Vibrant Dazzling Paint Colors, Rich Hues and Vibrant Light

The Inspiration for the Illustrations in Santa & The Little Teddy Bear – Vibrant Dazzling Paint Colors, Rich Hues and Vibrant Light

Santa, Teddy & Frosty Lights!
Santa, Teddy & Frosty Lights!

Children are my inspiration.  They love bright vibrant colors.  The illustrations for the book are painted in bright vibrant colors, rich hues and subtle tones with no black.  Illustrated boldly, a cross between reality, cartooning and great movie animations like, Kung Fu Panda and Up.

Impressionist artists, Renoir and Monet, inspired the glazing technique I use.  The technique enables light to shine through the glazes bouncing off the under painting color adding a glowing vibrancy, this helps to capture the essence of place and magic of the moment.  Multiple glazes of different colors are used to create the finished color, increasing the illusion of depth, drama and brightness.  This adds life, light and shadow increasing the liveliness of the images.

Santa is depicted slim and wise in shimmering red.  After all, he is a Saint!  The Inspiration for The Little Teddy Bear is us; he is a parody of our lives, he develops as the story unfolds, changing in more than just color.  The reindeer are magnificent thunderous beasts with manes of white hair, lions of the sky with a gentle character.  The reindeer are wonderful carolers, galloping magically on a trail of brilliant white stars.  Santa, the Little Teddy Bear and Dancer are available as free coloring downloads at

Each painting tells a tale in dazzling vivid color that sets a scene, capturing the spirit of place in the story.  The Toy Shop at Christmas Eve, looking decidedly old world is based on the shops you find clustered around the town squares in the market towns of England; hidden in sleepy villages, nestling in valleys and dales.  These toy store treasures sell all manner of toys.  The church tower in the background with carolers singing shows a tradition that joyfully rings to this day.  The Dolls stacked on shelves are from my wife, Cheri’s, Barbie room!

Many illustrations are inspired by real places to encourage families to explore and follow the Teddy Bear’s whirlwind journey around the globe through the internet.  The ski Race down Kitzsteinhorn Mountain, in Austria, follows the mountains ski lifts and runs, down to Zell am See, lake.  A Traditional Austrian house, a family dressed in traditional dirndl and lederhosen give a flavor of the culture.  Of course, the picture would not be complete without, a crazy red squirrel and a reindeer dressed in a tutu… You’ll need to read the story to find out why!

The inspiration for the Beat of the African Drum is the Cameroons, a place, which is very dear to my heart.  As a child, I lived in the area depicted in the painting.  The Meme river, Pelican Point, Ndian River, the mangrove swamps and the great primeval rainforests of Korup were my stomping ground.  There really is a place called, Last Banana! The elephant, hippo and a crocodile add texture to the scene of turquoise blue and silvery greens depicting the humidity and harmattan.  If you look closely, you will see a giant hornbill, fire-flies and a large number of frogs.  The fishing village is real I wrote a paper on the Architecture.

Crayola’s 3D sidewalk chalk inspired a 3D, painting!  Yes, 3D!  How?  My niece Courtney and her friend Hanna were playing with Crayola’s 3D sidewalk chalk.  Wearing the 3D glasses, they came rushing down the stairs and peaked at the illustration for Hawaii… “Wow,” is all Courtney said handing me the glasses.  The ship jumped of the page!  Hawaii was finished to maximize the 3D effect when wearing Crayola, 3D glasses.

The castle at the top of the world is a magical place, a dream, based on castles I would paint when I was young boy.  With rotating horizontal wind viens for power, a sky dock for blimps and zeppelins, a runway for Santa all made of ice and magical crystals to create power.  A green house for fresh fruit and vegetables and if you notice the wind direction, everyone is coming for the feast.

Examples of children’s book illustrations I like are Chris Van Allsburg’s, “The Polar Express”, Dean Morrissey, “Ship of Dreams,” the light in the paintings glows and the detail is exquisite.  “The Eleventh Hour” by Graeme Base, the hidden mysteries and inside story of the details of each painting are astounding.

Each Illustration is in the Spirit of the season.  When do I know a painting is finished?  When the children and adults alike, smile with joy.

Peter Lucking

Resource Box Info

Peter Lucking is the writer and illustrator of SANTA & THE LITTLE TEDDY BEAR.

Scatter with 29 brilliant illustrations, antics and charm, interwoven with Christmas traditions and carols for all the family to sing.  The tale builds on these devices to provide a narrative of warmth and spirit of the things that are truly important.

A timeless heirloom Christmas season classic, which encourages the belief in the spirit of Christmas.

For more information visit us at:

Article Summary/Abstract

Inspired by children’s, dazzling colors, historical places and magical dreams.  The illustrations create a world of opportunity to expose children to other countries and cultures around the globe.