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Self-Acceptance Rainbow Mini Art Tutorial

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Longtime readers know that I’m a big fan of both gratitude journaling and self-acceptance. As I wrote in the post for April’s blog planner printables, I was not at all surprised that a recent study found acknowledging your negative emotions is key to releasing them. Of course it is! In today’s self-acceptance art tutorial we’re going to use this to our advantage to name and then release self doubt and criticisms. I chose to use a rainbow because it’s easy to paint and because it has positive connotations in almost every religious, folk, and mythological tradition.

self-acceptance rainbow mini art tutorial

Materials needed for a self-acceptance rainbow painting

  • A small pre-stretched canvas. I made painted my self-acceptance rainbow on a 4×4 canvas, but you could use paper or even a piece of wood. Just go with whatever speaks to you!
  • A pen or marker to write on your canvas. An ultra fine tip Sharpie works well with gesso but takes about a million layers of craft paint to cover so you might want to go with something a little lighter if you’re using craft paint.
  • White gesso, white acrylic paint, or even white chalk paint. Using an ‘artist’ acrylic paint will take you fewer layers to cover than using craft paint.
  • A pencil. I use my Sumo .9mm pencil whenever I need a pencil because the wide lead makes it draw more like a non-mechanical, plus it has a good eraser.
  • Acrylic/craft paints in rainbow colors. You don’t have to create a super realistic rainbow – just go with whatever colors you have on hand! You can use craft paints or ‘artist’ paints.
  • Paintbrushes. I used a 1/2″ flat brush for the rainbow, a detail brush, and a foam brush to apply the white background layer. For gesso you could also use a plastic card (like an old credit card or gift card.)
  • Paint pens, gel pens, markers, etc. for additional embellishment. Optional but fun!

Self-acceptance rainbow mini art tutorial

Begin by grabbing your pen or marker and writing your self-doubts and criticisms down on your canvas. Lay it all out there – don’t be shy! Remember that acknowledging your negative feelings is key to releasing them and that no one else needs to see this part of your painting. Please excuse my wonky writing – I did this while wearing my sleeping baby!

After your cathartic writing experience, take a moment to think about what you’ve written. Acknowledge your feelings and doubts, then consciously let them go. I find that thanking them is helpful. I know that sounds weird, but a lot of our negative thoughts are designed to protect us in a strange way. If I tell myself “I am bad at art,” then I don’t have to even try to create and make myself feel vulnerable in the process. I don’t have to feel bad when I do create and it doesn’t turn out like I want. If I make something and someone else criticizes it, then I have the fall back option of telling myself “well, I’m bad at art, so what did I expect?” Acknowledging this can help you let go of these negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.

Take your white gesso or white paint and cover it all up! Use multiple coats if you need to, until you can’t see the writing anymore.

When your paint/gesso is dry, use our pencil to roughly sketch out a cloud or two for your rainbow to live on. This is optional, of course, but I find it helpful. You can also make guidelines for your rainbow, if you’d like (I suggest it if you’re not highly confident in your rainbow painting skills). I took a photo but it was virtually impossible to see the pencil lines so I didn’t include it.

Paint your rainbow! Outline the cloud, if you’d like. I used an Inktense pencil and a water brush. The ink spread a little and I used it to create a slight “shadow” area on the cloud.

Add more embellishments if the idea speaks to you. I sketched out three hearts. You can just barely see them in the photo above.

Then I painted them in and added little dots with my extra fine white Posca Pen. Sharpie paint pens also work well. Micron pens theoretically work, but the nib is a little more fragile and they’re easier to damage on a canvas.

self-acceptance rainbow mini art

Keep your rainbow mini art somewhere visible and use it as a reminder to forgive and accept yourself!

self-acceptance rainbow painting mini art tutorial

Speaking of accepting and forgiving – I’m going to have to accept that blog posts will be a little more sparse while we’re getting moved in/before my crafting supplies arrive in South Carolina! I worked ahead as well as I could prior to our move, but didn’t get as much photographed as I would have liked. Our move was one hassle after another and had to take priority over blogging projects. That’s life, though, and we all arrived in one piece (how many of our household goods will be able to say the same remains to be seen!)

Have you ever made any self-acceptance art or practiced art or gratitude journaling?

Natasha of The Artisan Life-01

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Duni May 23, 2018, 07:41

    Funny how negative self-talk is so ingrained in our brains. I do write negative thoughts in a notebook and then I transform the sentence to a positive affirmation. My notebook is full 🙂
    Your rainbow is super cute. I admire you for posting these great tutorials while having just moved to a different state!

    • Natasha May 24, 2018, 07:38

      That sounds like a great notebook to have on hand! I know posts will continue to be a little sparse over the coming months, but sharing tutorials, in particular, is helpful to me. I know the internet will still be here if I take a break, but I love teaching and making tutorials gives me an outlet for both creativity and my desire to teach.

  • Jill May 21, 2018, 18:37

    What a lovely blog! I just happened upon your yoga videos and discovered the blog wanting to know more about you. Your crafts are crazy good! Just wondering if you still lift / yoga?

    • Natasha May 22, 2018, 10:27

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I do still lift and do some yoga personally, but I’m unable to film yoga videos at this time for a couple of reasons. I have a baby who needs most of my attention right now and we just had a major move so we’re living out of suitcases while waiting for our things to arrive in a couple of months! I hope to do more yoga videos in the future, but probably not for a while yet.

  • Sarah May 18, 2018, 14:01

    Lovely art and great tutorial. And I agree with the other comments – don’t be too hard on yourself. You have literally just moved house (and states)! too!!

    • Natasha May 19, 2018, 15:23

      Thank you! I’ve found that, as a mom, it’s really difficult not to doubt something about what I’m doing or not doing or whatever on a pretty regular basis! But things like this painting help me work it out.

  • Julie May 16, 2018, 23:48

    Give yourself some grace, girl! I have barely blogged and I don’t have as much on as you..! This is such a cute idea – I’ve been self reflecting a lot this year and doing exactly this, trying to dispel my inner demons and letting go of negative thoughts.

    • Natasha May 17, 2018, 09:48

      Writing them down can be so helpful. I saw a quotation today that really spoke to me about how if the same problems or types of people or whatever keep showing up in your life, it’s a sign that you need to do some reflection and actually deal with your feelings instead of just ignoring them because life will keep giving you the same problem until you actually overcome it.

  • Carol May 16, 2018, 10:35

    What a great idea,
    You are way too hard on yourself.
    You are a great mom, look how you protect your girl from the internet,also with the
    chid school you follow. Plus from your photos you and your husband look very happy and very much in love. You are a very creative person and you are more than enough you are very brave for putting your art, ideas out into the world. My sit in my closet
    You are a very good decent person,

    • Natasha May 16, 2018, 11:36

      Thank you so much. I’m having kind of a rough morning (my husband is away for a couple of days and it’s the first time he hasn’t been around to help for this long in quite some time) and your comment really means a lot to me!

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