Beginner’s Butterfly Face Paint Tutorial

Elodie Ternois — 25 March 2020 —

One stroke is a specific face painting technique where multiple colors are applied at once using a sponge or a flat brush.

In this tutorial, the International Face Painting School instructor Elodie Ternois has prepared a super bright, colorful and super easy to paint butterfly face paint design for you to learn!

Make sure to read this article till the very end, because there is a bonus video-review of the new Leane’s Happy Pixie Pallette. 😘


By the way, if you are looking for the best face painting supplies, you may find it helpful checking out our specific recommendations for best paint, brushes, stencils and more! Check out our “Face Painting Supplies Guide”!

Step 1: Butterfly Face Paint Top Wings

I used a petal sponge to paint the top butterfly wings. I really love this new petal sponge by Fusion because it is a little bit smaller than Paint Pal Petal sponge!

It is easier to pinch and create a small triangular shape, without going too far on the temple areas.

Pay attention to the eyebrows! Adults normally have longer eyebrows and you may have the temptation to cover the entire eyelid area and the eyebrows entirely. However, it is more important that you follow the eye-corner — nostril line (this is a line that Annabel also used in her Fancy Eye Design tutorial).

Thus, you may end up with a portion of eyebrows uncovered, yet the wings placement will elevate and open the eyes creating an elegant look, which is much more important!

a woman with a gradient face paint on and above her eyes

Step 2: Bottom wings

Using the same sponge I created the bottom wings. And if the top ones had to be triangular with a little deepening above the eyebrow, then on the bottom we need a petal shape.

a woman with gradient butterfly wings painted on her eyes
Tip: Make sure you connect the top and the bottom wings in the outer corners of the eyes, leaving a V gap between them.

Step 3

Let’s outline our wings now! We will do it in one-stroke technique. I used a ⅜ angled brush to outline the top wing in three sections.

The second section must come a little deeper, to enhance even more the deepening that we’ve previously created with the sponge.

Also, pay attention to the size difference in sections. One of the main mistakes that our students make is painting all three sections of the same size.

a side angle of a smiling woman thats in a process of having a coloful butterfly painted on her face
Tip: Notice that two sections are placed above the eyebrow and the last section is at the same level with the eyebrow. That’s very important! 😉
Looking for more cute girly designs using one-stroke? This design by NataliSta will stand out as the best Minnie Mouse face paint your clients have ever seen! You can learn every step to achieve this clean and animated look in the in-depth tutorial.

Step 4

Now, onto the bottom wings! Same technique and the same procedure! We need three sections of different sizes. I find that painting the middle section as the widest one creates the most eye-pleasing effect.

a woman with gradient butterfly wings that are shaded painted on her eyes

For the one stroke outline, I used the last two colors of the same palette — super handy!

Want to dig in even deeper? 😉 Learn how to polish your butterflies with our “Three Secrets to Mastering Your Butterflies” blog post!

a woman with a colorful butterfly face paint holding a palette of shiny bright colors

Step 5 – Complete Your Butterfly Face Paint Design

Now, you can paint the body with exactly the same brush and one-stroke as we used for the outline. Just make sure to keep it between the eyes, don’t lift it too much on the forehead.

And finally, we can add some contrast and sparkles! I used a #1 round brush and Paraffin white for the outline, dots and stars.

And that completes your simple butterfly face painting!

I then went with gold glitter gel for an extra outline, but that’s an optional step ;).

smiling woman looking at the camera with a gradient purple, blue and green butterfly face painting on her
Check out my additional explanations here and I’d love to see you attempt at this butterfly in the comments!

Are you a newbie in the face painting world?
Check out our “Ultimate Face painting guide for begginers”! You need it in your life! 😍


Last, but not least, I prepared a bonus-video for you where I’ve tested all of the color combinations from the new Petal Palette | Leanne’s Happy Pixie by Fusion. I am seriously in love with it and I hope my review helps you see how yummy are these colors and how versatile is this new product!


Did you enjoy this tutorial? Hit “SHARE” and let your fellow face painters know about it! 👇👇👇

 — Elodie Ternois

Join The Premier Online Community

For Face Painters

Subscribe today to receive expert tips and tricks, fresh face painting ideas, step-by-steps, and more.

35000+ Subscribers
140 Blog posts
2500 Students
70+ Countries