The day the bear came to town… bearly time to draw!

Bear in Tree, Niwot, CO and honey from a Niwot bee keeper friend

Did you ever try to draw something that wouldn’t sit still?

3 days ago I dropped off some art work to a fellow magazine friend, and she gave me a jar of her own homemade honey from her backyard bees. A huge treat! Then she told me she was a little nervous about the bear visiting our town, currently up a tree on the main street. Would he be sniffing around her hives for honey?

Bears frequent Lyons, Colorado, 15 miles from here, which is a mountain gateway town, but a black bear in a tree here in Niwot is news. The reporter who took the close-up photo did well. I made my way over to the place where people were gathered to see the 300 pound visitor looking down at them, and snapped a quick photo with my phone. Someday they will make a phone with a super zoom ability, but I can only hope right now.

I realized I have never taken time to draw bears. Artists need to look at lots of photos or illustrations if they want to try to draw things like wild animals we don’t see often. I found an anatomical study of a bear online, and made a drawing.

bear drawing, graphite, KGTaylor

As I drew the bear, I began to realize how massive bears are, compared to things I’ve drawn more often, like cats, dogs and horses. Seeing the fellow up on the huge cottonwood also made a big impression on me! Added to my memory bank, drawing bears will come easier next time.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a treasure trove for drawing animals. Draw monkeys, anyone?

When I first determined to become an art student I took my sketchbook down to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where there were many real (thanks to taxidermy) animals to draw. I drew deer and mountain goats, fur and all. Now the museum has something more dramatic to draw, if you are excited about dinosaurs: T Rex in full blown skeletal glory.

T Rex at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Now I was really interested to see how artists have interpreted the bear. Here are some images I found during my quick search:

1. Marion Rose painting, 2. Zuni Artist Rodney Laiwakete, 3. Unknown, Whyte Museum, 4. Unknown, 5. Marion Rose, 6. Robert Bateman, painter, 7. Robert Bateman

An idea for the sketchbook, remember the song, “The Bear Went over the Mountain…?” I pictured an almost cartoony scene of a bear going up a steep mountain “to see what he could see.” Half-way through the sketch I found another photo online and sketched it on the same page. Sketchbooks have no rules, and I collect them for ideas.

Sketching more bears, KGT

What, dear friend, kind of animal do you like to draw? Or want to try drawing sometime?


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2 Responses to “The day the bear came to town… bearly time to draw!”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    I married a bear. :0)


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