Face Painting Designs for Kids

by JoHarrington

You don't have to be a great artist to come up with something special for your child. Check out these simple face painting designs for boys and girls.

Most kids love to have their face painted! As a parent, it's your job to get out your brush and make them look wonderful.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the innate talent or experience to do this with confidence. But never fear. Decorating a child's face is easier than it looks, once you have some face painting supplies.

Let's explore some simple face painting designs, that you will be able to replicate without worry. It'll be fun for all involved!

Choosing the Right Face Paints for Decorating Children's Faces

No! You can't use the stuff that you slap on the walls! Kids have delicate skin!

It might appear obvious, but you would be amazed at some of the errors made out there. 

In May 2012, a DJ and pool attendant from Brazil named Paulo Henrique dos Santos decided to paint himself as the Incredible Hulk.  His green skin looked amazing, right up until the moment when the party was over.

That's when he discovered in the shower that he'd used the wrong kind of paint. His body was covered in what was usually reserved for daubing ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines!

After taking about twenty baths and showers, scrubbing with all that he could lay his hands on, he did what anyone would do in this situation.  He called his Mum.

After unsuccessfully attempting to remove the green paint herself, Senora dos Santos organized back up.  For over twenty-four hours, a group of neighbors and friends took it in turns to scrub the hapless Hullk. 

Finally the green paint came off. 

On the assumption that you are not willing to put your own child (or yourself!) through this, then it's better to find the correct face paints in the first place.  There are plenty on the market and the reputable ones meet American and European marketing standards.

They are designed to be applied and removed easily, without damaging your kid's delicate skin. Being water-based, they simply wash off under the tap.

Buy Safe Face Paint Supplies

By shopping with a reputable company, like those supplying through Amazon, you know that your face painting supplies meet industry standards.
Snazaroo Ultimate Party Face Painting...Face Painting (Klutz Kit)Snazaroo Face Painting Kit, Rainbow

Pretty Hearts and Lines for Face Painting Babies

The Right Brushes and Sponges for Easy Face Painting

You are not scouring a dinner pan here. Soft and gentle is the way forward.

When you purchase a face paint kit from a trusted company like Snazaroo, you are likely to receive brushes and sponges anyway.

If you don't, then you will have to find your own.  Some care is needed here, in order not to damage your child's skin.  You don't want anything with hard bristles for a start!

Even the most complex painting designs for kids will only ever use four methods of application:

  • A Sponge:  This adds in the base coat color, smearing paint all over your child's face.
  • A Fine Pointed Brush: This is used to add in tiny details.
  • A Medium Sized Brush: This allows you to make big, bold strokes, the larger lines in fact.
  • A Large Brush: This will let you color in between the lines, over large areas of skin.

The chances are that your most basic designs will only use one or two of them.  As your skill grows, then you will add to your hoard.  But those are the most common methods of face paint application.

Buy Soft Brushes and Sponges Designed for Face Painting

If you choose the correct applicators, you will be able to hold the face paints while not scratching your child's skin.
FACE PAINT BRUSH SET Set of 3 Snazaroo Brushes

These compact brushes will be a great addition to any kit and provide that variation of lines that you can't produce with just one brush. Made with synthetic bristle and irradia...

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Wolfe Face Paint Sponges

Our sponges are high-density, extra stiff quality, and made from open cell foam to give a consistency similar to that of a sea sponge. They have a rough texture which is ideal f...

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Da Vinci Facepainting 5 Brush Set for Every Face Painting Technique

Face painting set includes series 1381 vario tip No.8, 333 round No.6, 334 bright No.8, 5575 retouch No.2 and 36 round sable No.4. Developed for the world face painting champion...

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How To Do Face Painting: The Butterfly

Face Painting Ideas for Kids

Now you're all prepared and ready to go, it's time to discover what fun and simple face painting designs are out there!

There have been some great face painting designs for children scattered in YouTube videos throughout this Wizzle.  There will be more coming up.

Hopefully what you have gathered so far is that you are not painting the Sistine Chapel here. Even the most basic design, rendered with enough color and confidence, can look amazing on your child's face.

It doesn't even have to be anything - a tiger, a butterfly, a unicorn etc.  An artistic swirl of lines and shapes can be just as effective. 

In fact, in the video below The Downtown Clown adds just a heart and rainbow, which takes less than a minute to apply.  The result is very pretty and the little girl appears delighted.

Face Painting for Kids: Fast Face Paint Techniques

Professional child face painter Steve Triola, "The Downtown Clown", demonstrates a quick and simple design.

Invest in a Good Book Full of Simple Face Paint Designs

In my humble opinion, The Usborne Book of Face Painting is one of the better guides out on the market.

It assumes that its readers are absolute beginners at the art of face painting for kids.  Therefore the tutorials begin with the basics, then lead you step by step into more complex ideas.

Even the easiest face painting designs look professional here; and the array of ideas means that there is bound to be something to delight your child.

Fast Faces - Tiger Mask Painting

Child Face Painter Lisa Joy Young demonstrates how to quickly apply a tiger mask onto a very wriggly boy!

Be Great! Be Confident!

There have been a lot of ideas here, but the best ones will be the face paint designs that you discover for yourself.

There is no short cut for knowing them.  You can't get a cyborg implant teaching you instantly how to face paint with confidence. The only way is to attempt it for yourself.

Face painting for kids is fun.  You and your child are going to get a lot of mileage out of this; and the result will look amazing!

And if it doesn't?  Then simply wash it off and go again. Good luck!

Updated: 09/22/2012, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 07/19/2013

Thank you for the heads up there, Beryl. That's certainly something to watch out for.

Beryl on 07/19/2013

It's true that both children and parents have hours of fun with face painting, although not all commercial face paint is free of harmful chemicals, the Sydney based company Serendipi specializes in face paint which is free of chemicals and perfect for children even those with sensitive skins.

JoHarrington on 09/23/2012

Kate - Thank you very much. :)

JoHarrington on 09/23/2012

Ember - You may miss out at mid-summer, but you get all of those Harvest Festivals with face-painting. We have them too, but no face paint! :o

Kate on 09/23/2012

Some beautiful ideas!

Ember on 09/23/2012

Haha, there were usually face paintings at carnivals or festivals and Disney Land you know, whatever... but for me, I tend to think of face paintings and fall festivals. They tend to happen anytime from like back to school to Halloween.

;_; we didn't have mid-summer festivals! I missed out! XD

JoHarrington on 09/22/2012

But he was very, very clean by the finish! Poor love. He was dripping paint so much that he had to sleep with plastic bags all over his room.

You have lots of face painting at your harvest festivals? It's the summer months when we see a lot of kids in face paints. That's when our midsummer carnivals are held.

Ember on 09/22/2012

That poor guy...in...nuclear submarine paint.

Like I said, at this time a year, when I think of face paintings, all I think of is harvest festivals! EEEEEE! Good time of year. :D

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