Simple Panda Face Painting Tutorial

Shawna Fae — 02 April 2023 —

Want to add a panda to the designs you are proud to paint? In this easy step-by-step, I’ll show you how to paint a simple yet effective panda cub design, specifically made to look extra cute! Be sure to read through the entire article to catch the little details that make all the difference.



Using a glycerin based white and a high density sponge, I create the base. I’m making a rounded shape on the forehead, the center of the forehead being the highest point. I’m also filling in the inner corners of the eyes, the nose, the muzzle, and the cheeks.

a girl with a white panda face painting base


To make the eyes extra cute, I’m painting them spaced apart and rounded. The rounded Mehron sponge helps me achieve this shape. The ears are also rounded and point toward the inner corners (see diagram at the end).

a girl with a white panda face painting base and black paint around her eyes

I’m also using the black glycerin based paint on my sponge to paint my top lip. You can use a cotton swab if you prefer.

Tip: Wax based paints feel uncomfortable on the lips, go for glycerin based paints instead for this area.

Are you wondering what glycerin based paints are and whether you use the right products? Check out our Face Paint Buying Guide, where we cover the best face paint brands, how they’re different, and how to use them to their strengths.

Face Paint Buying Guide


To create the fur, I’m painting teardrops around the base’s border with a wax based white, then I’m blending them into the base using a sponge.

a girl with a panda face painting base now with two black ears

On the cheeks and under the eyes, I’m using Starblend pink on a smoothie blender. It was a little too pigmented, so I used the leftover white on my sponge and gently blended over that to soften it. Powders and face paint layer very well together!


Using a wax based black, I’m painting the nose. The nose is low and wide, extending out beyond and below my own nose. To do this, I painted two loops on either side of my nose and a triangle shape under my nose.

I then painted a line and another triangle shape to connect to the lip.

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To outline the fur, I’m using light pressure, anchoring my finger, and doing zig zag-like motions. I’m painting in a continuous motion, so not lifting my brush until I’m finished with each cluster of fur.

a girl with an harder outlined panda face painting

I’m also adding some black fur around the ears and under the eyes using the teardrop method I used earlier for the white fur.

I then decided to soften the black fur under the eyes just a bit using the pink starblends and smoothie blender.

What’s black and white and fun to face paint? The Best Zebra design and tutorial!  … Bet you thought I was going to say panda. Use the colors and tools you’ve got out now to master another cute animal design during your practice today!

STEP 6: (optional)

To make the design a little more unique, I added some bubblegum pink mixed with a little bit of red to my lower lip.

I also added a cluster of chunky creme glitter under one of the ears and patted a bit of fine white glitter over the top of the cluster to really make it shine. I added a bit of glitter to the lip and cheeks as well.

a girl with an outlined panda face painting
Tip: Glitter adds a lot of magic for minimal effort. Click here to learn 7 Clever ways to use glitter in face painting.

Just for fun, I painted a bamboo stick on my finger and used some body glue to attach a few bamboo leaves, which are made from cardstock paper and painted on with face paints.

a girl wearing a compleated panda face paint design

a girl with an panda face paint with arrows that show the focal points

Want help creating your own unique designs and style? We teach students at all levels to compose their own balanced and impressive compositions. Check out all our classes can do for you!

Take a Class at the International Face Painting School

And the design is finished! Let me know if you have any questions, and make sure to tag me if you recreate this, I’d love to see it.

a girl with an compleated panda face paint design

Love Shawna’s style? Don’t miss her Colorful Spring Bunny Step-by-Step Tutorial.

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Want more quality designs like this one? Get inspired by designs, tutorials, and videos from top face painters from all over the world in our Ultimate Face Painting Ideas Guide!

Are you excited to paint pandas at your next event? If you enjoyed this tutorial, your face painting friends will too! SHARE the love and get credit for finding it first.

 — Shawna Fae

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