Project:  Bunny Baby

Created by Lydia Steeves, Helping Artist

Lydia Steeves is internationally known for her irresistible animal designs and teaching skill. Her Bachelor of Education degree and art training have been applied to designing and teaching decorative art for the past 20 years.  While she enjoys painting a wide variety of subject matter, much of her inspiration comes from her love of nature and wildlife, be it tigers or kittens. In addition to teaching at major conventions, Steeves has produced and sold her own packets and has had many designs published in  magazines around the world. She has published four painting books under the Pause for Painting title; her first color pencil book Fur and Feathers, Volume 1 was released last year. Also released recently is her technique video providing in depth instruction on painting furry things. You can find Steeves’ patterns, books, DVDs, and brushes at

This Steeves design, created on a square wood surface with Americana Acrylic colors, pictures a young rabbit looking for a springtime snack in a meadow of Johnny Jump-Ups.

DecoArt supplies

Americana Acrylics

  • DAO6 Pineapple
  • DAO10 Cadmium Yellow
  • DAO67 Lamp (Ebony) Black
  • DA101 Dioxazine Purple
  • DA131 Hauser Light Green
  • DA132 Hauser Medium Green
  • DA133 Hauser Dark Green
  • DA140 Red Violet
  • DA163 Honey Brown
  • DA164 Light Buttermilk
  • DA195 Bittersweet Chocolate
  • DA241 Light Mocha

Americana Mediums

  • DS20 Easy Float

Sealers / Finishes

  • DS17 Multi-Purpose Sealer
  • DATM04 Traditions Satin Varnish

Additional supplies


  • 4” x 4” wooden surface


  • Water container
  • Wax palette
  • Shop towels
  • Tape
  • ¾” wash brush
  • #1 round brush
  • ¼” oval mop brush
  • ¼” filbert grainer brush
  • ⅛” filbert grainer brush
  • #2 filbert brush
  • 10/0 liner brush
  • ⅛” lunar blender
  • ⅜” lunar blender


  1. Sand. Seal wood surface with Multi-Purpose Sealer. Dry. Sand again.
  2. Using ¾” wash brush, basecoat bottom section solidly Hauser Dark Green. Let dry.
  3. Using ¾” wash brush, base bottom section Hauser Dark Green again. While wet and with dirty brush, add patches of Hauser Medium Green in top right (behind bunny’s head) and in bottom left (where Johnny Jump-ups will be). Still working wet on wet and with dirty brush, add Hauser Light Green to lighten further. Dry. If more Hauser Light Green is needed, use ⅜” lunar blender to dry-brush.
  4. Trace out pattern carefully and apply accurately. (You can apply pattern for flowers and leaves later if you like.)



  1. Using #1 round brush, basecoat bunny’s eye Lamp Black. Using same brush, line  nostrils and line to mouth with Lamp Black.
  2. Using ¼” oval mop brush, basecoat fur Honey Brown working in fur direction. (It does not need to be solid.) Apply pattern for details.
  3. Using ¼” filbert grainer brush, rake Light Mocha on bunny working with fur directions. (Mix Easy Float and water (1:1) to help get Light Mocha to correct consistency. You must have paint transparent so you can build layers.) Rake a little more in light areas.
  4. Using ¼” filbert grainer brush, rake Bittersweet Chocolate beginning in shade areas. Rake in mid-value areas as well. (Do more of this step than you think.) Rake shade areas again with Lamp Black. Rake also at tips of ears where it is very dark.
  5. Using ¼” oval mop brush, wash over everything with Honey Brown.
  6. Repeat raking with Light Mocha concentrating on light areas but also putting in fine transparent lines all over bunny. (Make sure you can still see previous layers.)
  7. Repeat raking with Bittersweet Chocolate. Repeat Lamp Black if needed. If you lose Honey Brown, rake a little back.
  8. Repeat layers as you like.
  9. Using ⅛” filbert grainer brush, brighten light markings with Light Buttermilk: under eye and nose and at edge of ears. (Use Easy Float and water (1:1) to help achieve correct consistency.)
  10. Rebase eyes if needed. Using #1 round brush and brush mix of Light Mocha and Lamp Black, line membrane at front of eye. Using ⅛” lunar blender brush, dry-brush secondary highlight on eye with Light Mocha. Using 10/0 liner brush, sparkle eye with Light Buttermilk.

Grass and Leaves

  1. Using #2 filbert brush, basecoat leaves Hauser Medium Green. (See figure 1.) Shade leaves with Hauser Dark Green by stroking from center vein outwards. (See figure 2.) Highlight with Hauser Light Green by stroking from edges inward. (See figure 3.)
  2. Using #2 filbert brush, pull grass lines up from base with mixes of Hauser Light Green; Hauser Medium Green; and Hauser Dark Green, and perhaps Pineapple. (Don’t forget grass in bunny’s mouth.)

Johnny Jump-Ups

  1. Using #2 filbert brush, undercoat front three petals Pineapple before basecoating them Cadmium Yellow. Back petals are Dioxazine Purple. (See figure 1.)
  2. Using #2 filbert brush, highlight edges of back petals with Light Mocha. (See figure 2.) When dry, wash with Red Violet. (See figure 3.)
  3. Using #2 filbert brush, highlight edges of Cadmium Yellow petals with Pineapple. If it gets too chalky, wash with Cadmium Yellow. Using #1 round brush, paint radiating lines Red Violet. Center is dot of Light Buttermilk.
  4. Using #1 round brush, pull stems with Hauser Light Green. Highlight with Pineapple. F

Finishing touches

  1. Varnish with Traditions Satin Varnish. With 10/0 liner brush and Light Mocha, paint in whiskers after first coat of varnish.

Helpful hints

Create overhead transparency of pattern so you can check details as you paint.


Click on the pattern below to view it full-size for printing.