Teddy in the Garden

My cute Teddy! So what do you think, is she gardening or partying? The intention was gardening actually, as she holds a bucket on one hand and a shovel on the other. And now that could also be a glass of wine on one hand and a handbag on the other! Whatever she is doing, she is happy and enjoying the garden, something I myself look forward to doing when the weather gets warmer by next month. And here is a painting I made the other day, once again following another of Juliette Crane’s Serendipity I classes, how fun!

The Background

This lesson is “Overcoming Fear” and how appropriate that was as you will see later. First I covered the A4 size canvas board with a blend of titanium white and fluorescent red and orange before introducing dots with my finger tips using a variety of colors such as Pyrrole Red, Quinacridone Magenta, Yellow, Payne’s Grey, Cobalt Teal and the fluorescent orange and red from Golden Fluid Acrylic and ARA. Bits of collage like colored wrapping tissues and newspaper as well as blocks of color were then layered on top.

Uh Oh…

Everything was going well as I began sketching my character which I was determined was going to be a bear this time. Then I decided suddenly I wanted a change from the usual; this time, I thought to switch the position of her head from straight to tilted. Looking at Juliette’s painting in which the head of her character was tilted, I felt it was also time for me to do the same, given that the majority of my characters tend to be looking straight. When I attempted to do this, though, I messed up. I was certainly not happy with the shape of the head as I was trying to avoid making the ears too big and round (although in hindsight it would also look cute too) and the face too round. Then I covered it all up and started again, something that Juliette incidentally did in her lesson as well! My Teddy is now on a smaller scale with eyes not as exaggeratedly huge as originally planned. That was indeed an example of “Overcoming Fear” as I panicked and got flustered during this change!


And now, I decided to make my Teddy sitting down and holding a red balloon as I layered on some of Sennelier Acrylic ink in Azure Blue and paint in titanium white for the sky. The background was to be a hilly field which I filled in with Permanent Green fluid acrylic along with some yellow-green (Sennelier) and iridescent light green (Daler Rowney) acrylic inks. The large flowers looked a bit silly, I thought, and were hence covered up with some paper napkins with plant prints. Furthermore, I was still unhappy with the Teddy’s head and hence painted her in Quinacridone Azo Nickel Gold before gluing on some bits of origami paper for the ears and a flower cut out to minimize the roundness which I was overly self-conscious about. Then I introduced bits from a Hungarian-language newspaper to make the outfit more interesting. Both that and the balloon are in Sennelier’s Fluorescent Red.


When I showed my boyfriend what I’ve done so far, he beamed “So cute, the Teddy in the garden. Maybe she could do some gardening!” Now what a brilliant idea that was. So gardening it is then! Then the balloon became the sun with some glitter around the edges with Ranger’s Glitter Gel in Yellow, and how pretty that turned out to be. I cut out some shapes of the bucket and shovel on the same cream-colored lotka paper I had used for the flower in her head. With the remainder of the origami paper for the ears, I glued a bit on the shovel, the center of the flower and as part of the outfit. White relief paint was then used for the tool handles. I finished off the eyes, finally lining the eyelashes with black glitter glue. Et voilà!

Although quite an intensive session, I quite enjoyed painting my Teddy! I knew what I wanted to paint from the start but it was a matter of how she would look and how to make the background interesting. Furthermore, the shovel and bucket in hand was not at all expected. Or would it be wine glass and handbag? Working with Juliette Crane is about evolving and coming up with surprises like this. I look forward to the next lesson and seeing what other surprises I can come up with! Meanwhile, I am very happy with my Teddy although it took various attempts to make it to my liking. Now she’s very adorable, isn’t she?

Click here for more about Juliette Crane and her amazing classes!

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