How to Draw a Standing Black Bear

Written by rod kuster
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How to Draw a Standing Black Bear
A standing bear looks human from a distance. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Black bears are secretive, shy animals. They can travel long distances and have a great sense of direction. The males have a habit of scratching particular trees to communicate their presence to other males in the area. Black Bears are a very familiar animal and are seen by most as beautiful and largely harmless creatures. Human encroachment and hunting, however, has reduced their numbers over the years. When threatened or when trying to reach something, a bear is able to stand on its hind legs. This makes for an imposing subject in a drawing.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Drawing paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Reference photos

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  1. 1

    Find a series of good reference images that show the detail of the bear's face and others that show the complete bear standing up. Use an image that shows the bear standing and facing the camera as your main reference. Examine the anatomy of the bear in order to get a feel for its proportions. Set up your drawing area with your images close by for easy referencing.

  2. 2

    Draw an elongated oval shape to outline the torso of the standing bear. Draw two smaller oval shapes about a quarter of the size and overlap them on the bottom of the large oval to define the area of the legs. Draw a circle a little above the tip of the large oval for the head area. Draw the arms as they are positioned in the photo, bent up at the elbows and paws positioned parallel to the ground. The elbows are located at the half-point of the torso.

  3. 3

    Connect the circle to the oval by drawing the neck. Indicate the position of the eyes, the bear's snout and ears. Outline the hind legs of the bear and indicate the paws. Draw parallel lines on the front paws to show the claws. Repeat this for the feet. Complete the outline of the bear and erase the circles and other unnecessary guidelines. Continue detailing the head, marking the nostrils and any teeth if drawing an open mouth.

  4. 4

    Find any shadowing on the bear, for example underneath the arms, at the neck area and along the side of the bear facing away from the direction of the light source. Refer to the reference image of the standing bear to get these right. Keep the snout light, for example, compared to the dark head around it. Blend in the bear by rubbing a cloth from dark to light areas. Create a gradual shading to give the bear a three-dimensional look and to soften any shading lines.

  5. 5

    Draw the fur of the bear using short parallel lines in the direction of the fur as it grows on the bear. Look carefully at the reference image to determine this. Keep creating the fur and preserve any highlights by using lighter pencil lines in those areas. Continue shading and adding fur until the drawing is completed.

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