Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bearing a White Out

Drawing a Polar Bear

Prints, posters, stationery cards, and signed fine art reproductions  
are available for purchase in my Etys shop at: 
Polar Bear. 11x17" Ballpoint Pen and Ink wash

With adult males standing 8-9 feet tall and weighting up to 1700 pounds, Polar Bears are the largest land carnivores in the world. There are an estimated 20-25,000 left in the wild, therefore classifying them as a vulnerable species.  It's scientific name "Ursus maritimus" means "maritime bear" because they spend much of their time on the Arctic sea ice in search of prey. They are incredibly adapted for the cold with thicker fur than other bears, a layer of blubber under the fur for buoyancy and insulation, and a streamlined long neck for swimming in the water and warming the air that they breath.

Attempting to draw a completely white animal with only black ink is something that's quite a challenge. And unlike most of the animals that I draw the Polar Bear doesn't have spots or patterns, but only a stark white coat of fur. Therefore it felt like almost a test of "can I do this" animal. I hope I succeeded.

Polar Bear. original photograph by AA Rosenfeld

The inspiration for this drawing came directly from an amazing photograph that AA Rosenfeld took of a Polar Bear (above). Alvin is a friend and amazing photographer. He does wildlife photography all over the world, included underwater photography, and his work is just spectacular! He graciously gave me permission to use his work as reference. You can see and purchase his amazing photographs at Images of Old Greenwich here Thanks again Alvin for you generosity! The one aspect I decided to change from the photo was that I wanted to make the bear appear to be looking directly back at the viewer as he walked by. So I added in the turned eye to stare the viewer down! I hope you enjoy my take on this wonderful animal.

"Finding what is hidden beneath the surface, bringing the 
unseen to light, uncovering the unknown."
 -AA Rosenfeld

Here are some photos taken during my drawing process

Prints, posters and signed fine art reproductions are available 
for purchase in my Etys shop at: 

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