.I'm currently working on a grizzly bear, mixed media on Arches hot press watercolour paper
As I've never painted a bear I decided to start with one bear in a straight forward pose.
I was drawn to this photo both because of the bears expression and the lighting.
I'm not planning on adding a background although I might airbrush some blurry foliage later.
As I'm working on the bear I can remember the details of the day, but more than that I can picture the wild grizzlies in their natural environment. I certainly have a stronger emotional attachment to this painting than some of my others.
I had already seen grizzlies in captivity and one distant view of a wild bear on previous trips to Canada but this was the first time I'd watched one for quite a long time behaving in a totally natural manner which to a greater or lesser extent captive animals don't.
It's leading me to think that not only should I use my own reference material but in order to give something of myself to the work perhaps I should only draw or paint animals or birds I have seen in the wild.
That doesn't mean I'll never paint another tiger or snow leopard but perhaps less often than in the past.