I have many artists that I love, admire, and look up to. I thought I would start listing some of the artists, their websites and why I like them or show a photo of something I have painted by the artist. Each artist has a special technique that is worth learning. To "learn" you must study their technique and paint several of their designs...just one normally does not "do the trick".
Cherly Bradshaw and her lifelike Teddy Bears is one of these wonderful artists. Her books are wonderful, her technique sheets awesome, and her final designs are just gorgeous and worth every minute you spend "with her". Her techniques can be carried over from teddy bears to other areas where her techniques will come into play. ie: Other animals, feathers, baskets, flowers, etc.
This particular design was painted with another artist friend and we had a riot watching "grandma" come to life. We made changes here and there to suit us and just had a great time.
Most of our changes were in the brushes that we used. I am a firm believer that when we find a brush that works for us and gives us a " desired effect" there is no "need" to use the same brush/size/mfg that the artist uses. This is the first place that students can get off to a wrong/bad/discouraging start that ends in a very negative painting experience. The only time I recommend a brush change is when something is not working. I watch what the student is doing and then recommend a change in brush size, type, or mfgr. Most students are willing to try a change but occassionally you run across a fairly new student that thinks that she HAS to do it just like the artist or the teacher and will refuse to give something else a try. It is sad when this happens and I was guilty of this to a great extent when I was first learning. Sigh....
So enjoy the "Grandma" going out for an afternoon and give Cheryls' books and designs a try. Her Chezza fur brush is a great filbert comb and works wonderful for designs like the one that I did. I also took another brand of brush that had a filbert rake and cut the sides down so that I just had a few hairs for tight spots. (Great for Santa Beards also).
Cheryls site: http://www.chezzabearstudios.com/