Easy Clown Face Painting Design

Female Clown Paint
omada/Getty Images

A simple clown face is a relatively easy and fast design to paint on someone if you stick to the basic, key elements: nose, mouth, eyes, brows, and cheeks. Whether you paint the whole face a background color—traditionally white for a clown—before you start creating face details in accent colors is up to you and how much time you have. If you're doing face painting for a crowd at a party or carnival, it'll help speed up your "production line" to have an assistant who can do the underlayer.

Face Paints: What You Need to Know

For best results, use cosmetic-grade makeup with color additives that have gone through FDA approval, and consult the FDA chart to find out which colors are OK to use near the eyes. Never use acrylic paints even if they are labeled as non-toxic, as they are not meant for use on the skin and may contain formaldehyde. Please note that even professional-grade face paints may contain small amounts of heavy metals, so make sure that your customers don't have an allergy to metals in jewelry such as nickel.​

You can also find organic face paints on the market made with plant-based colors rather than chemical additives, though the variety of colors may not be as robust as other commercial sets. Or create your own face paint with edible food coloring and cornstarch mixed into moisturizer. 

of 05

First Things First

Face Painting Designs: Easy Clown

Think of a clown and what do you think of first? A bright, prominent nose. But don’t limit yourself to red; using other colors for the nose will immediately make the faces you’ve painted look different. 

of 05

Add a Big Smile

Face Painting Designs Easy Clown

The second thing you think of with clowns is a huge, wide smile. Make it much larger than the actual mouth, going above and below the lips and out onto the cheeks.

For variation, change the way the smile ends, for example using a round circle (like here), a small curve, or sharp point (or one of each).

of 05

Add Prominent Eyebrows

Face Painting Designs Easy Clown

Paint the eyebrows in a color that will stand out, exaggerating the size (length and width) a bit, to make them more prominent. Don’t limit yourself to following the natural curve of an eyebrow—make the angle sharper or the two eyebrows different.

of 05

Paint Some Happy Eyes

Face Painting Designs Easy Clown

Now color in the area between the painted eyebrows and the eye area. For variation, paint down onto the cheek on the sides of the eyes, as shown here.

Again, varying the shape you paint here will create differences between the faces you’ve painted. Also consider adding another color.


  • Making large round eyes (especially with a prominent outline) is known in clown circles as the “raccoon look” and is regarded as a scary clown face, especially if it’s done in dark colors. 
  • There's no reason for the eyes to be the same color.
  • Ask the person whose face you're about to paint to select the colors for his or her eyes.
of 05

Finishing Touches

Face Painting Designs: Clown

Add a small splash of color, such as a star or other shape to a cheek, and you’re finished.