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Baby Bump Painting: Goldfish Bowl!

I am sooo excited to share my first baby bump painting, done just this afternoon!  Well, my first on someone else…I did paint my own belly like a pumpkin on Halloween two years ago.  But it was much trickier not being able to see below my belly button.  😉

Pregnant belly painting, also known as “gestational art,” is all the rage these days.  Moms-to-be are having their bellies painted and photographed with their dads-to-be for their baby books, and even having them done at baby showers!  You may have seen moms on A Baby Story having their bellies painted, or maybe you’ve seen some celebrities in the news having it done, like Mariah Carey.

Having your baby bump painted and photographed is a really fun way to preserve some memories from pregnancy and celebrate your growing belly!  I’ve always had so much fun studying all of the photos of baby bump art in my face & body painting magazines, so I put a feeler out on Facebook to see if I could get a model or two to let me paint them.  My wonderful second cousin, who is 32 weeks pregnant, graciously volunteered, having never even heard of having your belly painted!

I started by sending her a few photos off of the web of other people’s painted bellies to get the wheels turning.  She decided on the fishbowl idea, which is a really fun play on the round pregnant belly!  I put together this Photoshopped concept for her using various clipped digital images off the web, and I used this for reference:

digital concept “sketch”

 …and here’s the finished piece…pretty close!

 I gave her a page of different plants to choose from, and she picked these cute lilly pads which were fun shapes to create!

After reading some suggestions from experienced belly painters on the face paint forum, I decided to have her stand at first while I drew the basic design on her belly with a makeup pencil ($5 each for black or white).  This prevents the design from looking distorted when she is done and stands back up.

 Above are a few progess shots along the way.  I used a round makeup sponge that I had cut in half ($1.20 each) to fill in the white base and some blue shading.  Then I used my #28 flat sable brush ($19.50) to feather and blend the blue and white to give the bowl a nice round appearance.  From there I used my #5 and #2 contour round brushes ($3.40 & $4.60) to fill in all of the colors and details.

I’m really glad that she brought her mom to share in the experience, because she was a great photographer and captured the whole process!

 I’ve never really painted pictures of goldfish and it was really fun.  Normally I spend about 30 seconds to a minute on a design, on very adorable yet wiggly children.  I was wondering if I could even get myself to spend more than 20 minutes on a design!  Turns out the challenge for me was making myself STOP tweaking and adding more detail after over an hour of painting!  The time flew by though and I already can’t wait for my next belly painting.

After we were finished we took tons of photos!  I didn’t have an actual fish net so I Photoshopped this one into the picture, which turned out pretty cute:

 …although I was kindof wishing I had a cat to put next to her!

All in all I think it went well for my first belly painting and I think my wonderful model enjoyed it too! Many thanks to her for driving out more than an hour I’m sure to my house so that I could paint her while my two boys were napping!  😉

If you live in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis / St Paul Minnesota) and are interested in having your belly painted, or in giving a belly painting as a gift to an expectant mom, check out my website here for more info!

4 thoughts on “Baby Bump Painting: Goldfish Bowl!

  1. So cute, Gretchen! I think Mark wants to knock me up now just so we can do this. 🙂

  2. So cute, Gretchen! I think Mark wants to knock me up now just so we can do this. 🙂

  3. Cannot wait to share this with my artist friend, Lynn Fellman of Minneapolis, MN.

  4. Cannot wait to share this with my artist friend, Lynn Fellman of Minneapolis, MN.