Be King of the Jungle with Lion Face Paint

Be King of the Jungle with Lion Face Paint

Step by Step Lion Face Tutorial

Lion face paint is fun for all ages and is a jungle cat face painting design that will come in handy not just for Halloween costumes but also for stage productions of The Wizard of Oz or The Lion King.

Whether you need to paint a Simba or Nala, a Cowardly Lion, or just have a kid who is big cat crazy (and you don’t want to paint those tiger stripes), this lion face paint is the perfect basis for the king of animals.

You can use this example to create either a male lion or a lioness, or a little lion cub. To suggest a full grown male lion you will need to add a wig, hood or hairpiece to suggest a mane (unless you have big hair!).

This example is fine just as it is for a lioness or lion cub. You could always add a pair of cute cub ears on a hairband.

Though it looks quite impressive, when you break it down into each step this face painting example is not so daunting. You do need a gold or tan face paint for a convincing base, though a regular yellow will do if that is all you have. A pale yellow and rust or brown will help build up this design before you add detail with black and white.

black and white face paint kitgold face paintrust brown face paintpale yellow face paint

2 Large 18ml Snazaroo Face Painting Compacts Colors: 1 BLACK and 1 WHITE
18ML RUST BROWN Snazaroo Classic Face Paint
18ML GOLD ELECTRIC Snazaroo Face Paint
18ML PALE YELLOW Snazaroo Classic Face Paint


Lion Face Paint Steps 1 – 4

This face painting example was almost entirely inspired by the one by a talented young face painter, Devan, who posts her video tutorials as DevanWastesTime. You can and should watch her video below to see how she creates her lion face painting, which she takes a step further than the example below.

Step 1: Apply the tan or gold face paint to the face using a high density face painting sponge. It is OK if the face paint is shimmery or metallic — this will make a more sparkly lion and kids love sparkle! No need to put paint on the area above the lip or around the eyes.

Step 2: Again with your sponge, add the pale yellow face paint all around the eyes, extending to above the eyebrows and down towards cheekbones.

Step 3: Now use your rust brown face paint or equivalent (brown or orange will do) to create shading around the face. Sponge it all around the edges of the face, onto the cheeks from cheekbones down, a little on the chin and on the underside of the nose. Sponge your white face paint on to the area above the lip for the muzzle.

First steps to lion makeup


Lion Face Paint Steps 5 – 8

Step 5: This is the step where your lion will really take shape, so take your time. Using black face paint on a face painting brush create a shallow V going from the outer nostrils to just beneath the nose. Join this to the upper lip with a short vertical line and paint the upper lip black. You are aiming for a triangular shape rather than following the natural lip line. At the opposite corners of this triangle paint a curve to define the outer edges of the muzzle. Dot on some black paint to suggest whisker holes in the muzzle area.

Step 6: Again with black paint on a brush, outline the eyes. For younger children, it is OK to keep the line a little away from the eye, in fact this creates a big-eyed cat look that works well. Flick the outer corners up.

Step 7: Add some detail to suggest fur. I have used Devan’s example which I think looks great. She adds a line of small curves just above the cheekbone and some little wavy lines up above the eyebrow to create interest around the eye. A pair of vertical lines, one on each side of the nose, add to the cat nose effect. This is also the time to lightly define the curve of the lower lip with black.

Optional: You can stop there or can add a little extra detail, such as these rust brown lines on the forehead to suggest hair. Snazaroo’s own lion face painting example takes this further by adding the lines around the whole face with brown and yellow which is something you might like to try too.

Childs face with lion cub make up



Add Your Lion, Lioness or Cub Costume

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Lion Face Painting Video by DevanWastesTime


Before you stalk off… why not check out our other animal face painting step-by-step guides?

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