Back in July 2002, I had taken my portable field watercolour painting kit with me to use while I was working for a couple of weeks in Cambridge Massachusetts in the USA. At the time I had been practising my pencil sketching of a teddy bear that my children had bought me for my birthday back in May.
To keep things light while I travelled, I had purchased a pack of 15 Strathmore 4″x6″ Watercolour Post Cards.
I painted three postcards during my trip, and this one, a composition of the teddy bear wearing a stylised Stars & Stripes bow tie, I painted for my partner at the time. I found it the other day while I was going through my watercolour pads, and thought I would share it with you here.
The other two postcards I painted during my trip were of a chipmunk, which I’d painted for my daughter, and a Golden Eagle, which I’d painted for my son. When I find these I’ll publish them here to share them with you as they were quite an important learning experience. (I seem to remember I had lots of fun learning to paint fur and feathers for the first time!)
I was quite proud of this little painting of a teddy bear, as it’s one of the few that have popped straight out of my own head, and was not the result of an exercise out of someone else’s book!
I also painted a full-sized version of this, and I also have a 2B pencil sketch of it somewhere, and when I find them I’ll upload them here so you can see how they turned out.
What I learned
I learned two major lessons from creating this painting. The first was that I should have used masking fluid so that I could have given it a decent background wash. If you look closely at the finished painting you will see where I poked the paint about in order to avoid the fur bleeding into it and this looks a bit messy. The second was that I don’t have to paint in every single detail, such as the long fur around the face, or the cropped fur around the nose. I had worked out that by having just a few well planned strokes of paint of varying tone to represent the fur it would work really well, and in this instance I’m very pleased with the result!
Would you have handled the wash or the fur differently? I’d love know! Please share your feedback with us in the comments below – Thanks 🙂