Please PAUSE the video after each step to draw at your own pace (scroll down to see the final polar bear drawing).

For the first few steps, don't press down too hard with your pencil. use light, smooth strokes to begin.

Step 1: Draw two circles next to each other as guides for the polar bear's body. It's okay if the circles aren't perfect. They're just guides. The circle on the left should be a bit smaller and thinner than the one on the right.

Step 2: Draw an even smaller circle to the left as a guide for the polar bear's head. Notice the placement and spacing of the circles.

Step 3: Draw an arc similar to the letter C next to the head as a guide for the polar bear's muzzle.

Step 4: Connect the major shapes with a series of curved lines to form the polar bear's body.

Step 5: Draw four lines under the body as guides for the polar bear's feet. Each line should have a smaller line at the bottom as a guide for the paw.

Step 6: Inside the head, draw a guide for the polar bear's ear that looks similar to an upside-down letter U.

That's it for the initial sketch! From this point on, press harder with your pencil to get a more defined sketch.

Step 7: Draw the eye on the upper left side of the circle. The shape of the polar bear's eye is a similar to a triangle on its side or a > symbol. Shade the inside of the eye.

Step 8: Draw the nose on the tip of the polar bear's muzzle. Draw a small line inside to represent the nostril and shade in the nose.

Step 9: Use the initial arc as a guide to draw the polar bear's ear. Go around it using quick, short strokes to give it a furry look. Draw some strokes within the shape too.

Step 10: Use the original shapes and lines as guides to draw the top of the polar bear's head and long neck. Use quick, short strokes along the lines to represent fur.

Step 11: Draw the mouth and bottom part of the neck the same way. The polar bear's mouth is just a short line below the nose, and the chin is another short line below the mouth. Follow the lines using quick, short strokes to create the furry neck.

Step 12: Using the lines as guides, draw the polar bear's front legs. Sketch them lightly at first so you're sure that you like what you have before darkening them. Go around the guide line to form the leg and make it thicker. The paw at the bottom is wide, and draw a couple of lines for the polar bear's toes. Remember to use quick, short strokes throughout to give it a furry look. Draw the polar bear's other leg using the same technique as the first. Sketch lightly around the guide line, making the leg thicker. Then darken your line when you're happy with what you have. Don't forget the paws at the bottom!

Step 13: Draw the hind legs the same way you did the front legs. Bears have plantigrade feet, meaning they use their entire foot to walk like humans instead of walking on their toes like dogs or cats, so draw the paws wide. Finish up the last leg. Some of it is hidden by the body, so only draw the portion that's visible.

Step 14: Use the lines as guides to draw the rest of the body. Draw the polar bear's small tail on the right and use slightly longer strokes on the bottom of the bear to represent longer fur.

Step 15 (optional): You can stop here for a sketchy look or erase as much as you can of the initial guide lines for a cleaner look. Don't worry about erasing all the guides. It's okay to leave some behind. Re-draw any final sketch lines you may have accidentally erased.

Step 16 (optional): You can add shading throughout your polar bear drawing to give it more dimension and volume. Pick the direction of the light source when shading so that the shadows are consistent with it. When shading use strokes that have the same direction that the fur is supposed to have. Vary the pressure on your pencil to get different degrees of tonal value. Draw a cast shadow underneath. This helps ground the polar bear so it doesn't appear to be floating.

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How to Draw a Polar Bear
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