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Paw of the Bear by DouglasRamsey Paw of the Bear by DouglasRamsey
Acrylic on illustration board, 19” x 28”

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:33-37, ESV

This painting began as something to work on at the class I took with wildlife artists John and Suzie Seerey-Lester. But at the time of class start date my Samson vs the lion was further along, so I took it instead. Too bad. I could have used Seerey-Lester’s input on this one as the subject is so similar to his predicament pieces featuring confrontations of man and beast, many of which appear in his recent Legends of the Hunt books. I did utilize some of his techniques in it though, especially in painting the grass.

Since my grandfather’s recent passing I’ve tried to think of a painting to do in tribute to him. Although this one wasn’t initially conceived as such I realized later that the scene reflects something of his life and character. With 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren, not to mention countless students, he had a very sizable “flock” to care for and protect from predators of various kinds. And like David, this was something he did faithfully, in reliance on the Lord, all his life.

In truth, nearly every biblical history painting I’ve done draws some measure of inspiration from Granddad because he instilled in me a love for Bible stories from my earliest years. This one though, is especially dedicated to his memory.
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:iconrbow:
rbow Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015
Excellent work!!!
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:iconforhispurpose:
ForHisPurpose Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, I truly enjoy your work.  It is just beautiful!
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014
Thanks much!
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:iconvioletasilvestre2011:
Sensational!!
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:icondylan-bonilla:
Dylan-Bonilla Featured By Owner May 21, 2014   Digital Artist
Awesome!!
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
Thanks!
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:iconcatweazle01:
Catweazle01 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
great work. wow!
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Thanks much!
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Interesting, until today I've never thought it strange for a bear to attack a sheep. Do they do that in real life?  Anyways, this painting is beautiful. It truly honors your Granddad.
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Sure, though livestock attacks were more common in winter when their normal vegetarian diet was scarcer. This is admittedly my imaginative interpretation of what the scene would look like though. We have grizzlies (which are similar to the Syrian brown bear that used to live in Israel) and sheep near where I live but I didn't actually try to combine the the two to get reference photos for the piece.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You could put a disclaimer that says "No animals were harmed in the making of this painting" lol! ;)  I do love your imaginative interpretation. :heart:
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
Good idea. I actually saw one artist provide that disclaimer after on his umpteenth Tarzan vs. a lion painting. Thanks much!
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:iconfeesu-san:
Feesu-san Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Student Filmographer
That looks awesome!
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thanks!
Reply
:icontoriamason:
toriamason Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014   General Artist
Great artwork! Love seeing your biblical pieces! Really love the tree and the motion and the limpness of the lamb which really stirs emotions. So sorry about your grandfather!! :(
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:icondouglasramsey:
DouglasRamsey Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thanks very much! I couldn't find any actual reference for a sheep being carried in the mouth of a bear (or any other predator) and consequently had to draw it from imagination so I'm really pleased to hear that it looks convincing.
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:icontoriamason:
toriamason Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014   General Artist
Oh well, it does look good for not having a reference too! :)
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Details

Submitted on
January 14, 2014
Image Size
6.6 MB
Resolution
4962×3165
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3,140
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Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS REBEL T3i
Shutter Speed
1/256 second
Aperture
F/10.0
Focal Length
36 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
May 19, 2014, 11:29:41 AM
Lens
EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
Sensor Size
22mm
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