October Frights – Bear-a-thought Illustration

This post is about things that go ‘bump in the night’. No, it’s not really. It’s about an illustration that I produced from some photographs and sketches that I did in the garden. I spied this wizard bear (which I thought was rather like an ursine version of Harry Potter) in a local shop. I named him ‘Hector’ and could tell that he would make a cute illustration for the calendars and cards I was producing. Selecting an autumnal part of the garden (luckily it was autumn), and with the addition of some specially selected branches and leaves – of gold and vermilion – I set the scene.
October Frightsmini
This drawing was quite difficult, as after drawing nine blades of grass in minute detail I start to go a bit stir-crazy. I have even seen me go to the kitchen sink and wash a pile of  dishes, rather than draw and shade one more blade of grass… The wizard’s gown and hat were quite an ordeal too, as the gold dot, moon and star pattern kept getting tarnished by the ultramarine and indigo blues surrounding them.

I loved the jack-o’-lantern and pumpkin that I used in the picture. I ordered them especially for this illustration from a up-and-coming teddy bear company in America. In fact, I liked them that much that I purchased several of them to get the very one I wanted. I realise a lot of people look at my illustrations, some with disinterest (you can’t please everyone), but others say ‘That’s nice’, without realising the amount of hours – setting the scene – dressing the bear – finding the props – and then the laborious hours spent at the drawing board. However, during the time I was creating the teddy bear illustrations there were a number of customers, who would point out certain details, saying ‘The details here is marvellous, do you incorporate photography into your illustrations?’ Comments like that made all of the hours spent drawing a lawn, or whatever, seem SO worthwhile.

I dedicated this picture to my friend, Tracey A. Dixon, who greatly appreciated it, so much so, that I believe she owns the original illustration and Hector too!

May this night the ghosts be seen,
On the feast of Hallowe’en.
Don’t be worried if they’re there,
Remember you’re a big brave bear!
October Frightswhitebackground

8 thoughts on “October Frights – Bear-a-thought Illustration

    • Thanks for the message and the compliments on my work, Peter. I really did enjoy drawing this bear – his expression was priceless. I have just returned home from seeing some of my family in Whitby, North Yorkshire, where there were a large number of people (all ages) dressed in beautiful gothic costumes – obviously for Hallowe’en. Some outfits were pure Victoriana and others modern dress, quite a sight to see! I didn’t see any wizard-like characters, so maybe I should have invited Hector to come with me. Hope you and ‘the hug’ are all doing well. Enjoy your weekend too.

  1. Hi Michael, love to see your Bear pictures, and as you know I appreciate how much work goes into them. My Mum sent me a ‘Help the Heroes’ Bear recently who was dressed in a khaki jump suit, it was ‘orrible so I took it off poor little Joe (new name) straight away. It took me a few weeks of searching to find him some civi’s, and in the end it has turned out to be a Christmas jumper designed as a wine bottle dressing! It fits him beautifully. So there you go, I’m as mad as you! Roz.

    • Hi Roz, lovely to see your comment on my page! What a great surprise! I have just been looking at the fabulous pictures of you on Facebook (with saxophone). It sounds like you have done ‘Joe’ proud with his new festive look. Looking forward to see this little furry guy on Facebook (nearer Christmas). Take care of yourself…Michael x

    • Thanks for the comment, Tracey. I remember presenting you with Hector all those years back. I met a man from Nigeria, called Hector, a few weeks ago and told him all about you and the teddy bear. The ‘October Frights’ picture has been very popular with my customers; but I think it’s Hector’s cute expression that they have loved in particular. Take care, Tracey. PS. Give my love to Hector too… x

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