How to Draw a Bear: Blocking in the basic shape

You make drawing a lot easier for yourself by breaking the major tasks into stages. Start your drawings with a light sketch to capture the posture, proportions, and angles of your subject. I use an erasable “col-erase” non-photo blue pencil to block in your initial drawing. I then draw directly over this framework with a graphite pencil, adding the details and texture. The blue pencil establishes the shape so I do not need to think about the fine grain detail and the big picture proportions at the same time.

The blue lines represent the first guidelines that I would establish to block in the bear. Once this blue pencil framework is complete, I go over it with graphite pencil to draw the details of the bear. In this series, I show the final bear drawing throughout the initial stages so that you can see how I simplify the shape. Real non-photo blue pencil lines are much lighter than the lines you see in this demonstration, they are barely visible but are exaggerated here to help you follow the steps. Play with these techniques and discover how to draw a bear.

9 thoughts on “How to Draw a Bear: Blocking in the basic shape

  1. I like the proportion box as well as the belly line. Using negative shapes is also something quite interesting. Very original techniques that are definitely helping people like me creating realistic bears! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Renata B says:

    Placing the “belly line’ looks tricky. Is it always a straight line? Is it through the knees and ankles? Is it parallel to the top and bottom of the “proportion box”? What indicator do we look for in order to place the belly line?

    Your classes and blog are great. Thank you.

    • The belly line divides the proportion box into body and legs. It often is at the level of the elbow and knee. To place this line, I look at how much of the proportion box is legs vs body. There is not formula, it will be different for each critter. For simplicity, I usually put it in as a straight line. Then when I am carving in the angles and looking at negative shapes, I refine the shape of the belly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *