Soul Portraits:
A Contemplative Arts Activity

This is not your standard portrait. We aren’t painting your face, or even your body. We are painting your inner self. In this activity, you will create an image of your soul – the deep inner part of yourself where you rest in the Divine and the Divine rests in you. This is your True Self.

Please enjoy this contemplative arts activity from our October Contemplative Arts Gathering.

An example of a soul portrait

Who are you?

Who are you? I mean the real you,

beneath the socialization,

the enculturation,

the expectations,

the labels.

What does your soul look like?


In this activity, you will engage in a meditative art project. The goal is to find and depict your inner, most truest self. You may use any medium in which you feel comfortable (paint, colored pencil, crayons, markers, etc.)


Close your eyes and relax your body. Imagine a light emanating from deep within you. Take a mental step back and observe your entire self from afar. How does the light appear from the outside? Notice the light – what color is it? What texture? Shape?

Next, turn your attention inward to your inner self. Scan your body, beginning with your head and working down through your throat, chest, arms, fingertips, legs, and feet. At each location, notice the light within. Notice the color, texture, and shape. Is there any movement? Is any area brighter or duller?

Now go one level deeper. Seek out that deepest part of yourself, where your spirit unites with the Divine. This is your soul. What do you see?

Once you have this mental image, slowly return to the room. Create an image of what you saw. Thank the Divine for this new self-awareness and wisdom.

Interpreting your soul portrait

Much of the portrait interpretation is intuitive.

Do you see a spot that is brighter? What part of your body is it near. and what does that area symbolize for you?

For example, a bright throat area may mean you have a gift for communication. Is the soul portrait tight and close to your body? Perhaps you are reserved. Do you see a lot of frantic movement around your head? You may have a lot on your mind.

You can also interpret the colors. You can use sources for color meaning, but it may be more meaningful to think about what the colors mean to you. Is yellow a happy color? Perhaps green means connection to nature.

For further learning on colors as they relate to auras, check out Life Colors: What the Colors in Your Aura Reveal by Pamala Oslie.

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