Joyful Garden Frog Topiary

By  Debra Henkener 

  • Joyful Garden Frog Topiary
  • Painting Steps


  • Clay pot (5" tall x 6-1/2" across top x 4" across bottom)
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Antique Gold, Avocado, Black Plum, Blueberry, Burnt Orange, Buttermilk, Dark Chocolate, Deep Burgundy, Deep Midnight Blue, Fawn, Golden Straw, Green Mist, Lamp (Ebony) Black, Olive Green, Plantation Pine, Raw Sienna, Snow (Titanium) White
  • Loew-Cornell La Corneille Golden Taklon brushes: Jackie Shaw Liner, Series JS, #10/0, #2; Shader, Series 7300, #4, #10; Angular Shader, Series 7400, 3/8", 1/2", 5/8"; Wash/Glaze, Series 7550, 1"
  • Stencil brush, small


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Multi-Purpose Sealer
  • Black Pigma Micron Felt Tip Marker, 05
  • Small tomato cage
  • Finial of choice with 5/8" (or larger) stem diameter
  • Washer, 3/4"
  • Wire cutters
  • Optional: Five-point star stencils: 1/2", 2-1/2"

Pattern - Joyful Garden Frog Topiary

  • Preparation
  • 1. Wash pot with soap and water. Use rough grade sandpaper to sand rough edges; wipe dust with damp old T-shirt rag. Let dry thoroughly. Apply sealer over entire pot; let dry. Base body of pot with two coats Fawn. Use Dk. Chocolate to apply two coats on bottom of pot, rim, top and bottom edges of rim, and inside pot.
  • 2. Print out patterns; turn pot over so bottom is now top and transfer basic pattern lines onto pot. (Transfer details as needed.)
  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. Use brushes that are most comfortable for you and that fit the area you are working in. If you are not sure, test brushes on palette. Use shaders to basecoat, angular shaders for shading and highlighting, and liner brushes for fine lines and detailing. Thin paint with water for line work.
  • 2. Refer to worksheet.

  • Rim
  • 1. Use wash/glaze brush to paint every other check Antique Gold; shade Dk. Chocolate along top edge of top checks and bottom edge of bottom checks. Using photo as guide, use Buttermilk to paint or stencil 1/2" star pattern on gold checks. Use thinned Green Mist to paint swirls on brown checks then use handle end of liner brush to dot swirl centers; add squiggly lines between each check. Paint or stencil 2-1/2" star on center top of pot; shade Raw Sienna around hole.
  • Frogs
  • 1. Small Frog: Base one coat Avocado on eyelids and face; shade Plantation Pine along bottom of head and highlight very thinned Olive Green along top of eyelids and head. Add thinned Lamp Black nostril lines; paint smile line.
  • 2. Large Frog: Transfer arm over checks on rim. Shade Dk. Chocolate on checks under arm. Base one coat Avocado on eyelids, body (omitting chest), arm, and hands. Shade Plantation Pine on body around chest, along armpit, along bottom of arm, and along bottom edges of body. Paint Plantation Pine webbing between fingers. Highlight very thinned Olive Green along entire outer edge of body, along top of eyelids, arm, and along top of each finger.
  • 3. Use thinned Lamp Black to paint nostril lines. Base inside of mouth Lamp Black. Base teeth with two coats Snow White; shade Deep Midnight Blue along top. Paint Lamp Black line between teeth. Base tongue with two coats Deep Burgundy; shade Black Plum along bottom and lightly highlight Burnt Orange on top. Use Lamp Black to paint smile lines at corners.
  • 4. Base chest Golden Straw; shade Raw Sienna along edges. Paint heart with two coats Deep Burgundy; add Snow White highlight dot at top left. Use Avocado to line bottom of mouth on chest.
  • Eyes
  • 1. Paint whites of eyes with two coats Snow White. Base irises with mix of Blueberry + Buttermilk (2:1). Paint pupils Lamp Black. Paint "spoke lines" on irises alternately with Buttermilk and Lamp Black. Highlight Buttermilk along bottom edge of irises. Shade Deep Midnight Blue along outer edges of irises and whites. Line bottom edge of eyelid Lamp Black. Add Snow White highlight sparkle dots in eyes.
  • Flowers
  • 1. Base all leaves and stems Avocado. Use liner to shade leaves; stroke Plantation Pine over bottom half of leaves, then paint a few leaf tips, line center veins, and paint over leaf in front of large frog. Dry brush Plantation Pine on each stem at top and bottom. Add a few Olive Green highlight strokes to tips of a few leaves, then highlight Green Mist.
  • 2. For daisies, use liner and Buttermilk to paint each petal in three strokes; paint center first then add two side strokes. Stroke over a few petals with Snow White. Use large brush handle end to dot centers Golden Straw. (Note: If desired, while wet, dab finger once or twice in centers to create texture.) Shade Burnt Orange along bottom of flower centers. Shade Raw Sienna around flower centers on petals and background gaps. Dot Dk. Chocolate around flower centers.
  • Bees
  • 1. Base bodies Lamp Black. Paint stripes Golden Straw. Base wings with thinned Snow White; use thinned Blueberry to shade behind top wing and on front wing against body. Use marker to outline wings, and to draw legs and antennae.
  • Wording
  • 1. Use thinned Avocado to paint letters; use paint brush handle to dot ends Green Mist.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Use 5/8" angular to shade Dk. Chocolate on pot around top sides; shade around top sides of rim shading over flower stems avoiding small frog's face and large frog's arm.
  • 2. Apply three coats sealer over entire pot. Let dry. Attach finial using washer on inside of pot.
  • 3. Turn tomato cage over so stems are now at top. Measure 8" from top ring and use pliers to bend stem toward middle of cage; repeat same for remaining two stems. Measure 3" from each bend and cut stem ends (stems may still overlap slightly.) You should now have a flat surface with which to place the pot. Carefully place topiary over a plant in your garden or in a large flower pot. Pull flower stems and flowers through cage concealing wires. Place pot over cage.