Child with a beautiful face painting of a kitty

10 Best Professional Face Painting Tips For Beginners


Face painting has become so popular in recent years that it is now enjoyed not only by children but also by adults too. Learning Face Painting can be a money-making skill that may help you support your family. It is also great for an enjoyable pastime to distract yourself from your boring daily routine and have some fun with your kids.

If you want to be a professional face painter or do it just as a hobby, you must learn how to face paint properly. It includes utilizing the necessary equipment, techniques, and cleanliness. So that you may have fun while staying safe.

In this blog post, we’ll go through the fundamentals of face painting. After you’ve mastered the fundamentals, explore our blog post to understand all of the additional elements. Trust me it will help you become a pro.

Even if she or he has no prior expertise or comprehension of the subject, a complete beginner face painter can easily follow along and grasp everything in this post.

The Ultimate Face Painting Kit


  • White, used for linework (one pot of 30 gram or 45 gram)— Party Xplosion, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Face Paints Australia (FPA), Fusion Body Art.
  • Black for the linework (one pot of 30 gram or 45 gram) — Party Xplosion, Wolfe FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Diamond FX, Face Paints Australia (FPA), Fusion Body Art.
  • A six- or twelve-color pallet of face paints
  • One rainbow split-cake for a sponge which is optional
  • One little split-cake for one stroke. It is also optional
  • One pearl (metallic) white. It is also optional
  • Five round brushes – Loew Cornell 795 series, Paint Pal swirl series, Alyiah round and ultra round, Bolt brushes — one #1 size brush, two #3 size brushes, and two #4 size brushes
  • TAG, Loew Cornell, Paint Pal, Bolt, or craft one flat 1-inch brush one filbert brush size 12-inch (10 mm) TAG, Loew Cornell, Paint Pal, Bolt, or craft
  • Half-circle sponges with optional petal sponges
  • Spray bottle for the tub
  • Glitter
  • Stencils
  • Wet wipes
  • A case or a bag for all of the mentioned stuff


To be a successful face painter, you’ll need to know how to create teardrops and swirls in face painting. While it may not appear to be a tough technique to master, most novice face painters have trouble with it.

Remember that teardrops and swirls aren’t exclusive to princess crowns. They are also used to create the stripes on the kitten mask.

Here are a few practical tips to help you improve your techniques:

  1. Before you begin your teardrops or swirls, make sure you have the correct consistency of the paint on your brush. While water is required to activate all water-based face paints, some require a little more effort than others. 
  2. If your white face paint isn’t producing opaque lines, take a wet brush and swirl it in the pan several times. Keep doing this until you achieve the desired consistency.
  3. To get a beautifully thick consistency, test the paint on the back of your hand. If your face paint spills, your brush has too much water on it. Just dab your brush on a clean cloth while rolling the tip of the brush into a sharp point if this is the case. Then you’re ready to get started.
  4. Begin by pressing down with a round brush and slowly raising the brush off the skin to create a teardrop shape. You should draw a line that is thick at the start and thins out to a nice sharp point at the finish.
  5. Dip your brush in clean water and swirl it in the face paint again if it isn’t sliding across the skin easily.
  6. Reapply the face paint and give it another shot.
  7. Swirls are comparable to teardrops in that they can be made in the same way. When curling the line, you’ll apply the same procedure. Remember to squeeze and pull up into the very tip of your brush to adjust the thickness of the lines.
  8. Another thing to consider is the positioning of teardrop clusters and swirls. Make sure that all of the lines in a cluster are pointing in the same direction.

3. Steady your Shaky Hand

If you’re a beginner face painter, you’ll probably feel a little nervous the first few times you do it. (If that’s the case, see my final tip.) Maybe you drank too much coffee the night before your gig!

It’s no wonder that painting whiskers, outlines, or swirls with a shaky hand are difficult. Whatever is causing your hands to shake, there is a simple solution. As you paint, simply lay the pinkie finger of your working hand on the subject’s forehead.

Even when my hands are steady, I employ this approach all the time. Because if your hand is shaky during a face painting then there’s no doubt that you will not mess it up. This strategy also provides me with a little forewarning if the youngster moves their face suddenly. Before I make a mistake, I have a split second to pick up my brush.

4. Spray Your Sponge, Not Your Paint

Should you spritz your sponge with water to activate your face paint or should you wet your face paint directly? You can do either, but spritzing your sponge (or dipping your brush in clean water) first. It will keep your face paints drier and less prone to mold and bacteria growth.
While face paints contain preservatives to keep them fresh, you don’t want to take any chances by letting water collect in containers. Face paints that are dry last longer.
Also, if you spritz water directly over split cakes in one stroke, the colors may bleed together, resulting in a mess that you’ll have to wipe.
So spare yourself the trouble and spritz your sponges with water instead of face paint cakes.

5. Make Sure Base Layer is Dry Before Layering

Untitled design

The face paint you sponge on a face before beginning detailed line work is called base layer. If you’re going to paint a blue kitty, for example, you’ll probably start by sponging blue and white face paint over the forehead, cheeks, nose, and top lip. Your design will not resemble any known animal at this point. But what happens next will define your design and transform it into a product that resembles the fuzzy kitty that your buyer adores. That is, assuming the base layer is prepared for the next stage. When I first started, one of the most common mistakes I made was starting line work over a moist base layer. The outcome is pouring paint or bleeding lines.

If you’ve ever had a disaster like this, it’s probably because you didn’t wait a few seconds longer for the first application of face paint to dry. It may seem like an eternity until the face paint dries when you’re in a rush, but it only takes around 30 seconds if you’re outside (a little longer indoors or if it’s humid out).

