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How To Draw A Bear

Here’s a tutorial (in speed sketch mode) for my drawing class showing how to draw a bear from photographic reference (which is probably the safest way to draw a bear).

I begin with a light, gestural blocking of basic shapes and develop it from there.

I switch back and forth from line to tonal shading.

Take note of how I reposition the pencil in my hand — I change my grip — so that I can draw with the side of the point as well as the tip. This allows me to use different pressures and angles which aren’t possible when holding the pencil as if I am writing. This grip also lets me use my entire arm instead of just my wrist and fingers. Try it. See how it feels.

For those who need to know, I’m using a 5B drawing pencil from start start to finish. There’s no eraser in sight. If I make a mistake I just draw over it.


Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and principal of Alvalyn Creative, an independent consultancy providing brand strategy design and bespoke illustration for more than 30 years. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business school and podcast for creative freelancers. She teaches design and design practice on the college level with design schools and programs.

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