View Full Version : Teddy bears for the baby room!

08-05-2005, 02:22 PM
I've started on a new painting.
It is quite challenging as there is a lot of blue, on blue and beige with beige. The only object standing out is the bright orange/yellow cloth ball. I really like the composition as it is mostly soft bluish colours but vivid at the same time. It will look nice in the babys room -i'm hoping!
I am posting a picture of the composition - the angle is slightly different from the angle I am painting, as you will see for yourselves. I thought it would be interesting to capture each step of the painting as I go along. I am posting, and getting back to work on it :)
All comments gracefully accepted!
Playfully yours,

08-05-2005, 02:28 PM
Melina, this is coming along beautifully, I really like the warmth of the bunny against all the blue. I look forward to seeing more.

K Taylor-Green
08-05-2005, 03:47 PM
Oh Melina, it's adorable! I love it!

08-05-2005, 06:07 PM
Lovely, will look nice in the babyroom.

08-05-2005, 10:34 PM
Now who could not like this. I will be munching while I sit back and watch Melina

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

Piper Ballou
08-05-2005, 11:58 PM
This is going to be fantastic...looking forward to seeing you work on this one.

08-06-2005, 01:18 AM
Looks cute and good sofar. Look forward to see it finished ;)

08-06-2005, 01:22 AM
Such a sweet painting. It will be perfect for a nursery!

Ruth Grinstead
08-06-2005, 05:33 AM
Oh Melina this is so cute, I could almost fancy having babies again, just for an excuse to paint nursery pictures.

I shall watch with interest.


08-06-2005, 06:57 AM
Thank you all for your interest! I realized that if for some reason you're stuck with a painting and are either disencouraged or afraid or even bored to go on, the Pastel forum in Wetcanvas is just the place to go! :)

I run into some problems while painting.. the shoes for example. I should probably have used another pair with brighter colours as this one has almost the same tones with the beige teddy next to them. So, I decided to make a slight color change..
I think I am finished with the head of the beige teddy, and I have slightly corrected the blue one. It didn't seem quite right.

Colourfully yours,

Diane Cutter
08-06-2005, 10:46 AM
Lovely, thanks for the WIP pics... Your piece has so much more interest than the original models... Wonderful job!


Mikki Petersen
08-06-2005, 11:54 AM
Adding in the red and white shoes balanced out that orange ball just beautifully. I take it baby is, or will be, a boy? Anyway, charming painting well executed!


08-06-2005, 12:34 PM
Good call on the colour change- this is looking very nice.

Paula Ford
08-06-2005, 01:18 PM
Very lovely and sweet!!

08-07-2005, 11:11 AM
Paula, BabyJ, Diane, thanks :) Actually the picture of the composition isn't that good. Too much light in it. However, I am glad my painting looks more interesting! My husband loves the colors and the contrast as well, especially that beige bunny!
Mikki, yeap, the baby is a boy and he will be 11months old in 9 days :D

..getting back to work!

08-09-2005, 06:06 PM
Still working on this one.. and I'm stuck. It's not done yet cause I am having a big problem making the blue plushie, the right colour. I am not sure I can make it as 3D and "soft" looking as the beige plushie, either. Why, WHY did I have to pick a teddy the same colour as the background?! Argh! Any pointers would be much appriciated..
Bluishly yours,

08-09-2005, 06:26 PM
This is just precious and excellently done. The color change on the shoes makes it, good foil with the ball, adds life and kills any too sweet sense. Have confidence. Don't think "blue", think "value", you can always lighten or darken or purple the background if needed, though I doubt it is needed. This is a fine piece you and your family and especially the little one will value and enjoy for years.. What a wonderful childhood momento this will make for your boy in later years.

08-09-2005, 06:27 PM
PS. I absolutely love the parrot in your sig line. Is there any place toview it in a larger format?

Ruth Grinstead
08-10-2005, 04:10 AM
Hi Melina

From here the blue one looks very soft and fluffy, I think you are doing fine.


08-10-2005, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the encouragement TJ and Ruth. I haven't started working on it yet but I will once I get back in the mood..
TJ, you can view a better pic of the parrot somewhere in my outdated homepage:
Click on "Art" then mouse over the little boxes underneath and you'll see the pictures.
It still lacks detail, but you get a much better idea. It is acrylic paint.

08-12-2005, 03:28 AM
Hi Melina

From here the blue one looks very soft and fluffy, I think you are doing fine.


Ditto here ;)

Rose Baggs
08-12-2005, 10:24 AM
Hi Melina, I love the composition here. It is really nice and the colors you've chosen are fantastic. It has a calming, relaxing baby's room feeling. So if you really want to make your blue teddy bear looks more 3D you should darken the darks and blend it a little bit...not much. I just played around with my photo program to show you what I mean...I think it looks more 3D with the darks. Hope you don't mind. BTW even if you decide not doing anything to the drawing it looks really nice the way it is.

