Producer Jerry Bruckheimer released the first picture of the actor in full make-up in early March, with the the message, "Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!"
Depp has since revealed that he was inspired by a painting, saying that the make-up is meant to evoke Tonto's various emotions.
"I'd actually seen a painting by an artist named Kirby Sattler, and looked at the face of this warrior and thought, 'That's it'," Depp told Entertainment Weekly.
"The stripes down the face and across the eyes," he continued. "It seemed to me like you could almost see the separate sections of the individual, if you know what I mean.
"There's this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, and angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side," Depp explained. "I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual. That make-up inspired me."
Earlier this month, Depp met with members of the Navajo Nation on the set of The Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger opens in cinemas on May 31, 2013.