Grizzly Bear Sow and Cubs painting demo

I only decided to make this a demo at this stage…sorry, I didn’t get an earlier pic! But this is only about 40 minutes in. The canvas is only 9″x 12″. I didn’t draw or grid this one at all.  I just eyeballed the main shapes and distances with reference marks, filling in the darkest darks and a vague outline with a rough underpainting of burnt umber thinned with 1/2 mineral spirits and 1/2 walnut oil. I like walnut oil because it doesn’t stink like linseed, and from what I’ve read, it’s more stable and non-yellowing. I did a thin coat of burnt umber mixed with a touch of payne’s grey for the mother’s undercoat, which shows through most of her light overcoat. The cubs have a bit of ultramarine blue mixed with that, as they appeared to be greyer, with less red in their coats. The overcoat on the mom is mostly yellow ochre with a bit of burnt umber and white, with touches of burnt sienna for the redder markings.  The black for her eyes and nose is burnt umber and ultramarine blue, which makes a great black. Much less flat than tube black, which I don’t like to use at all, other than for getting some interesting greys.  I’ve started to wash in the background with a half medium half paint mix of burnt umber, paynes grey, and white, with a bit of terre verte.                                                                                                                

This second stage is at about two hours. I’ve refined Mom’s fur a bit, adding some darker shadows, and I’ve finished off the cub on the ground and started on the cub on her back. The cubs have a different texture and color of fur, so I’m mixing a bit more blue to the burnt umber, yellow ochre and white mix, to get a greyer color. They’re also fuzzy, so I’m using a dabbing technique to capture the look of their fluff. I’ve refined the background as well, trying to get the look of the tide flat’s wet muddy, sand. 

   Patience 9″ x 12″ oil on canvas  $250.00

And Voila! Finished, in about 3 and a half hours. This one will be for sale at the Bella Coola Valley Inn Gallery, as soon as the paint is dry…probably Friday. Thank you so much to Roy Tennant at for the reference. Cheers!

Published by Tahirih Goffic

After a tumultuous past as a goat milker, laundress, fine art major, waitress and restaurant owner, I've now downscaled to running my own Cafe/Gallery in an effort to maintain a social life and make a few bucks. I live a ridiculously idyllic existence in a fairytale village called Bella Coola on the West Coast of British Columbia with my charming musician husband, two amazingly creative children, and a dog whose favourite past time is eating rotten dead fish and rolling in poo. In my not so spare time I love to invent healthy whole food recipes, write YA fiction, play guitar, or curl up in my favourite chair with a great book and a gigantic mug of strong black coffee, all while daydreaming of living in Ireland...

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