Friday, July 29, 2011

Black Bear Painting

I have been hanging out at the cabin in BC trying to will that sun to come out and painting some scenes from last year's trip to Paris.
At Fernie I had an extra project up my sleeve just in case we had time.  We didn't but I thought I'd post it for you.
It was a black bear stencil similar to the Polar Bear one but with a focus on incorporating text into the piece.


- wc paper
- thin cardboard
- paints (tempera, wc, or acrylic)
- some scrap paper
- paintbrush
- glue
- a little glitter glue (optional)

Take some of your scrap paper, I used newspaper and old book pages.  Paint it in colors to represent the river.  Use brush strokes to capture the moving water.  If you want you can add a little glitter glue for that shimmer on the water.
Take a sheet of wc paper and tape it down on your art board.  Sketch out a mountain landscape with a river.  Paint in your sky.

Lift out a few clouds with kleenex or paper towel while the paint is still wet.
Paint in your middle ground.  Add some trees.  A good way to make fir trees is to let the brush do all the work.  Using a flat hold it vertically and just stamp in the tree shapes.  I usually have a few colors on the brush for that natural color variation.  Here I'm using some green and brown.
Paint in your river.  I'm using thick paint (impasto) to help simulate the rushing water.

Set your painting aside to dry.  Now make up your stencil.  Find a good bear picture or shape you want to use.  Trace it out onto cardboard.
I just cut in half and then cut out the shape.  Easier for little fingers.
Then tape back together.  Tack in place lightly onto your painted background.
Take some black paint and pounce into the stencil.

Carefully remove the stencil to reveal your black bear.  Let dry.  You can add a dot of white paint for an eye and a nose if your want.

For this project I wanted to concentrate on the river so list all the words you can come up with to describe the water.
From your painted scrap papers cut out some wavy pieces and glue into the river.
You can also look thru your old book pages (I buy old kids books at garage sales and book sales or collect discards from the library)to find words that describe the river or other parts of the picture.  Glue these into place.
Using the words write a few sentences about the composition.  Sorry about picture quality but I'm at that cabin. (no scanner)  This one says "It was a beautiful day in the woods.  A hungry bear searched for some delicious fish." 
Why not see what you can come up with.
P.S. Thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments. I love to hear from you all, I've tried to answer back in the comments but recently blogger won't let me, I just end up in a acoount verification loop over and over again, but I do read them all!


  1. I love reading your blog because you have so many original concepts and ideas that are literally spell-bounding. And, this is one of those projects. I've used many of your projects as "jumping" points for lesson plans for my students. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I love your blog-I am a frustrated artist trying to come out!
    I've had the blogger endless verification loop problem, too, and one suggestion that helped was to uncheck the "stay signed in" box on your sign in. Another was to move your comments to the pop-up box style for your commenters, and that seems to fix the problem. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Gail, I just did your "Fossil Casts" project with a group of kids. What a great project! Here is the post with a link back to you:

    Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas!

  4. Last week I used your tutorial to batik a shirt with my boys. They look awesome and the boys love wearing something that they created. Today on UCreate there is a similar tutorial, I posted a comment mentioning your site, hope you don't mind.

  5. I love this for a back to school idea for my middle schoolers. Kind of like a reminder of summer vacation I just discovered your blog. It's wonderful!8 love mixed media.