How to Draw a Teddy Bear

Drawing is a fantastic hobby. Whether you’re an adult or a child, it opens up the imagination and gives us freedom – our own little world, as it were.

One of the common questions we get asked at Ready Teddy Go is how do I draw a teddy bear?

This is a great question. As you can imagine, there are many different techniques that can be used to draw a teddy bear, and like all forms of art, you aren’t limited by your materials. That being said, there’s nothing more satisfying than drawing a teddy bear with graphite and black ink.

Once you have learned how to draw a teddy bear you can gift people fantastic birthday cards, Christmas cards, or create your own mini cartoon series!

Here’s how to draw a teddy bear, as adapted from this wonderful YouTube video.

Things you will need

To draw your teddy bear you are going to need a few things. These are:

Paper

I like to always use a high quality art paper for sketching and drawing. There’s just something fantastic about the feel of graphite moving smoothly across the surface of paper. If you are attempting this for the very first time and want to save your best paper or art pad, using A4 printer paper will be fine, and so will using cardboard or tracing paper.

Pencil / graphite

In order to make your first teddy bear draft you are going to need either a light pencil or graphite stick – personally, I like to use graphite sticks. For teddy bears I also make sure that whatever instrument I am using is not too sharp. If it is too sharp it will mark into the paper which is something you don’t want to do as it can ruin the overall finish.

Black Ink

Once you have drafted your bear you are going to want to ink him in. This can be achieved through any type of pen you like, however, felt tip pens have always been a great option. Go for a black ink pen and ensure that the tip isn’t too small or wide. You want the ink to be fast setting and of a high quality – too much water and it could warp your paper.

Colours

If you want to add colour to your teddy bear, you can do this in a variety of ways – crayon, coloured pencil, ink, paints – and so the best advice I can give is to use a tool that you’re comfortable with.

How to do it

Collect your equipment

Collect all of your equipment together so that you have it at hand.

Draw basic circles for the teddy bear

You need to draw a number of circles in graphite / pencil to map out the size of your bear. Draw a circle for the head first, then one for the body, then two for the arm paw pads, and then two for the leg paw pads. After, it should look something like this:

Draw circles for the ears and snout

Next up you need to take your graphite / pencil and draw circles for your teddy bears ears and snout. This will determine the overall look of your bear (big ears or small? Large snout of small snout?). Afterwards, your bear should look something like this:

Extra detail

Once you have drawn in the ears and snout, you can begin to add your teddy bears characteristics, such as its eyes, nose, and mouth.

It is at this stage that character and personality can be injected into your bear. Here is what one artist did:

Adding extra detail doesn’t just end at the eyes, nose and mouth. At this stage you should also look to determine what looks best for your bear and tweak the size of the ears and the hands. You might also want make your teddy bear a little bit tubby. Once you have finished tweaking, your teddy bear might look a little bit like this:

Inking

Once you have established the detailing of your bear, you can begin to ink it. Depending on the harshness of your graphite stroke, you may want to take a little bit of putty / a rubber to remove some of the graphite so that the ink does not look too shiny when applied. Like this:

Notice that the bear has lost much of its graphite detailing?

You can now begin to ink in your teddy bear. Start with the eyes, and colour them in, but leave a little bit of white for shine. Second comes the nose – again, leave a little bit of white for shine. Ink in the ears, and try to achieve a fur-like appearance by giving your teddy bear jagged edges. Like so:

The finishing touch

To give your teddy bear real purpose, give him a ground to sit on and add a little bit of shadow so that he doesn’t look like he’s suspended in animation. Shadowing is really simple to do, and it should reflect the location of the light reflections on your teddy bears eyes and nose. Like so:

Practice makes perfect

To draw a teddy bear perfect first time is a rare thing – it can take a lot of practice to get right, but, before long you should be able to draw cute teddy bears like the back of your hand!

If in doubt, there are lots of awesome videos on YouTube (such as the one shown above) for guidance and there are also lots of stencils you can get inspiration from.

Taking ideas further

Once you have drawn a teddy bear that you are truly happy with it can be incredibly easy to want to add to it. If you do, a great idea would be to draw your teddy bear some friends. These can include other bears, or even cute kittens or piggy’s. You could even draw a background, such as fields, a city, or a forest. Whatever you choose, I wish you good luck and happy drawing!

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