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 rainbow tiger design and is sharing the tutorial with you today!
Check it out!
Want to know which are the other 9 most requested designs? Check out our “Top 10 must-learn face painting designs” article!
Step 1: The white background and pinky nose
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.
Step 2: The rainbow background
With a different half-yellow sponge I applied 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!
Step 3: First outlines
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.
Step 4: The forehead lines
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”!
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!
Step 6: Extra lines to make it pop!
An optional step that will help make this 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.
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.
Step 8: The little 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!
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 look of the final design!
And voila! The rainbow tiger face painting design is now ready to rock the party! Hope you ejoyed this tutorial and can try it out in the near future! Show me your attempt in the comments below!
And if you are willing to sink deeper in the amazing profession of a face painter, then why not Take a Class at our School? 😍