January 28, 2008

136: Is A Bear Catholic?


I'm foregoing the task of just meeting Illustration Friday's weekly challenge and tripling the effort to include merits that meet the Sugar Frosted Goodness current theme of hats, IF's own theme of tales and legends ... and a hilarious Flickr drawing group dedicated to – of all things – bears in ill-fitting hats. This troika developed into what you see here, and while the sketch's suitability for Flickr and SFG is clear, for Illustration Friday it's perhaps less so. But there is a certain leniancy to IF's theme this week that allows for some interpretation, so read on.

So how does a grizzly bear come across a papal hat? The answer to that might not be black-and-white, but this concept is loosely based on a legend widely used in the realm of sarcasm – that of the Pope s**tting in the woods. The Urban Dictionary defines "does the Pope s**t in the woods?" as follows: a sarcastic answer to a question with an obvious answer of "yes", or "duh", taken as a combination of the similarly-intended "does a bear s**t in the woods?" and "is the Pope Catholic?" – also phrased in the form of "is a bear Catholic?"

As such, my grizzly bear is clearly Catholic.

This bear was based from a photograph searched for on Flickr, a great source of reference material (the hat itself I found in Google image search). Most of this piece was sketched with my thinnest pen, a Pigma Micron 005, using thicker nibs to hash out any edges. Selective colouring was intentional here; I was aiming for a piece much more sketchy than normal, and didn’t want the use of colour to overpower the time I spent with my sketchbook and pens (click here for a larger view of the sketch-work).


studio lolo said...

I love everything about this guy! Great expression and line work...and perfect use of cross-over subjects!

Missy B said...

Great job, I love it! Nice work incorporating all the different themes.

Jeope said...

Thanks, you two.

Where's the love, the rest o' youse? Was it too crass? Controversial? Too Catholic?

Ah well. Cannot win them all.

Missy B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy B said...

Funny you mention that, this just showed up in one of my feeds... :)

Guess I don't know how to do a link on Blogger, this is what I meant to link to: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/01/27/237-regionalism-and-religiosity


Melissa said...

As a Catholic, I am deeply offended by your sacrilegious image.

Har har, just kidding! I love animals in hats! Although I think that bear is a Protestant posing as a Catholic.

platitudinal said...

This bear has the coolest looking hat, even though it’s rather pointy at the top. Love his sweet pious expression :D

Mary said...

la la la love it! your bear looks more friendly than the actual pope. I was raised Catholic, so I can say that LOL

Dee said...

I really like the etching of lines on the bear. The linework is just lovely all together. Also, the hint of color is nice. Good job!

indigene said...

OOOOOOh! I love this! Wonderful detail and coloring! I love bears!


Kathleen said...

Haha - this is great. I really do love the picture - the linework is gorgeous and the colour just understated enough - but the whole picture manages to be so solemn and hilarious at the same time that I have to say it is my favourite bear-i.a.i.f.h. to date.

P.L. Frederick said...

Wow, but this is a wonderful illustration. I love those .005 pens myself. Very nice.

I must say, your little rolly owl thumbnail thingy is the coolest thing I've seen in I-don't-know-when. I just want to gobble it up.

P.L. Frederick (SMALL & big)