Wednesday, January 23, 2008


OK. I learned that with a cloning tool in Photoshop, I can get rid of the seam in the background of this picture. (See the post below for the original photo.) Pretty cool, right?
Brendan's Paddington

I also learned that if I just play around in Photoshop like a little girl with her hands in fingerpaint, I can do this! Really cool, right? Well, OK, I'm not ready to do my own web design yet, but it was fun and I kinda like it!

Enlightening Experience

Well, after years of taking all of my Teddy Bear pictures outside, and freezing my fingers off (and other body parts, too)in weather like we are having today, I bought a light tent studio. I still really like the look of the pictures I take outside--the bears look good in their natural habitat--but magazines and stores require pictures with "plain, uncluttered backgrounds". It will also be nice not to have to depend on the weather to cooperate when I need to photograph a bear.

I have taken some photographs with my new light tent, and of course I will have to experiment to find out how to best use it, but I do think it will work out.

This is how the studio is set up. My camera tripod is, of course, empty because I had to take it off to take THIS picture!

Here is a photo of Brendan's Paddington now fully outfitted with his hat and coat. (He did a beautiful job with the clothes, too, didn't he?) This photo is one of the best I took, because the bear is smaller and less of the light tent shows. If I had aimed my camera a bit more carefully none of the tent seams would have shown.I'm learning!

I also learned that I don't care for the black background--not the one that came with it anyway, the folds show,(I know, I know,I could iron it, but who wants to do that very time?) and it washes out the bear.

The white background shows the folds a bit too, but not nearly as much as the black, but I think the bear's color looks great with the white. The other backgrounds included are bright red and bright blue, and they are shiny. I am thinking that I will use the included backgrounds as templates to cut the blue felt and the tan vinyl that I've used before to fit in the tent. Neither of those are wrinkly at all. This photo could be cropped better as well.

Here is one more.I was thinking that photo editing software could adjust the backgrounds, too. For example, I think could use the cloning tool to wipe out that seam area behind Paddington's ear in this one, but I'd rather not have to fool with that too much.

Anyway, this was an enlightening experience!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Paddington's Progress

I finished Paddington! I've finished the bear himself, that is. He still needs his coat and hat, and I have plans for more items from the stories to put into his suitcase (Scrapbook, jar of marmalade, picture of Aunt Lucy, centavos, etc.). I found his suitcase at Michael's.It might be a little big for him to carry, but I wanted to display him sitting on it most of the time. So far,I have made him a scrapbook, but it doesn't have anything in it yet. The Paddington Bears will be sort of an ongoing project for Brendan and me, but I have to set it aside for now, as I've got lots of bear orders to work on (and dolls too)! Yay!

Here is a picture of him before I used my airbrush. It shows the size comparison to my next largest bear, Figaro.

More poses to enjoy...
(You can click on any picture in my blog to see it bigger.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

More About Paddington

I thought I'd borrow the title of Michael Bond's second Paddington book for this post as it seemed to fit perfectly. I have been working away on my Paddington and he is getting close to being finished. Brendan had made a suitcase for his bear complete with the intitials P.B. on it. He bought a little wooden hinged box and lined it with black fabric. Then he painted the case black and glued in the letters for the monogram. We found a small jar to put in the suitcase and now we justhave to figure out how to make it look like it has marmalade in it.

Brendan's Paddington:

My Paddington is nearly finished.
I have chosen to make him "life-sized" or at least how I imagine he would be. One of the books says he weighs "nearly 16 pounds" and the drawings show him about the size of a toddler. I hope the Paddington I am making will be recognizable as Paddington even though he will not look like the cartoon illustrations of Paddington. I love the first illustrator's gestural pen and ink illustrations for their lively feel, but it is certainly difficult to duplicate that quality in 3-D. The Paddington I am making is going to look like the picture I get in my mind when I read the stories...
I made some pen and ink sketches mimicking the style of Peggy Fortnum,

And then I drew a sketch of what I see when I read the Paddington stories...(the one on the left). This is how I hope my finished bear will look.

Back to work with me! Or should I say back to play--this bear is for ME!