How to Draw a Growling Bear Using Pencil

The only difficulty when drawing a growling bear is expressing the perspective/angle of its head and features properly. Open the mouth of the bear widely so the bear can show its powerful fangs; show the gums and the thick tongue. It is much easier if you are going to base on an image so you can easily observe if there is something missing in your drawing.

Start with a sphere/circle, and then establish the angle of the head by identifying the center with a cross reference mark.

Use the circle to easily establish the shape of the head. Use the reference mark to properly establish the position of the eyes, nose and the upper lip. Use the upper lip to properly establish the outline of the lower lip.

  • Add the other facial features.

the Half of the sphere is only occupied by the forehead of the bear, while the eyes are just below the horizontal reference mark. Use the vertical mark to properly position the nose at the center tip of the muzzle.



  • Draw the details of the mouth.

Start with the details of the upper portion; the underside of the upper lip is partially exposed. The gum and the teeth are of the upper area are basically arced.  Needless to say, the lower teeth should be in a 'U' shape formation. Find the center of the upper set of teeth and the middle lining of the tongue using the vertical reference mark.

Once the main outlines are established, erase all the unnecessary markings.

  • Start applying the shades.

The top area of the nose should have the darkest value for this part. The shades should be coming from the sides. Apply a few stippling to define the texture of the nose.

Take note of the tone values (level of brightness and darkness) you apply to each sections. The underside of the upper lip should be second darkest value of the mouth gradation; it should not be as dark as the farther/inner areas of the mouth, but it should not be as light as the tone of the gums.

Be careful when you apply the shading, use small scribbling strokes so you can easily control what portions should have a lighter tone to define the detailing, such as the stretch of the flesh and the linings of the gums. Use light hand strokes to shade the small areas with darker tones; right under the upper lip and underneath the lower gum and the tongue.

The subtle details on the gums can be conveyed with highlights, and the faint linings on the exposed inner side of the mouth can be established with subtle marks (for the slopes of the tongue) and the side of the mouth.

  • Portray the small amount of fur on the muzzle.

The muzzle does not have long strands of fur aside from the few whiskers which are barely observable. This can be easily done with hatches of different weight and length.

For the direction of each hatch lines, remember that each should point backwards from the nearer side it occupies.

As the faint hatches go around the curve of the muzzle, it should gradually point downwards (like a vertical hatch gradually sliding diagonally). The fur covering nearest portion/curve of the muzzle where the whiskers reside are faintly darker, but the fur lines barely strike outwards from the base/surface. To convey the surface of this area, use faint line marks, shades and highlights to establish the fur line. Use a combination of light smearing and a combination of small scribbling shades.

  • Use some slightly curved hatches to establish the fur on the face.

The hatches that establishes each fur lines should be curved outwards. But this direction is not as simple due to the contour shape of the head.

Aside from the slopes and sudden changes in plane on the structure of the face, the hatch lines have a pattern that you could follow to properly portray the fur coat.

I would list down the pattern as much as i can while showing it to you.

  • The 'V' pattern of the fur from the area of the eyebrows and up across the ears, following the curved hatches establishing the slope of the eyehole.

  • The hatches flowing and pointing backwards to cover the forehead and the top of the head.
  • The hatches coming from at the sides of the muzzle, positioned downwards and slightly curving its lower end sideways, as the lines reach the lower area of the face, the vertical lines would slant and turn diagonally (following the flow of the arcing hatches).

  • The hatches at the near edge of the face are pointing outwards, thus, most of them are positioned horizontally.

  • All of the remaining fur lines on other sections simply bend and flow with the direction of the other fur lines they are joined with.

Darken the other areas that should appear darker, such as the side of the head with the longest fur lines, the inner areas of the ear, and the bordering outline of the head from the neck. And that's about it for drawing a growling bear.

This example is included in the book "How to Draw Bears for the Absolute Beginner, along with other examples that are also carefully discussed step by step.

More book tutorials about drawing various subjects are available in Each book is designed to teach a non-experienced individual so they could easily construct their desired subject for drawings from scratch to finish.




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