this film, one of my absolute favourites and I’d love to do a makeup look for Harley Quinn!

  9. You work fast! (JK) 😉
    This was really stunning, not that your work isn’t normally, but those 3D lines, fleshing out structure and depth, ye3t still portraying planar art… wow.
    Nicely done. And thanks for the backstory!

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