Use this time to spritz on some face glitter instead of waiting for the face paint to dry. Because glitter only adheres to wet face paint, now is the best moment to add some glitz. After you apply glitter, It should be time to move on to your detailed linework.

How do you tell whether your foundation layer is completely dry? That can be a little challenging. Examine the face paint from various perspectives. Is there any sheen left on it? Then it’s likely that it’s not dry. You may also test the dryness of the face paint by tapping it with your fingernail. Trust me, once you get in the habit of letting the foundation layer dry, painting contours, swirls, teardrops, dots, and whiskers will be a breeze. Always remember to check the base layer before applying another layer because it’s very important for a perfect face painting.

The result is professional-looking designs that set them apart from the competition!

6. Organize your Table

When you first start as a face painter, you may begin to acquire face paints that don’t all fit neatly together in a palette. I went out and bought several containers of face paint in various shapes and sizes when I booked my first performance. Then I went out and got some split cakes of various sizes, as well as a couple of one strokes. While I was working, the face paints were strewn around my table, and it didn’t appear very orderly. Then I’d have to rearrange things to find what I needed. Hello, squander of time!

Not to mention the fact that I didn’t exactly resemble a skilled face painter. That first season, I didn’t get many employment offers, which was understandable.

If you opt to buy separate face paint colors, attempt to find containers that are the same size. That way, you can purchase an empty case like this as well as a separate insert to keep things tidy.

It’s also important to have a folding table that’s big enough for your supplies and convenient to transport to and from gigs. I found out how to position my director’s chair so that I could reach my materials quickly while my small customer was seated. Of course, making a strategy for where you’ll set your goods on the table is crucial. Place your water containers between you and your face paints, for example, to avoid knocking them over.

With a little forethought, you can create a professional-looking face-painting setup that allows you to face paint quickly and confidently.

7. Decide Whether You are a Sitting Painter or a Standing Painter

Some face painters prefer to paint while standing, while others prefer to paint while sitting. Practice with your child or a friend to determine your choice. If you can move freely between your model in the chair and your table, you may find it much easier to face paint.

Or do you realize that after an hour of standing, your back will be hurting you? If that’s the case, figure out how to set up two folding seats so you can quickly reach your supplies and your customer’s face. When I’m seated, I’ve discovered that having the customer’s chair directly in front of me is inconvenient. To reach their face, I had to lean slightly forward in my chair. As a result, I prefer to position the customer’s chair parallel to mine. My arms don’t have to stretch as much, and it works out great.

Customers are seated in director’s chairs beside standing face painters. You can reach your customer’s face without having to stoop over this way.

If you’re going to stand, experiment with several placements for the director’s chair and table to see what works best for you. If you’re right-handed, for example, having your director’s chair to the left of your table would make sense.

Knowing whether you’re a standing or a sitting face painter may seem insignificant, but it can make a big impact on the job. When you’re working long hours, it’s important to be comfortable, so plan ahead of time what will help you be as relaxed as possible.

8. Keep your Customers from Wiggling while You Face Paint

A little girl having getting a face paint

The majority of children will be unable to sit as still as a statue while being painted. When you’re a beginner face painter, this can be a tremendous difficulty.

One of my favorite things to do is to place my non-painting hand on top of the child’s head. It helps to settle them down while also giving you a heads-up if they move their head suddenly. Remove your brush from their face as soon as you notice their head moving.

I try to avoid telling the consumer to be “very still” unless I need them to be. That’s when I normally write the outline. If the youngster moves a little while you’re sponging on a base but it’s not as bad.

Asking a wiggly child to gaze directly at their parent’s or your face is another way to persuade them to keep still. I always like to wear a piece of glittery jewelry, a cheek design, or something else that youngsters enjoy look at.

9. Smile

A girl smiling

You might be wondering how smiling has anything to do with anything. A cheerful attitude and a grin, on the other hand, will get you further than you can think. Smiling during face painting can assist your tiny customers to feel more at ease about having their faces painted.

Their parents will enjoy your kind temperament and will most likely compliment you on how pleasant and patient you are.

Believe me when I say there will be times when you don’t want to smile. When kids fight over who gets to face paint their puppy’s face, or when a picky customer doesn’t like the color you used to face paint her puppy’s face.

Then there are those instances when you’re completely exhausted after a few hours of face painting at a crowded event and just don’t want to do it any longer. It’s more vital than ever to remember to smile at this time.

I am a great believer in smiling even when you want to cry because it will lead to a more optimistic attitude. Remembering to grin will also remind you that face painting is supposed to be enjoyable. Not just for the kids, but also for you!


Seriously! You must believe in your ability and expertise to be a fantastic face painter. Lack of confidence when face painting, or doing anything else, will only impede you from becoming the best that you can be.

When you get requests for creatures you’ve never worked with before, take the following in mind: All animal faces are essentially the same. The ears are usually what distinguishes an animal. So a mouse face is simply a feline face with large round ears. Apply a light grey foundation color, exactly like you would for a kitty, and then paint huge pink circles on the forehead! After that, just add a few elements like a hairy outline and whiskers, nose, etc.

I felt a lot more confident face painting all kinds of exotic creatures after discovering this approach. Not to mention that I didn’t have to waste time attempting to persuade disgruntled children to change their minds and choose, for example, a tiger face instead of a giraffe.

I hope these face painting tips and tactics for beginners will assist you and allow you to truly wow your customers. I could have saved myself some embarrassment if I had known these things from the start. However, becoming successful at what you do takes a lot of practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t face paint properly from the start. You’ll get there, but maybe faster now that you’ve read these tips!

If you’ve made it this far in the blog and think that you cannot paint unless or until you take some painting classes. Then you can visit our courses any time you wish.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *