Holee suggested that I try wood burning the spots and stripes instead of painting. Tisme said just stains, rather then paint. Here's an example that compares the two finishes. The animals on the right have been left natural, with the spots and stripes wood burned, then waxed. Animals on the left painted and waxed. This is a good comparison.
I am leaning (way leaning) towards natural with some wood burning as necessary, for spots, stripes, and fur. With this technique, the animals would be all tans and dark browns.
What do you think?