How to Face Paint a Cat

Two Parts:PreparationPainting the cat design on the face

Face painting a cat design is about as easy as it gets and it's a design that many a child loves. The cat design consists of determining the design ears, nose, whiskers and such things as stripes or spots, although the latter can be left off for a faster finish, if preferred.

Part 1

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    Be specific about the type of cat wanted. Start by asking the child what sort of cat they want on their face. You can help by making suggestions, such as striped, black, polka dot, ginger, tabby, or whatever. While the decision is child's, it must be guided by what you feel capable of painting on the child's face; some designs are more straightforward than others. The type of cat will help you to choose colors, and to decide whether or not it's worth adding stripes, spots or other unusual features besides the standard cat's ears, eyes, nose and mouth.
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    Prepare the child. Have the child sit down on a comfortable chair, stool or other seat, at a height that you can reach with ease. If the child has long hair, put it back in a ponytail to make sure that the hair stays out of the child's face.

Part 2
Painting the cat design on the face

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    Start at the top of the face, working your way to the bottom. This will prevent your hand from rubbing in already completing work, which will mess up the painting.
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    Begin with the cat ears on the forehead area. These are fairly standard. Draw two triangles on the forehead with the chosen color. Draw a smaller pink triangle inside, to represent the inner ear area. Color in the inner ear triangle with the face paint, making it completely pink (or pinkish).
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    Design the nose. There are several options for the nose, two are explained here.
    • Option one: Draw on an upside down triangle on the tip of the nose. Even up the sides after drawing it, then paint it in completely, usually a black or pink color but the color can vary, depending on which face paints you have.
    • Option two: Paint pink color around the nostrils. Paint the chosen color for the nose just above the nostrils, continuing to paint the chosen color up the bridge of the nose. Add some black just above the nostrils. Finish by drawing a straight line from the nose base that extends down to the lip.
    • You could also try a combination of both of these suggested options.
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    Paint on the whiskers. Whiskers are easy to do, it's just a case of how many whiskers; for a small child's face, three is sufficient, while a larger face might be able to handle five. There is no need to do any more than five, it just starts to look overdone.
    • Draw three to five lines across both cheeks, from the nose towards the sides of the face. Flick them on without pressing too hard, for a more flowing look.
    • Add dots in front of the whiskers, nose end. These represent the growing ends of the whiskers typically seen on a cat.
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    Paint above the lips. This step is optional, it adds extra features. Put a white oval across the upper lip and paint black dots onto it.
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    Paint the lips. Choose any color that matches the color you have already applied. Apply it on the lips in the manner of lip gloss.
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    Add spots or stripes. If you still have time and the child wants a striped or a spotty cat, draw these onto the face, avoiding the features that are already in place. Think along abstract representations of these features rather than anything too detailed, because it'll look overdone or amateurish if you try to make this part too fancy.
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  • Perfect your cat drawing skills quickly. Learn on a patient child; many a child will fuss and want to move on, so the faster you can learn this painting skill, the better it'll be.
  • Face paint should be easy for parents to remove. Advise the person accompanying the child how to remove the paint if you're painting faces for an event.


  • Keep face paint away from the eyes of the child. Read the instructions accompanying the packaging before using the paint, in order to know what to do in case of such a mishap.
  • Face paint can stain clothing. It is best to wear short sleeves or to roll up your sleeves when working with it, and to let the child know not to rub his or her sleeve on the paintwork.

Things You'll Need

  • Face paint in a variety of colors
  • Brushes for face painting
  • Cotton buds for removing errors
  • Water, for cleaning up

Article Info

Categories: Hobbies and Crafts