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How to Draw a Bear

Learning how to draw a bear needn't be difficult. There are many species to choose from around the world, generally either large or very large.

When young they have all the endearing qualities of a family  pet - soft, playful cuddly and furry...

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Sit them down with a jar of the proverbial honey and they'll dip in contentedly like a toddler with a tub of ice cream.

Try not to meet them in the wild when they're a bit older though - especially if they're hungry, narked or both.

You've now got several hundred pounds of single minded fighting machine that can easily outpace most humans.

We've learned to usually give them a wide berth and not for nothing has the phrase 'like a bear with a sore head' been coined for someone to avoid meeting face to face!

How To Draw A Bear - Stage 1

Look at this image of a bear which has had a few simple shapes superimposed over the photo, outlining the main features.

What we're trying to capture in this 'How to Draw a Bear' article is the bulk and lumbering power of our furry friend.

So notice how the immensely powerful legs are broad and relatively short. Great for climbing, hunting, standing upright and when necessary, providing for a fair turn of speed.

How To Draw A Bear - Stage 2

Now we've taken the photo away and you can see from the shapes how simple it is to create a believable image.

The real key here is the positioning of the two oblongs that represent the rear legs.

Note how they're spread wide to support the weight of the bear.

How To Draw A Bear - Stage 3

I've started to ink in the image here. But before you do, I want you to notice an important aspect when you're learning how to draw a bear, or indeed any animal that has fur.

Note how the outline of the body has been drawn as a series of 'hit and miss' raggedy lines to simulate the fur.

If you're unsure about doing this straight off, lightly draw your finished outline with pencil, concentrating on the outline and not worrying about the fur at this stage.

Then, when you're happy with the pencil drawing, go over it  with the 'raggedy-line' technique I've described.

How To Draw A Bear - Stage 4

Now you can see how I've developed the sketch to its final form. Notice how those raggedy lines have given a real sense of the shaggy fur of the bear, but it's also helped to add to its bulk.

I've used a similar form of light scribble on  the body to suggest the fur going in different directions.

This is important, because the fur on animals, whether they be our friend here or horses or cats etc, grows in many different directions.

Only close observation of the real thing will show you this. (I mean the likes of cats and horses etc. - close observation of a bear in the wild is not recommended!).

As usual I've added a few details to place the bear in a relevant environment. In this case it's a few rocks on which  it's walking.

By the way, notice how I've drawn the front left and rear right paw plonked down flat on the rock and added shadows underneath.

This gives a subtle but vital impression of the bulk and weight of the bear on the ground.

So there we have it. Hope you liked this 'How to Draw a Bear' tutorial. There's plenty more to look at on the site and new 'How to Draw and Paint' articles will be appearing all the time.

If you want to learn more about using basic shapes to help your drawing, click on the link below to go to the main drawing section.

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