Dog Face Paint Step-by-Step for Beginners

a girl looking at the camera with compleated dog face paint on her
Rosie Lieberman — 28 April 2020 —

Being a professional face painter is not always about how advanced are your artistic skills. We’ve seen dozens of canvas artists out there whose face painting attempts looked… hm, let’s say “they had lots of room for improvement”. 😅

Being a professional face painter means that you cFan easily satisfy a kid’s request with a quick, balanced, and impressive design.

Saying that you already know from our “Top 10 must-learn face painting designs” blog that the puppy Dog face paint design is on the top of this list.

Therefore, Rosie Lieberman, one of our recent honor graduates and a new preparing School instructor, has created this stunning Dog Face Paint tutorial to help you, newbies, out there master it and add it on your menu-board.

Let’s dive in! 👇



Wondering where to get the best tools for face painting? Check out our expert recommendations here.

Step 1: Build up muzzle area first to start your dog face paint design

I started by sponging the square-shaped muzzle with white, extending up onto the forehead. I then covered the eyes and under-eye area with gold.

I then blended the white and gold on the forehead a little with the gold-loaded sponge (without adding more paint).

a girl with her eyes closed with white face paint base on her nose and mouth and golden paint on and around her eyes
Tip: The pointed end of a petal sponge is the perfect shape to fill the gap between the muzzle and the eye.

Step 2: Define the face shape

I created the shape of the head with a narrow band of brown using the rounded tip of the sponge.

I made sure that both the top and bottom halves of the head meet at the outer corners of the eye and that the top of the head is slightly conical.

Using the sponge previously loaded with gold color, I then blended out the brown and gold.

girl looking at the camera with brown face paint around the golden paint on her eyes
Tip: Using glycerine-based gold makes blending easier. Find out more about paint types and what works best for what in our Beginner’s Guide. 😍

 Get inspired with more fun dog designs in all sorts of colors, breeds, and styles in our Animal Face Paint Guide! Our readers are raving about how useful this gallery is for their OTJ face painting. ⭐️

Step 3: Create the ears

For each ear, I started by making 2 parallel lines of equal length to mark the inner and outer edges of the ear. This was done by dragging the sponge with the brown paint.

I then joined the 2 lines across the top and made the outer line wider to represent the flipped-over-ear.

girl with brown face paint around the golden paint on her eyes and the outline of the dog ears on her forehead
Tip: Try making the inner ear line at 45 degrees from the horizontal the dog will look happy and relaxed, rather than surprised (which happens when the ears are too vertical!).

Step 4: Add some color

I sponged pink for the inside of the ears of the dog face paint design and then with quite a dry sponge I added some black patches for interest.

Alternatively, you can use either glycerine- based black or metallic black for the patches. These are not so dark and are easier to apply with a sponge than waxy black.

a girl with an unfinished dog face paint

Step 5: Outline the design

Next, I outlined all the features, starting with the muzzle, followed by the ears and finally the fur.

girl with a uncompleted dog face paint with outlined dog ears

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Step 6: Dog face paint extas

To add interest and flow to the dog face paint design I decided to place a few black spots on the cheek focal points, (directing them downwards towards the mouth) and on the forehead (directed towards the central focal point).

As the eyebrows are covered by paint in this design I enhanced the eye area with curved lines and the eyebrows running from the outer to inner eye focal points.

girl with a uncompleted dog face paint with detailed shading
Tip: To easily make dots of different shapes, place the tip of a well-loaded brush on the skin, then press down firmly. Varying the weight gives you different-shaped spots.

Step 7: Add the highlights

To really make the dog design pop out I lastly added white highlights to areas that would catch the most natural light if it was a sunny day.

a girl looking at the camera with compleated dog face paint on her

Additional explanations:

a girl with a dog face paint and arrows pointing to the focal points

IMAGINE… everything that comes from under your brush is making your clients exclaim “WOW!”

…this exact moment when “the kid starts smiling and won’t give the mirror back, this is what makes me Happy!”

Take a class at the International Face Painting School and become a professional face painter from the comfort of your own home.

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

 — Rosie Lieberman

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