In this guide, I’ll explore the artistry of rendering a beautiful black bear cub using pastels. Pastels, with their vibrant hues and versatility, enable us to encapsulate the charm and innocence of a bear cub in a truly unique way. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or embarking on your pastel journey, this step-by-step guide will equip you with the techniques and insights to bring your bear cub to life on canvas.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
Use The Grid Method
To use the grid method effectively, select your reference image of a bear cub and overlay a grid on it. This grid can be a simple square pattern, with each square being of equal size.
Now, replicate this grid on your drawing paper or canvas, ensuring it is of the same proportion.
From here, focus on one square at a time, drawing the lines and shapes as accurately as possible within each grid square on your canvas.
This method simplifies the complex task of drawing the bear cub into manageable pieces while ensuring accuracy in proportion and detail.
The grid is only a guide; you should feel free to adjust and adapt as your drawing progresses.
Add The Back Ground
Before starting with the bear cub, I find it beneficial to paint the background, also known as the “negative space,” first.
Painting the negative space beforehand allows for a better understanding of the overall color scheme and helps set the tone of the artwork. Highlighting the bear cub as the focal point allows me to contrast it with the surroundings.
Moreover, by doing this, I can easily tweak the tone and hue of the bear cub to suit the background better, ensuring a harmonious blend of elements in my artwork.
Paint The Mid-Tones Of The Bear
When painting the mid-tones of the bear cub, I am essentially setting the foundation for the entire bear cub painting.
These tones act as a visual skeleton for the bear, helping to establish its shape, form, and general color palette before I delve into the finer details.
This crucial step gives me a clear vision of how the bear cub will appear in the final image.
Moreover, by working on the mid-tones first, I can create a more profound sense of volume and depth in the cub, which can be further enhanced as I layer on the details.
Skipping this step or doing it hastily can result in a flat and unrealistic depiction of the bear cub, which is not what we want when striving for a lifelike portrayal.
Add The Details Of The Bear
Now, with the mid-tones in place, it’s time to add the details that will bring our bear cub to life.
Using lighter and darker shades of pastels, I start defining the features of the bear cub, such as its fur, eyes, nose, and paws.
Here is where I can let my creativity shine and add unique touches to my painting, such as adding texture to the fur or highlighting certain features for a more realistic effect.
This step requires patience and attention to detail, but it’s also where the magic happens.
Finalize With Highlights And Shadows
We need to add highlights and shadows to truly bring our bear cub to life and give it dimensionality.
Using white pastels for highlights and black or darker shades for shadows, I carefully add these final touches to create a sense of light and depth in the painting.
This step is about balance and subtlety; too much or too little can throw off the entire piece.
So, take your time and experiment until you achieve the desired effect.
Watch Video To See How I Painted Lucy The Black Bear Cub
Experiment And Have Fun
As with any form of art, experimentation and having fun is key.
Don’t be afraid to try new techniques or explore different color palettes.
Each artist has their own unique style, and that’s what makes each painting truly special.
So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pastel artist, I hope this guide has inspired you to create your own beautiful black bear cub with pastels. And remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to art, so have fun and let your creativity guide you. Happy painting!