12 Creative Costumes That Will Make You the (Art) Star of Any Halloween Party

These costumes will turn your Halloween party into a masterpiece.

Images: Screenshots via Youtube. Collage: artnet News.

Halloween isn’t just a night to play dress-up—it’s a chance to get creative. That’s even more true for the art lovers among us. After all, what better way to stand out on the spookiest night of the year than to take a cue from your favorite artists? With that in mind, we have scoured the Internet to bring you the best costumes inspired by the art world. Happy Art Hallows Eve!


1. Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych

Many makeup-based costumes seem to require serious chops, but not this one. Achieve this look with a Marilyn Monroe wig, some yellow hairspray, pink face paint, blue eye shadow, and red lipstick. If you really want to evoke the original work, make this into a group affair, channeling the repetitive nature of Warhol’s work. You can also go for a couples costume by having someone dress up in black pants, a striped shirt, dark sunglasses, and this wig.


2. Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Portrait de Françoise)

This YouTuber breaks down the steps to achieve this Picasso-inspired look. You will need poster board, scissors, blue and green paint, and white, black, blue, and yellow makeup—which can be conveniently found in this costume makeup palette.


3. Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat

Now you can emulate Vincent van Gogh and his Post-Impressionistic style at the same time. Using quick brushstrokes, paint on a beard and skin with this palette. To complete the look you will need a white collar shirt, a blue sweater or cardigan, and a felt hat. If you want to take this costume to the next level, paint your clothes like this YouTuber.


4. Salvador Dalí’s Mae West

It may look very difficult at first glance, but this video takes you step-by-step as you transform your face into Dalí’s Mae West. You’re going to need tape, a face paint palette, index cards, gold paint, a blond wig, liquid latex, a ruler, and a slim paintbrush. While it may seem time-consuming—especially if you want detailed frames—this is a show stopper. People will be complimenting you all night on your costume, and you might just be able to add makeup artist to your résumé if you pull it off.


5. Bob Ross

Bob Ross paints a mountainscape on his TV show "The Joy of Painting," (2007). Courtesy of Haiden Goggin and Flickr.

Bob Ross paints a landscape on his TV show The Joy of Painting (2007). Courtesy of Haiden Goggin and Flickr.

Believe it or not, this costume is so popular that Party City actually has an accessory kit ready for purchase. The kit includes a brown curly wig, a beard, a paintbrush, and a  palette—the only thing missing is Ross’s signature blue button-up shirt. You can even make this a couples affair by dressing up as a Ross painting. To really nail the persona, though, don’t forget to mention in a soft voice how happy your trees look!


6. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

To truly make this costume into a masterpiece, you’ll need to conceal your brows. (Watch how this da Vinci fan accomplishes that.) In addition to the glue stick, concealer, and loose powder, you will need foundation, a nude eye shadow palette, lip balm, and a hair net—and, if you don’t have long, dark hair, a wig. For the outfit, you will want to stick with earth tones to stay true to the Mona Lisa’s green and brown garb; you will need a shawl in an earth tone and maybe a black dress. Lastly, you can create a frame out of cardboard and paint for added effect. If you’d rather not carry the frame all night, you can create straps by getting creative with twine.


7. Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl

This costume is heavily makeup-based, so watch this YouTuber and follow her steps if you really want to do it right. Apart from the makeup, you’ll need red lipstick, mascara, and a wig. To apply the artist’s signature Ben-Day dots, use your index finger or a shaped sponge brush. Then use a fine-tipped brush and black face paint to contour your face. You’ll also use the brush to paint the exaggerated lashes and outline the Drowning Girl tears. Lichtenstein’s paintings also incorporate men, so his work serves as great inspiration for couples costumes. Use this special comic strip makeup kit to create this look.


8. René Magritte’s Son of Man

On the left, René Magritte, <i>Le Fils de L'Homme (Son of Man)</i> (1973). Photo: courtesy Thurston Royce Gallery of Fine Art, LTD. On the right, a man dressed up like René Magritte's <i> Son of Man</i>. Courtesy of Jennifer Murawski and Flickr.

On the left, René Magritte, Le Fils de L’Homme (Son of Man) (1973). Photo: courtesy Thurston Royce Gallery of Fine Art, LTD. On the right, a man dressed up like René Magritte’s Son of Man. Courtesy of Jennifer Murawski and Flickr.

This costume is pretty straightforward: You’ll need a black blazer or a gray overcoat, a white dress shirt, and a red tie. The tricky part is the bowler hat and the apple. We suggest purchasing an inexpensive bowler like this one and cutting a hole in the brim. Then, using wire, secure an apple (we recommend an artificial one sourced from your local craft store) through the hole, attaching leaves at the top of the brim for the complete effect.


9. Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama. Photo: © Yayoi Kusama; Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York; KUSAMA Enterprise.

Yayoi Kusama. Photo: © Yayoi Kusama; Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York; KUSAMA Enterprise.

Kusama may be the perfect costume if you are on a budget or a last-minute Halloween costume planner. All you need is a red bob wig (easily available at any Halloween store) and a polka-dot shirt, preferably red. It doesn’t get easier than that.


10. Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam

Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam recreated for "Up Close: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel." Courtesy of Erich Lessing and SEE Global Entertainment.

Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam recreated for “Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.” Courtesy of Erich Lessing and SEE Global Entertainment.

This one may have a lot of party goers guessing who you are, but with one easy pose, they will be able to identify you. In this costume, you have your choice of Adam or God. Now, Adam might seem like a risky choice, however, some creative human designed a nude muscular morphsuit just for this occasion. With the God costume, you need only two things: a beard and a tunic. Because this is such a famous painting, we suggest not being one part of the whole; do yourself a favor and make this your couples costume.


11. Piet Mondrian’s Composition III

For this Piet Mondrian look, you will need a costume makeup palette that has red, white, yellow, blue, and black. You will also need a fine-tipped paintbrush and a steady hand. Very carefully create the outlines with white along with the YouTube instructor. Then start filling in the red, blue, and yellow panels. After those are finished, you can fill in the white panels, which may take a few layers. Lastly, take the black paint and carefully draw the dividing lines between the panels. Give yourself plenty of time with this makeup—it requires precision.


12. Jackson Pollock’s Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)

While the creator of this video decided to do a mashup of Mondrian and Pollock, you can choose the Pollock painting that inspires you the most. Whichever work you choose, get your Halloween makeup palette, take the colors of your choosing, and mix with a little water. Then, with a paintbrush, start splattering your face. For this look, things can get messy fast, so we recommend taking precautions to protect your bathroom (i.e., lots of towels).

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