How to draw a bear

Learning how to draw a bear with our step by step tutorial is easy peasy. Just follow a few steps and you will be drawing one of your own.

How to draw a bear

Proportions are the key to a realistic drawing of an animal. If the legs are too short or the head too small, even the most elaborate details will not make it look good. 

That’s why we should start every drawing with a rough sketch of the proportions before we invest any time in the details. Such a rough sketch can show us the whole silhouette in a simple way, so we can see the mistakes when they still can be fixed.

This rough sketch should be drawn lightly, with subtle lines that can be easily erased. Draw this way until I tell you to change the technique.

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Bears are animals that can have two opposite reputations. On the one hand, some see them as representative of cute little teddy bears, and on the other they are seen as vicious apex predators.

No matter how you may look at bears, one thing is for sure: they are beloved by millions of people worldwide.

If you are one of those fans and would like to learn how to draw a bear, then this is the guide for you!

We created this step-by-step guide on how to draw a bear in 8 steps to make it easier than ever for you to draw this wonderful creature.

Materials

In order to draw a bear, you’ll want:

  • A sharp pencil
  • A nice black fine liner
  • Plain white paper
  • A flat surface to lean on
  • A ruler
  • An eraser

Let’s get drawing!

Step 1: Draw A Rough Oval For The Body

Drawing a bear from the side will often produce the best results. Draw yourself an oval that bulges out just slightly at the bottom. It doesn’t matter if your lines are a bit sketchy; this will just look like fur.

Step 2:

About half a centimeter from your bear’s body, you should draw a second circle for the head. This wants to be slightly flattened on the lower edge, which is where the bear’s snout should end up.

The head should be about a third of the size of the body, and you should aim to have it approximately level with the midpoint of the bear’s body. It may help to glance at a photo or two of a bear as you work.

Next, put your pencil on the bottom edge of the head you’ve drawn, where it is slightly flattened. You’re now going to draw the bear’s snout. This should be a small rectangle, but you want to curve the lines a little to make them natural. 

The “underside” of your rectangle, where the bear’s chin will be, should be a softer curve than the top edge, where the bear’s nose will be.

Step 3:

Starting a little bit above the bear’s back, draw a large oval that slightly overlaps with the bear’s head and with the first 1/3rd of the bear’s body. This should be angled a little back so that the bear’s foot will end up under the bear’s body.

Sketch a small oval at the bottom for the bear’s front paw.

You can now join your head and the body by drawing sloped lines up from the back of the bear’s head, over the top of the shoulder joint, and then back down to the top of the bear’s back.

Step 4:

Beneath the bear’s snout, draw a second half oval, so that the bear looks as though it is stepping forward. Add the paw at the end.

Step 5:

Put your pencil just below the top of the back edge of your bear’s body, and sketch a rough oval for the back leg, coming down to the same point as your front leg so that the bear will be standing on a flat surface.

It’s best to widen the top edge of the bear’s back leg to create a “hip.” The front part of the leg should be a bit curvier and bulkier than the back of the leg.

Add a paw at the bottom, and the first of the rear legs are complete.

Step 6:

In between the front leg and the rear leg, you should now have a space available. Here, you want to draw a small half oval, again going to a similar level so that the paws will line up. This is the final leg.

Put the paw in place at the end of the leg, and you’ve got the basic outline for your bear!

Step 7:

You may not have expected a direction to rub out your hard work, but you’re now at the point where you can start taking out some of the guiding circles that you’ve put in. Before you do this, fill in any places where you’re lacking continuous lines that will make your bear’s shape.

This might be the neck, where the bear’s chin needs to meet with its head, and between the back legs.

Once you’ve finished doing this, erase all the lines inside your bear’s body, apart from the one that defines the front foreleg from the back foreleg, and the one that shows your rear leg in front of the stomach.

You should also leave the line that defines the front foreleg from the stomach.

Erase the lines between the paws and the legs, and you’ve got a great bear outline.

Step 8:

Your bear now needs two cute ears. Tuck a small semi-circle (drawn roughly to make it look natural) behind the bear’s head, and draw the other rough semi-circle level with it, but further over. 

Next, draw a little eye (bears have tiny eyes) and a nose at the end of the bear’s snout. Draw a little line to open the bear’s mouth, and erase the very end so the mouth is open.

Step 9:

Use your pencil to add shagginess to the bear’s fur. This can emphasize the bear’s limbs, and be used to add some shadow around its legs, stomach, and back. You can also add some claw detailing, a bit of definition to the top of the bear’s head, and dots to the nose.

Step 10:

Once you’re happy with your bear’s overall shape and look, grab your fine liner and fill in the outline! You can vary between the pencil and the fine liner to make the most of the contrasting darkness and silver lines.

Conclusion

If your bear doesn’t look perfect, don’t worry! You can always have another go at it. Hopefully, you’ve got something that you’re proud of, even if you think you can do better next time.

If you’re still struggling, try looking at some photographs of bears online and study the shape of their bodies, comparing them to your drawing. Don’t give up; art is a process and you can only improve, so keep trying!

Watch Videos of bear drawing

The bear is one of the most popular animals among artists. That is why we created this drawing tutorial on how to draw a bear face. We decided to present this rather complicated looking drawing as a sequence of a few simple steps. The steps are arranged in such a way that this tutorial on how to draw a bear face is simple and accessible for everyone, even the most novice artists.

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