Cat Face Painting for Children: Designs, Tips and Tutorials

Updated on September 7, 2016
Tips and tutorials for cat face painting for children.
Tips and tutorials for cat face painting for children.

Cat Face Painting: A Simple, Cute, and Easy Costume for Kids and Adults

Cat face paint is a perennial favorite for kids, whether it's for Halloween, a birthday party, or a festival.

Cats are also a popular costume. Simply add a tail and ears to the face paint, two things that children find very fun to wear—what's not to like?

By "cat" in this article, we are referring to the house cat, not the larger members of the cat family such as lions, leopards, or tigers. While all of those look fantastic, it's the domestic cat that is most beloved by children when it comes to face paint.

Another strength of cat face paint is that it's one of the few patterns that appeals to both girls and boys. Of course, as boys grow older, this changes, but when they're younger, there's no problem at all.

Basic Designs

The wide variety of options for cat face painting designs can be intimidating at first. As you will see in this article, they range from the simple to the somewhat complex. It's easiest to look through a few photographs for inspiration; once you find one your children will like, you can modify it to fit their desires.

And if you're not experienced at face painting, have no fear—as you will quickly see, most designs use basic lines and shapes. Most children will be thrilled with cat ears, a triangular nose, whiskers, and some dots where the whiskers begin. As long as they have that, they'll be very happy. To make the design even more special, include your child's favorite colors. After some experimentation, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to produce a cat face of good quality. After all, the goal is to be able to create a cat face that your child will love.

Simple and Easy Cat Face for Your Child

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We'll start off with some easy designs for those less experienced at face painting. As you can see in this first example, it's extremely simple to design a cute cat face.

This face painting includes almost all the basic features of a cat. The only thing you could say is missing is the ears (with many designs, the entire head of the cat, not just its face, is depicted).

Look how easy it is—simply add:

  • A set of wavy lines over the eyebrows
  • "Cat eye" makeup, accomplished with a line drawn to the side of each eye
  • Three lines on each cheek for whiskers
  • Three dots above the top lip
  • A nose colored black
  • A straight line going from the nose to the top lip
  • A soft touch of black on the lips to make them appear like those of a cat

Best of all, I would bet it took no more than five minutes to complete this cat face, which really looks cute on the little girl.

Add a cat costume, and she's ready to go in no time.

A Little Boy Version

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Next, we have an example of what it looks like to have the entire head of the cat (including its ears) painted on the face of a child.

I like this cat for its unique, somewhat transparent design. Those little teeth sticking out on both sides are also very cool.

Also notice the nicely designed cat mouth, which is easy to do. Just darken the nose, draw a line downward from it to the upper lip, and draw an upward-curved mouth.

For this design, you will need three colors: white, black, and a color for shading (in this case, blue, but you can easily change this). Though the end design is very different, the steps are very similar to those in the Princess Kitty Face Painting Tutorial video below.

  • Starting with white paint, draw and fill in the basic outline of the cat face. Draw an ear above each eyebrow, fur over the child's cheeks, and the bottom of the cat's face along the child's upper lip.
  • Blend your shading color along the edges of the cat's face and down its nose.
  • Use the black to outline the cat's face.
  • Color the nose black.
  • Paint black down the middle and along the edges of the upper lip.
  • Add white details, such as the fur, the dots where the whiskers begin, and fangs.

A Black and White Cat

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Here, only two different colors—black and white—are used in order to create a very cute cat face to wonderful effect.

To create a look like this, simply:

  • Outline the black sections and color them in. Each black section comes to a point above either eye, representing the cat's ears.
  • Paint the white center section.
  • With the white paint, add details such as the insides of the ears and whiskers. (I really like these details).
  • With the black paint, draw a "V" at the tip of the nose. Then draw a line from the bottom of the nose to the center of the lips, and trace the top lip to connect with the cheeks.

I think the contrasting black on white part of the nose and the straight dark line going down from the nose look very nice. Personally, the only thing I would change about this otherwise fantastic cat face is the red lipstick—it simply doesn't go with the rest. But the cat face itself is designed and painted very well.

Multi-Colored Face Paint with Light Foundation

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This photo is an example of an orange tabby cat. The unusual combination of base paints—yellow and white—actually works pretty well, with a unique result.

Including the wider orange lines on the outer edges of the face is also an interesting way of creating a tabby effect.

Again, you can see how simple and easy it is to design a cat face using a few simple lines and following a few rules for cat facial features. This picture implements those rules creatively.

  • Start with a yellow base, coloring in the forehead, nose, and cheeks.
  • Add white accents underneath the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead, and on the upper lip and chin.
  • Paint the lips red (optional).
  • Paint thick orange lines around the edges of the face.
  • Lastly, use the black to define the eyebrows, paint the nose, draw whiskers and whisker dots, and add stripes on the forehead. The lighter colors complement the darker lines of the face very well, helping them to pop out at you in a compelling manner.

White and Pink Cat

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Purple or pink cat faces are easily the most popular cat color schemes I have seen, possibly because of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't other colors involved, as there are, as you can see in the photo above.

Because pink overwhelms any canvas on its own, be sure to add other colors like the white here to break it up.

The black lines outlining significant features of the cat in strategic places also helps this face look good. Notice how the black was left off of the sides of the face on the outer parts of the design. Because of this, the primary focus is the nose and mouth and the secondary focus is just above the eyes. Good job.

Although it looks much different, the steps for this face are not very different than the steps for the black and white cat face above.

  • Outline the pink sections and color them in. Each pink section comes to a point above either eye, representing the cat's ears.
  • Paint the white center section.
  • With the black paint, add details such as the insides of the ears and whiskers.
  • With the black paint, color in the tip of the nose. Then draw a line from the bottom of the nose to the center of the lips, and trace the top lip to connect with the cheeks.

Video Tutorials

Here are four cat face painting video tutorials to help see how the designs are made.

One thing to note is the way many of the artists use their pinky finger against the face to help keep the hand steady and the lines accurate.

After going through these and doing some practice, you should be able to paint any type of cat on the face of a child.

Kitty Cat

Princess Kitty

Kitty Cat on Young Girl

Design Tutorial for Halloween

Final Words

This was just a tiny sampling of the designs you could choose from to create a cat face painting on a child.

From the simple to the complex, they all look good once you master how to design the nose, whiskers, and mouth of the cat.

Get those down, and it's very easy to go from there and add your own little touch of creativity to the look. Now you can do your own—no more relying on the skills of someone in a paint booth at a fair! No matter what design you and your child choose, it's a great win for everyone involved. No one tires of cat face painting as a Halloween costume or at a festival—it's a classic!

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