Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This week I’m highlighting a piece I called ‘Be Gentle With Yourself’.  When I started this one, I wanted to create something with a little bit of a lighter feel because sometimes the colors can get so intense on the canvas when I’m painting!  I wanted to create a background that was a little calmer and more soothing.

Here is the first layer:

Be gentle

I liked where the background was going and decided to place the girl into it right away.  As I was flipping through papers to use, I saw the pattern of her dress and immediately loved it!  I added the ‘belt’ details, complimenting some of the colors of the background to bring it together.

Be gentle

(Sorry this first one is blurry–not sure what happened when I took the picture, but you get the idea.)  She is coming along with her pretty hair and hooded lids…

Be gentle

Be gentle

Next, I added in the sentiment and the two little love birds.  For some reason, birds seem gentle to me–maybe it’s how fragile and small they are?  I was on a walk with Chris not too long ago and there was a finch calmly hanging out on the sidewalk as we strolled by.  I reached down and pet her, then she flew away–that gentleness of her trust stayed with me for days.

Be gentle

In all,  I think I succeeded in keeping this one pretty simple; sometimes it feels good to strip it down to basics.  The calm vibe of this sweet girl (her name is Bella) is just what I was looking for.  You can find her in the shop here!

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