One of my early themed sketchbooks was a collection called Menagerie.
From 2012, and arranged in three parts, it was comprised of dozens of drawings. Spanning the eras showcasing mythological beasts alongside real world animals.
The Classical Age featured the grand creatures of the past, the operatic dragons and gryphons. The Golden Age was the time of kings; tigers and bears and lions. The Glided Age brought us to the present where foxes holiday on the river and bears handle the bookkeeping.
Menagerie lives on in Visions of Whence, the five sketchbook anthology collecting my first five themed sketchbooks. The original paperback editions of Menagerie have been out of print for years. Though copies occasionally show up on eBay from time to time!
I always loved the collection with its mythical monsters and living creatures. And in the intervening years I’ve wanted to revisit it but never quite found the time. But! Here and there I’ve done a few new portraits set in that series.
One such piece being this gentle-fellow, the Bear Knight. Here’s a look at the sketch, finished drawing, and final color work.
I’ve got a few more completed though I’ve not been able to keep up with this new venture in to the old series quite like I’d like. It would be fun to do a kind of 10 year reunion and see what more I could get up to revisiting some of the themes and ideas.
Perhaps! Perhaps I’ll get to it. I do find it’s worthwhile to look back, from time to time, and take stock. If for no better reason than to take a moment and see just how far you’ve made it down the trail.
As someone who loves to draw bears, you draw good bears.
Very kind of you to say!