Fantasy oil painting “Encounter brown bear and grey wolf”

Encounter of brown bear and grey wolf in snowy forest at sunset time. The raven joined them.
Fantasy oil painting “Encounter brown bear and grey wolf” ©YueZeng2023

Initial thoughts

The general idea of bear and wolf meeting each other started with movie “The Call of The Wild (2020)”. When Buck (the dog) became the leader of the wolf pack, he scared away the brown bear which used to terrify the wolves. It was a nice scene and I saved a screenshot. ⬇

Screenshot if movie "The Call of The Wild".
Screenshot of movie “The Call of The Wild”

Later when I looked through reference photos based on this idea, I was thinking something more peaceful. The bear doesn’t need to scare the wolf and the wolf certainly doesn’t have to be afraid of the bear. I prefer the animal relationship in The Jungle book.” The panther can work with the bear and the bear can be a good friend.

So, what is the story when a bear and a wolf meet each other?

It must be about food. It is always about food. Long time ago when I watched “Blue Planet” with my cousins, we all agreed that the most important things in nature for animals are simplify food and mate.

Therefore they are talking about food/dinner. Raven here adds some weight to wolf party. Otherwise the bear is way too huge and strong. Besides, raven is called wolf bird. It always follows wolf or wolf pack.

Digital sketch

Digital sketch of "Encounter brown bear and grey wolf".
Digital sketch of fantasy oil painting “Encounter brown bear and grey wolf” ©YueZeng2023

I manage a little conversation for this scene.

Bear: Heading back to the den, pal?

Wolf: Yeah, they caught a nice prey. What about you, pal?

Bear: I am heading to the river…fishes, you know.

Wolf: Care to join us?

Bear: I…I eat a lot, pal, I am not sure…

Wolf: Don’t worry. It is a huge prey.

Bear: Really?

Wolf: Ask raven.

Raven: Yeah! It is H-U-G-E! My whole family will come!

Wolf: See, now what say you?

Bear: I would come! Thanks pal. I like that.

Wolf: Now let’s go. Dinner time.


I had hard time with grass, especially tall grass.

At this point, I can manage background forest or woods and paint it with my own understanding. Thanks to previous landscape practice. Short grass in foreground is also not a stranger. But tall grass is a different story. So far my only practice for tall grass is “Lion cub”. I need to figure out my own painting process for this subject.

Hopefully it wouldn’t take long.

Posted by

My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.