08-12-2005, 11:37 AM
Don't think "blue", think "value", you can always lighten or darken or purple the background if needed, though I doubt it is needed.
"Value" is what usually works to achieve volume (3-D-ness) but in this case, pulling that blue teddy bear out from that blue background may take more than value, it may take colour. So let's think about colour.

Blue's complement is orange- which you have in the ball and close-enough in the shoes- so if you use a dark leaning to orange in that shadow area, it will not look out of place. You can see the effect already in the way the ball stands out away from the teddy, even though it is no further forward than the front shoe. In fact, up under the teddy's arm, in that deepest area, I'd glaze in a dark brick, nearly a red-brick- then glaze over it with your "shadow blue", and then use a more complex, grayed, brick/purple/blue mix along the right side of the body. Yup, it'll "look muddy" while you're working it, but when you stand back and see it from a more-usual viewing distance, you'll see it works well.

Often, especially in still life and figure work, we decry "making mud". But consider: Layering and working with the complexities of pastels is all about making mud- it's just meant to be controlled mud. If you want an area of a piece to shine out, you use contrast all around that area, right? Visual arrows pointing and saying "Look at me!!" Well, it's easy to remember the contrasts of value, and somewhat easy to recall the contrasts of complementing colour, but not so easy to remember the contrast of pure-vs-grayed colour. Graying a colour for shadow purposes almost guaruntees good form, good "3-D-ness" because what our eyes see in real life in shadow areas *is* a grayness- a subdued colour. Subduing the colour there by graying it- controlling the mud- allows the more pure blue of the rest of the teddy to shine forth correctly. Think of it as a rest area for the eye.

What I'd recommend is you print this last pic of your painting out and play a bit right on that print (as long as you're not using glossy paper, this will work), and see what colour combinations look right for that right side of the teddy. (Although, I'm not certain how much shadow should be there, since the light is coming from the far right. Do you know what is causing that shadow?) Anyway, if you don't want to go to the trouble of printing it out, you can always drag the pic into PS or PSP and play around with it there, but, to me, that is more difficult since the colours never quite match, and a mouse is a poor substitute for your fingers.

08-12-2005, 11:50 AM
I really love the way this is coming along. It looks really great now but like you think it can probably be improved some. I do think the key is usually increasing the lights & darks. SBJ's suggestions sound like a good idea....could be just what it needs to bring the spark you're looking for in the blue bear. I'll be waiting to see how it goes.

08-12-2005, 12:04 PM
This is looking great. It would make a terrific print. Had you thougth of leaving it with a vignetter edge?


08-14-2005, 12:13 PM
Thank you everyone for your help and patience with this one!
Rose baggs, taking the time to illustrate what you mean, is very appriciated! I think my main difficulty was the texture of the teddy afterall. Parts of it glowed under the light, in a way difficult to paint, or even show in a simple picture of the composition.

SweetBabyJ, your post was enlightening and gave me the nudge -or rather the big kick!- I needed. Suddently, purple came as a saviour in many areas, see ribbon! lol.
I decided, once again, to improvise on that poorly done, ugly, monotonous ribbon on the blue teddy, as you may see. I think it turned out quite well - as opposed to what it was before.
I didn't print a picture of the painting, just started working on it right away. However, if I was to work on it on the pc, I have a pen/tablet to work with instead of those annoying inventions called "mouse"! :wink2: Thank you!
Artistammy, it really did need to be improved a lot, and it still might need some finishing touches :)
Tich, I never thought of making it a print.. I could only picture it in the babys room! I will put a nice vignette around it and frame it probably in a whitish/blue frame.. hmm... or maybe red! ..or orange....*thinking*.. :rolleyes:

well, here goes,.. I think my 70pound dog was tired of watching me fiddle with the painting so much that came to sit on my lap... :eek: (the sloppy grayish blue bottom of the painting was done with Ares-my dog- boringly watching me pick pastels..while, ON my lap of course!)

Painterly yours,

08-14-2005, 12:29 PM
Looks great. That purple ribbon really finishes it off nicely.

08-14-2005, 01:54 PM
MUCH better- much much much! Your more-grayed background has allowed the subjects to come forth, and that lavender ribbon is nicely crisp against the near-turquoise of the teddy.

For next time, keep an eye on these few compositional areas: The right-side rabbit foot peeking out from behind the teddy- it needs to be there, I think, but *might* be a bit hard for someone to read. No big deal. The right-side rabbit arm and teddy's ear- they end together on a vertical line. That isn't a horrible thing, but the eye is happier with a bit more variation there. Again, not a huge deal. The ball seeming to replace the teddy's foot- I dunno- I can see it both ways, and I don't have a problem knowing exactly what it is, but that means someone with what I call "lazy eyes" *may* read that area as the ball substituting for the teddy's foot.

Those are very small, very minor compositional issues you might want to look out for in other pieces- they do not detract here, so much as I notice them because I've been working out such issues in my own work, lately, and am hyper aware of them.

Congrats- this is perfect for a nursery.

08-14-2005, 11:38 PM
Nice finish and good resolution to the most important of the puzzles you were working out. This will be a treat in the nursery. It's "cuddly" and sweet without being sugary.