Learn to Paint a Colorful Tiger Face

Elodie Ternois — 31 May 2019 —

From the great variety of face painting designs, the tiger design is one of the most requested ones! Both boys and girls love it, both small kids and adults adore it!

Our International Face Painting School instructor Elodie Ternois created a stunning tiger face paint design and sharing the tutorial with you today!

Check it out!

Materials used:

Best Face Painting Kits

To learn more about face painting supplies and where to buy them, visit our Best Face Painting Kits Guide, which provides detailed information and recommendations for Professionals or Beginners who want a professional start.

Step 1: Start a Simple Tiger Face Paint with the Background

I start by sponging some white over the eyes areas and on the muzzle. I like mixing Diamond FX and Kryolan white paint because one is waxy and the other one is glycerin based. One gives opaque color, while the other gives the softness and better blending.

Check out our Free Beginner’s Face Paint Guide to learn more about waxy and glycerin based paints and types of white.

Notice that the spots above the eyes are placed like butterfly wings, under a 45 degree angle. That’s why it is so important to polish the butterfly design too, which is the base of so many other designs! We study it in details in the School.

With the other side of the sponge, I applied some “baby pink 062” by Superstar on the nose. This soft color will help us create a nice blended gradient with the rainbow that I’ll be applying next.

a girl with a white and pink base of a colorful tiger face paint design on her face

Step 2: Add Rainbow Background

With a different half-yellow sponge, I continue shaping my tiger Halloween makeup by applying a rainbow combination from a handmade split-cake. I used pastel colors for this split-cake (lalaland / pastel lilac / Henri Jr Blue / Pastel green / bright yellow / soft yellow / bubblegum — all by Superstar.), but the combinations are infinite! Give it a try and create your own split-cake too!

In the School, we have an entire Module dedicate to one-stroke technique and specific sections on color theory, paint activation, efficient work with split-cakes, how to create your own split-cake and even down to how to fix a damaged split-cake!

Want to find out more about what are these studies about? Check out the Curriculum!

a girl with a base of a colorful tiger face paint on her

Step 3: The First Outlines of Easy Tiger Face Paint

I normally recommend starting doing the outlines from these main sections of the design — the eyes and the muzzle with the nose.

All the rest areas can be filled in various ways — from tiger lines, to leopard spots, from linework to stencils, from chunky glitter additions to a plain background. The options are endless!

But, the eyes and the muzzle area normally stay the same (well, with just a few variations). Therefore, pick up your waxy black and a round brush and let’s do it! I used Diamond FX and a #3 brush by Loew Cornell 795 series.

Tip: Keep in mind that all your lines must virtually connect in one central focal point, which will make this design look truly balanced and elegant. Learn more about the Focal Points in our Free Guide for Professional face painters.

Step 4: Add Forehead Lines to Your Design

Next, I move on painting the lines on the forehead. I used a similar placement as for the tiger design that Olga teaches in the Online Course. But again, the options on how you could fill in this area are numerous!

The main thing you should take care of is to practice the quality of your lines with thick bodies and thin pointy tips.

Also, make sure that the negative space (the empty space between the lines) is equal all over the place and is about the same width as the lines.

If you feel that your linework sucks, don’t worry! We have a solution on how to polish it in no time!
Check out our FREE Online Workshop “Improve your linework in 3 days”!

Free Online Workshop - Improve Your Linework in 3 Days

Step 5: The Cheeks

Again, I used the same placement for the lines as in Olga’s tiger but added one extra line. That’s why you can see that the lines on the bottoms of the cheeks are quite densely placed, but notice, that despite tight positioning, none of the lines intersect!

This is very important!

Always make sure to keep the negative space the same width all over the place!

Tip: If you are a beginner and don’t feel comfortable with such a tight line placement, choose fewer lines, but keep them all pointed into the central FP and make sure your every line has a thin and pointy tip at the end! This design is all about perfect linework!

Step 6: Extra Lines to Make Your Easy Tiger Face Painting Pop!

An optional step that will help make this simple tiger face paint design pop is to add thinner lines with light blue color inside the black ones.

I know, that requires practice! But trust me, my linework wasn’t as good when I just started. It took me a couple of years until my lines starting flowing out of my brushes! Don’t give up if you do not succeed on the first attempt! Try again and again. Practice makes perfect!

I used “blue Henry Junior” by Superstar and #2 round brush by Loew Cornell here. Make sure that the black paint is entirely dried and that your light blue paint is quite thick and creamy. If you end up with more water in your light blue, it will activate the black and will create a messy effect.

Tip: Learn more about paint consistencies that are used in face painting in our “How to activate face paints to get amazing results article“!

Step 7: The Stencils

Now, if you want to add your tiger an even more whimsical look, then go for this next step! I used #012 Stencil by Jest Paint and a dauber to add these little stars clusters.

Make sure your paint consistency is always sticky-dry when you stencil! This will prevent any paint leaking under the stencil and smudging the final image.

a girl with a compleated design of a colorful tiger face paint

Step 8: Tiger Face Paint Fancy Details

Last, but not least, add your tiger some fancy look by sparkling it up with chunky glitter and painting the lips! I used Magenta by Superstar to paint the lips and Festival Glitter “Starstruck” by Art Factory chunky glitter for the fangs. And to finish it off, I added some glitter strands with Festival Glitter “Fierce” by Art Factory chunky glitter, into the hair of my model! As easy as that, but what a glamorous effect!

Did you know that we’ve compiled two amazing guides on glitter? Check them out in Festival Glitter Part One and Festival Glitter Part Two articles! It’s FREE!

Additionally, I went with my Cameleon blending brush over the muzzle and eyes outline and over the nose to blend the black outline a little bit. These soft areas help create dimension and a truly spectacular final look from this tiger face paint design!

And voila! The rainbow Halloween tiger face paint design is now ready to rock the party! Hope you enjoyed this easy tiger face paint tutorial and can try it out in the near future! Show me your attempt in the comments below!

a girl with a compleated vibrant and colorful tiger face paint design

Looking to other artists for inspiration is a great starting place when you’re creating original designs. Our Animal Face Paint Ideas Guide is curated to include a variety of placements and styles so you can find the creative spark and fan the flame of your creativity all in one place.

 — 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