Quirky Tree Frog Painting | Toadly Awesome Challenge


Hello and welcome! Today I am painting a
cute little tree frog for Dena Tollefson’s Toadly Awesome Challenge
because when I was looking for reference photos I couldn’t think of anybody who
fitted the bill of ‘Toadly Awesome’ better than this little guy I found I
think he’s actually a garden ornament so he was so much fun to paint and draw he
really made me smile the whole time and I hope he does the same for you
I’ve got a bit of a thing for drawing whimsical creatures especially sort of
anthropomorphized ones because one of my little pet projects at the moment is
getting more confident at figure drawing by drawing things that are a bit
whimsical because that gives you a bit of license and I’ll pop a card in the
top right corner to show you what I’m talking about there one of the things I
also find quite fascinating is trying to figure out exactly what it is that makes
us smile what is it that is so amusing about this chap and I think it’s the
shape of things like his little tummy there he’s got a sort of Austin Powers
feel to him I reckon he’s a groovy kind of fellow very relaxed in his fantastic
pose there and you can imagine that in his mind’s eye he’s a bit of a
supermodel but he’s got a bit of a dad bod on him there you know that little
round tummy just makes me giggle along with his kind of froggy double chin
there so you just can’t help but smile as you draw and I think that really does
help make the whole drawing process seem very much easier and I think that when
you’re smiling when you’re drawing and painting your smile certainly shows up
somewhere in that painting and other people get to see it too
now I’ve been sketching so far using one of my prismacolor pencils
it’s a prismacolor Colerase pencil so it does let me erase some of those
marks but I don’t really intend to erase them all I’m going for a very loose
sketchy feel and I want the line work to remain and I’m happy if some of that
purple shows but I also wanted to use my pen and that’s a waterproof pen there
it’s a Pitt artists pen and it’s lovely and fine and I’m trying quite hard to
not make a solid straight line because I don’t want him to look like a cartoon I
want more than one line in most places you know I want him to have a very sort
of loose sketchy fun quirky feel that I think really suits his sort of charm so
I’m going to go back with a pen later on but now I can’t wait to get painting and
I’ve got a wax resist crayon there that I’m using because in the photo
because he’s an ornament he is very shiny and I think that’s part
of his quirky charm so I wanted to make sure that that remains so that little
wax is going on the parts that are going to catch the light got to be a bit
careful with the wax because the problem with it is that once it’s down it’s down
and you can’t move it you won’t be able to draw on it and you won’t be able to
paint on it so it’s a bit addictive and you want to use it with caution because
there’s nothing you can do once it’s already down and I’ve started with
funnily enough the green gold paint that I used in the very first challenge I did
with Dena Tollefson so I will pop the links to that as well in the card in
case you are new to Dena’s wonderful challenges along with the links to her
channel so you can find out more about her she’s a wonderfully supportive
youtuber and I love joining in in these challenges that she organizes now my
little froggie fellow there I’m painting this sort of with the
traditional kind of watercolorists mindset of going from light to dark so I
started with the green gold for those lightest parts of the frog and those he
generally the parts that are sticking out more towards the viewer so where his
little lips jut forward and that lovely round belly of his was the brighter
yellowy color and then around the edges I’ve added slightly greener colors and a
darker green that’s my sap green that I used to put in the darkest edges where
his body is making contact with the ground for example and then he’s a tree
frog so he’s got those glorious orangey red fingers and toes as well as his eyes
there and again I am trying to loosely use the properties of the watercolor to
do some of the work in fact most of the work in making those fingers, toes and
eyes look spherical because of the way I’m shading it there with the red and
orange but the water does most of the work in making those blends happen kind
of seamlessly My little chap is reclining there but he doesn’t look like
he’s reclining until we add the ground so a nice contact shadow and
yes that’s that color I can’t resist I have to do a a spot of purple somewhere
in my painting and I’m choosing to use the purple both in the frog’s body and
on the ground to be part of the shadow because watercolor is translucent those
purples are going to look slightly different. On the on the ground it’s
going to be purple over that Goldy color and on the Frog it looks different
because it’s purple over the green but there’s a nice harmony because it is the
same purple and it’s these shadows and light areas that bring the whole bring a
drawing to life so I am reinforcing the darker areas
with those with the dark green and with the purple watercolor softens off
beautifully once you get the hang of it you don’t want the brush to be too wet
you just want it to be slightly damp so that it blurs the edge of the line that
you put down and I’m working in my Moleskine sketchbook I think you’d call
it a Moh-les-keen-er if you are fancy and it’s made for watercolor but I find that
you can pretty much never find brilliant quality watercolor paper in a sketchbook
and that’s one of the reasons I used the pen I often find that I draw in extra
materials because I know that the watercolor paint is not going to do as many
of its cool tricks in the sketchbook compared to the way that they would
behave if I was using proper watercolor paper but I’m still using my favorite
waiting wet techniques to put in a kind of colorful blotchy Austin Powers ish
background for my young frog there and you can see that this paper actually
does behave pretty well I’m getting to the point where I’m going to have to let
it dry but of course I can’t resist adding a bit of texture with some
splashes They are definitely going soften because that top area of the page was
still wet so you can see those droplets dispersing so it’ll be interesting to see
how those dry how much they spread out and his eyes I’m not quite finished because
we do need to put in that dark but and that’s when he kind of comes to life
and remember I put a bit of wax in there and that’s what you want to be a bit
careful like if you were needing to put the dark area in and you’d put wax down
you would have no choice but to have to live with a highlight in that particular
area now that page is completely dry I did
walk away from it because I wanted to go back
with my pen and if you put your precious artists pen on top of a wet page you
will damage the nib so you want to make sure that it’s completely dry before you
go back in with the pen but I find I often do this with when I’m working with
an ink and wash approach where I’ll do a bit of the inking before I paint and
then go back afterwards to reinforce any of the lines that I think could do with
strengthening after I’ve painted because some of them you lose when you paint and
some of them you don’t and the other thing is I as I said I didn’t want to
have him looking like a cartoon so I wanted to make sure that there were a
lot of extra loose sketchy lines and while I was doing that I then noticed
that I could do with a bit more darkness against his back there because
watercolor does dry lighter so that is something you often find that you want
you wish you had been a bit bolder in the first instance and normally I do
everything in one sitting but because I went back in with a pen I couldn’t
resist adding in a little bit more depth of color in some of these areas also he
was just making me so happy because he’s you know such a funny fellow
that I couldn’t stop thank you for watching see you next time happy
painting

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