Tutorial: Cartoon Panda With Rainbow & Hearts

Valentine’s Day is the next big holiday, but designs with hearts can be popular any time of the year. If you have some favorites already, it’s easy to dress them up with the addition of some hearts, too.


3/4-inch or 1-inch brush
Rainbow one stroke split cake
TAG pearl light blue
TAG Pearl White
#1 round brush
#2 round brush
#5 round brush
Diamond FX black
Diamond FX white
Paradise dark pink


Load your sponge with a combination of the TAG pearl light blue and the TAG pearl white. Sponge this over the eyelid and up onto the forehead. Adding the white keeps the color soft and light, so if you’d like it darker, just omit the pearl white. I like to add some sponged color to the background of a design because I feel it creates a cohesion within the design.

Load your 3/4-inch or 1-inch brush and curve a rainbow right over the eyebrow, bringing it down to a point on the cheekbone. You don’t want this to be placed too high on the face, because your panda is going to lay right on top of the upper edge of the rainbow.

Use the Diamond FX white and the #5 round brush to create the head and body of your panda. Pandas make adorable cartoon animals, and to insure your panda has good contrast, make sure you really mix up the white with the water well so it’s very opaque.

For the ears and black body parts, I used a #2 round brush. It’s big enough to cover the black areas, yet also give some detail when you stay up on the tip. For the eyes, nose, mouth, and fur details, I switched to the #1 round brush because those required a more delicate line.

Use your #5 round brush with white again for the clouds. I prefer this style of clouds because they seem more realistic. To create them, press the brush down to make the rounded tops, and then pull out and away on both sides of the bottom, lifting the brush up as you finish each stroke. It’s quick and easy, but if you have difficulty with them, keep practicing. If you’re just not comfortable using a brush for your clouds, use a stencil, which is also a quick and easy way to make nice clouds.

Use the #1 round brush to add dots and starbursts around the clouds and rainbow and to add your details on the panda’s paws and the highlights in his eyes. At this point, you could be completely done, and it would be a very cute design.

But if you want to, you could also add some hearts or flowers to give it a Valentine’s Day flavor. Enjoy!

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in the NW Chicago suburbs. She also writes blogs and tutorials for