Rainbow Butterfly Face Painting for Beginners

a close-up image of a woman with a compleated rainbow butterfly face paint design
Elodie Ternois — 16 April 2020 —

Rainbows, butterflies, flowers and lots of sparkles! What else a little girl can dream of? Check out our new tutorial, prepared by the super talented International Face Painting School instructor — Elodies Ternois.

Prefer a non-rainbow butterfly? See our simple butterfly face paint design.


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: The sponged base

If you have already followed my first “One Stroke Butterfly” tutorial, you can see that I am using the same technique here — loading my petal sponge with a color combination and then sponging on the wings base.

This time I used the Rainbow Unicorn split-cake combo from the new sponge palette.

We’re keeping in mind that the top wings must be triangular and the bottom wings — of a petal shape.

a woman with a base of a rainbow butterfly face paint on and around her eyes
Tip: Use wet wipes to clean the edges and obtain a clean and symmetrical shape.

Step 2: The rainbow

Next, I am painting the rainbow using my Flat brush ¾ Stroke by Bolt and Leanne’s Pretty Rainbow Spectrum Palette by Fusion: Rainbow Magic split-cake.

It is essential that you get a very well curved and rounded shape! This will make your design look elegant and flowing!

I am using the outer corners of my eyes as a reference and imagine that the magenta color would start from the focal points in the outer corners of my eyes.

Make sure your paint is of a very creamy consistency to obtain the most vibrant colors!

a woman with a base of a rainbow butterfly face paint on and around her eyes with a rainbow connecting them
Tip: Check out our “Top 7 tips for vibrant designs in face painting” blog post for more advice!

Step 3: Let’s start outlining!

I am beginning to outline my design starting from the top wings, using a #3 round brush and the same pattern that is taught at the School in our online course in the Flower Fairy design.

I find that keeping the parts above the eyebrows pointy and triangular the most pleasing way of outlining the top wings.

a woman with rainbow butterfly wing on her eyes connected by a rainbow on her forehead
Tip: If you struggle with symmetry in your designs, follow the tips from our “7 Steps For Symmetrical Face Painting Designs”! You will master it in no time!

Step 4: The rest of the rainbow butterfly face paint outline

Outlining the eyebrows with a line that goes from the outside corners of the eyes into the inside eye corners is a great way to make the eyes look even more attractive in this design!

The bottom wings must be of a more rounded, so-called “petal” shape.

The little extensions in the cheek Focal Points help add interest and originality into this butterfly face paint design.

a woman with an hard outlined and almost compleated rainbow butterfly face paint design

Not happy with your linework? Take our “Improve your linework in 3 days” workshop! It’s FREE!

Free Online Workshop - Improve Your Linework in 3 Days

Step 5: The highlights

White dots of different sizes play the role of highlights, they add contrast, vibrance, but also, they help visually hide any asymmetrical mistakes.

Keep in mind to alternate the size of the dots in the clusters for the most impressive effect! And actually, you can stop at this stage with this design!

Or, you can move on and add some extra wow-factor to it! Let me show you how. 😘

a woman with a compleated rainbow butterfly face paint design

Step 6: The roses and bling

To fill in the center of my design, I decided to paint a couple of one stroke roses.

If you aren’t familiar with the one stroke technique, then I highly suggest that you check out our “Professional Face Painting Guide” for more details about it. 😍

Last, but not least, add some colorful chunky glitter in the middle of the face and on the sides of the bottom wings and voila!

Your butterfly face paint design is ready!

Rainbow Butterfly Face Paint

Check out my additional explanations for this design in this scheme:

a woman with a compleated rainbow butterfly face paint design with arrows pointing to the focal points


If you’re having a hard time with your one-stroke roses, you need more explanation than we can tag into the end of a tutorial. But you’re in luck! View an in-depth tutorial for one-stroke roses and follow along with video demonstration here.

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

 — Elodie Ternois

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