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How I Painted Strawbeary – The Big Sleuth 2017, Birmingham

How I Painted Strawbeary

See how I painted my bear for The Big Sleuth! Strawbeary is a sun bear covered in cute strawberries with faces, along with bees and ladybirds. He took 8 days to paint – with 3 coats of green each taking 5 hours, and hundreds of leaves to draw! Finally he has two coats of heavy duty resin varnish, to keep him safe outside in the rain.

I painted Strawbeary with acrylics, which are my favourite type of paint because they’re so bright and vibrant. For the details and outlines I used Posca pens, which are fantastic because they don’t smell of chemicals like other markers. It was really fun to draw the bees wings and the dotted lines in white at the end (you can see them in the video).

The first half of the video is from The Big Sleuth launch night, when all 100+ bears were together for one night. The second part is a speed painting video, so you can see Strawbeary come to life from a plain white bear statue!

Painting a giant bear

Painting: Photoshoot versus Reality!

The Big Sleuth 2017

The Big Sleuth is a free, public art exhibition around Birmingham this summer. Over 100 giant bear sculptures painted by artists are on display on the streets for you to find. There are also smaller bear cubs painted by schools and community groups. The Big Sleuth runs for 10 weeks, from 10th July until 17th September 2017.

The locations of the bears are all on the trail map (Strawbeary’s no. 64), and there’s also an app (£1.99 with proceeds going to the hospital) so you can track how many bears you’ve found.

At the end of the summer, the bears will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital.

The Big Sleuth 2017, Birmingham

Super Sleuth Challenges

There are also Super Sleuth challenges – can you find 100 bears in 30 days? Or 100 bears in 24 hours?? Or cover 70 miles of the trail in 7 days?

They’re a great idea for a sponsored challenge to raise money for the hospital. You can find them in the fundraising section of the app.

Where to Find Strawbeary

You can visit Strawbeary in Sutton Coldfield by the Gracechurch Centre, number 64 on the trail map. He’s there until 17th September – why not have a day out in Birmingham spotting bears? If you visit him remember to take a photo and tag me!

Where to find Strawbeary in Sutton Coldfield

More of my Designs

If you’re new to Cakes with Faces, I design colourful clothing and gifts with cute characters and silly puns! Take a look at my designs which you can buy online, and follow Cakes with Faces on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more about my inspirations, sketches, new stuff and events.

I also make videos about Japan! Subscribe to my YouTube channel for vlogs and travel advice – pass it on if you know someone who’s planning a trip.

Cakes with Faces merch