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Studio: Make way for Elf Bunnies

Santa Claus has elves, sure. Sure he does. But what about the real bosses, eh? Yeah, yeah! That’s us, the Elf Bunnies! We tell the rest of ’em what to do, yes we do. If we don’t get our North Pole Carrots.. oh boy, you’ll be sorry! We’ll turn around and all you’ll see is our rumps. So, get back to work and give us our delicious carrots! We mean business!

Hand-painted original art with attached hanger, for all your Christmas tree decorating needs! 
Originals only. No reproductions to be made. Gouache, acrylic on 140lb Saunders rough watercolour paper, glued to 8 ply acid-free matboard. 
Hanger and pompom attached at back. Approx size is 1 1/2″ x 2″.


The story behind these buns is very simple. I was tasked with the challenge of creating a set of Christmas ornaments, and so this is what I came up with. Basic bunny drawings using gouache and acrylic on Saunders 140lb Rough watercolour paper, glued (using Lineco bookbinding PVA glue) to acid-free 8 ply matboard and finished with gold elastic and a pompom on the back. They were sprayed with Golden MSA Archival spray varnish in Satin. 

Ok, so! I start the bunny drawing out with a Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour/watersoluble/aquarelle pencil. They are my favorite pencils ever, and I used to sell them in my art supplies store, Sketch Art Supplies. I don’t have an art supplies store anymore, but I do still recommend them. Expect to pay upwards of $4 a pencil when they are not on sale, but you can sometimes find them for as low as $2. That is all in Canadian currency. I use them as underdrawing pencils for my oil paintings as well because turpentine will not thin them out. Be warned, however, that the Faber-Castell Polychromos WILL be dissolved with turpentine because they are oil-based pencils. Not so with the Albrecht Durer watersoluble pencils.

Finished just in time for the Calgary Expo Holiday Market which ran for two days at the BMO Centre, December 1st and 2nd, 2018. I displayed them on a miniature Christmas tree which was placed on a lazy Susan for interactive viewing. 
My Gouache palette is an old Corelle dish. I know, I know. It looks crazy messy! I do wash it from time to time so that I can actually see what I’m doing. Also, I prefer to use it wet but I will re-wet dry gouache if I am just starting a work, to get the base colors. 

I’ve tried many different watercolour papers over the years. Lately I am really into the Saunders Waterford papers because they accept wet media unlike any other that I have tried, including Arches. The Saunders I used for the Elf Bunnies is “Rough”, which has more tooth and grain than the Cold Pressed (NOT) or Hot Pressed (HOT). It is made in England by St Cuthberts Mill and features deckled edging. It can be difficult to source, but it is well worth the hunt in my opinion.

Construction of Bunny Elves. Hot glue, how glamorous! I don’t often use hot glue, but when I do… I stick pompoms to things! Mwahaha. For serious though, don’t use hot glue to affix artist quality paper to matboard! I use Lineco PVA Adhesive, which is acid-free and brushable.

Ljubica Todorovic
December 13th, 2018
Calgary, Alberta

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Studio: Handmade Art Magnets

One day, on a day like any other day, an idea popped into my head after walking past a page out of my sketchbook, pinned to a cork board  in my studio. It had a few quickly sketched watercolour landscapes on it that were in the shape of business card sized thumbnails. What if I turned those thumbnail sketches into finished tiny artworks? Better yet, what if I put a magnet on the back and then sold them as fridge magnets?!

So, I did it. I unpinned the sketchbook page from the cork board, cut the watercolour thumbnail out, glued it to a piece of matboard, cut that out, sanded the edges and then stuck a magnet on the back. It was awesome! I was pretty happy with my creation.

My tiny original art magnet! Cows in a field.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was more useful to me now than a sketch, hidden away on the shelves of my studio. This project led to me thinking about creating artwork specifically for magnets. Also, another reason to create more bunnies! Like I needed a reason anyway! Bunnies as magnets will be discussed in the next post.

Finished Cow Fields magnet, approx 3 1/4″x2″