Honouring Our Bellies – A Living Canvas

Choosing your design

With colourful, water-based paints, the only limit is your imagination when it comes to choosing your design. You may wish to reflect upon your journey of motherhood and these thoughts may lead you to some inspiration.

Ask yourself: What thoughts do you have about this special time? What are some ideas you might have about your baby, or of their time growing within your belly? Who they might be? What are your hopes and dreams for your child, and for your path through motherhood? These kinds of questions may bring up some symbolic image ideas that have a deeper meaning for you.

Or – you can be completely light-hearted about it and more playful. You may choose something that fits with the roundness of your belly (a moon, a pumpkin, an easter egg). You might choose your favourite storybook character, flowers, cartoons or animals. It may not have any connection at all to the baby beneath the canvas and be purely for fun.

There is a huge number of photographs online to get you going, if you need it. Celebrities such as Demi Moore, Mariah Carey, Kate Winslet and Elle Macpherson have popularized bally painting in recent years.

Photography: Jane Ellis, Rainbow Rascals

Tips for belly painting

The best time to do this is in the third trimester when your “canvas” is nice and round, although you may also wish to do a triptych with a progression of images, such as a caterpillar to a chrysalis to a butterfly or perhaps a seed to a plant to a big blossoming sunflower, as your bump grows.

  • Check with your artist that the paints are suitable for a pregnant belly. Most water-soluble paints used for face and body painting should be fine. “The products I use are all high-quality professional makeup that is especially designed for body painting and is delicate enough for even our young face paint clients,” says Jane Ellis of Rainbow Rascals. “The pigments are vibrant and bold and go on easily, but at the same time they wash away instantly with a quick shower.”
  • Wear washable clothing that’s easy to remove.
  • Consider inviting others to join you – make a celebration out of it!
  • Don’t forget to have photos taken – so you may always remember this special moment in time.

This period in a woman’s life is fleeting but hugely significant and turning your pregnant belly into a personal work of art is a fabulous way to celebrate it.

You can get in touch with Jane Ellis to learn more about her pregnant belly painting at www.rainbowrascals.co.nz


Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *