Bear Belly Folk

I took a Skillshare class this week by South African illustrator Liza Glanz.

‘How to Draw Cute Characters With Simple Shapes: Let’s Draw Bears’

The class is a playful approach on how to use simple, organic shapes to produce fun and interesting bear characters full of personality and charm. It comes with several brush stamp shapes to build your character round.

One of the things I’ve missed most about Lockdown is live music, so I thought I’d use this a theme for my characters. Folk bands are a particular favourite of mine and the variety of musical instruments used would make great props for the bears. 

Having a starting point for the design has really helped me, each different stamp suddenly offered endless possibilities for the character’s shape, size and stance. Variety…after all, is the spice of life. 

I started off with a simple front facing character to begin with.

Next I wanted to try a three quarter view, something I usually struggle with. However this time the stamp shape gave me the perfect template to build upon. The shape had such an impact I could instantly see a bear playing the fiddle in my minds eye. 

Next was a side view, with movement for an added self challenge. I imagined this character skipping along to his drum beat. 

And what’s a band without a lead singer. I wanted this character to be female but grappled with making her feminine other than adding eyelashes and girlie clothes. Think I’ll have to practice and experiment a little more. 

Put them all together and you’ve got the Bear Belly Folk. 

Animal Character Illustration

Another challenge set by Lisa Bardot’s Character camp was to create unique animal characters.

Here a few that I came up with.

Mr Bear was always a complete gentleman.
Meet Captain Douglas, a most courageous spitfire flying duck.
Mr and Mr Mouse were this years pearly king and queen of the gutter.