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.


I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately, especially around the holidays; my personal mantra has always been ‘kindness, regardless’ because, well, you never know what people are going through/feeling on the inside and it actually takes very little effort to be kind.  The world can be tough, and I don’t want to add to anyone’s suffering.

And yet still, I have my moments of forgetting the mantra (oops).  Even though there are times I’m not so great to myself or others, somehow I always come back to this thought as my touchstone.   I find that if I ultimately stay focused on kindness, it gets me where I need to go.

So I was really psyched when the sentiment of this piece popped in my head as I was painting.  I think it had to do with the soothing colors + the gentle overall tone–it was fun to experiment along the way.  And this painting was a great learning experience for me–the process gave me the faith + confidence to stick with my gut until it felt right, even when I got frustrated for not getting there sooner.

Here is the first pass through where I’m just getting some colors, textures and layers down.  At this point, I try to stay loose and enjoy the free-style painting:

Kindness is the way 1

I added in some lines and stamping, just to mix it up a little.

Kindness is the way 2

Then I felt like the girl was ready to appear–I experimented and used gesso for the first layer of her face, just to see how it made a difference.  I usually  paint with a flesh color right on top of the other layers. (Turns out this was a great idea!)

Kindness is the way 3

I added her dress, feeling tentative about the colors of it but went with it for the moment.  Again, checking in with my gut.

Kindness is the way 4

When I added her face and hair, it dawned on me that the dress was all wrong.  I was feeling my way through the process–rationale doesn’t have a huge role in my decision making while painting.  I try to stick to how it feels, no matter what.

Kindness is the way 5

So after I added the butterfly and leaves to her hair, I tore off the dress and used some turpentine to remove it from the canvas.  This isn’t a fun process because it’s stinky and can stretch the canvas a little, but it was well worth it.

Kindness is the way 6

Once I went with the different color dress, it all fell into place.  I loved the way it looked!

Kindness is the way 7

Here’s a close up of her sweet face with the sentiment: the gesso helped to make it a true flesh color.

Kindness is the way 8

And here’s the finished product:

kindness is the way final

 You can find prints of Kindness Is The Way  in my shop here.

We all need kindness in our life, friends.






Sign up for access to my free resource library made for creatives like you!