Mar 16, 2012

Ranting about drawing bears

There are some animals that are hard for me to draw. Those animals usually have lots of fur that hides all the muscles and anatomy under it. Because I want to draw animals in different poses I have to know how the body of the animal works or at least what it looks like. So if the animal looks like a giant furball, that causes serious problems..

Right now my greatest enemies in drawing are these three animals:

a red panda
a binturong
and a bear.

And right now I'm having a battle with the bear. Especially the face. I usually get the eyes and the snout quite right but the shape of the head causes serious problems. Sometimes I get it right by accident. And that frustrates me because I don't understand how I made it look right. If I'm not thinking when I am drawing something right, I can't use that knowledge when I am drawing again.

I kinda think I am making the face way too complicated than it actually is but.. I don't know. Or maybe it really is so complicated. Or maybe I just don't know how to draw them properly. I feel so lost here.. Aaargh!

Sketches (reference used)..

 Then from memory..

Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT. Aaaargh!

Speaking of bears, I have to mention this guy:

This man has incredible relationship with his bears. His name is Sulo Karjalainen and he takes care and studies bears' behavior at The Predator Center in Finland. He has taken care of the bears since they were little and they think he’s their mom.

What I think is very amazing is that when Sulo is feeding (I’m talking about giving them meat, not grapes or small snacks) the bears, they don’t act hostile or possessive of the food. Even the tamest animals can quickly change when food is involved. But those bears stay calm and wait patiently. Incredible!

If you ever thought that bears are just giant furious beasts, these videos will change your mind completely. They can be loveable, adorable and calm, but only with people who know how to handle them and who they can trust. So remember kids, only professional people can do cool stuff like this!

More cool videos:

There's a Finnish document about this guy but there's no English subtitles for it (yet). If you are still interested, the document is called "Tosi Tarina: Tarinoita karhunkolosta" (2011?) (in English "True Story: Stories from the bearhole"). You can find it from Youtube.


  1. I think you're definitely off to a better start than I'd ever be. I find all animals hard, I get to their legs and blank out. Perhaps I should look at references more often, lol. Keep up with it!

  2. Very cool! Congratulations on your talent and the beautiful illustrations ...

    Success and peace!

  3. Hyvältä näyttää. Jossain on tosiaan vielä viilaamista, mutta mulla ei oo kyllä varaa sanoa mitään :D Tykkäsin erityisesti näistä kahdesta: