I actually started this piece with a whole different concept - one I rather liked, except that it was an homage piece in which the main character was caucasian and to be honest, I had not yet shown much diversity in skin tones in this series as I wanted. And while it could be argued that I could have just used a bear of colour for the homage concept or that I should have just been more diverse from the start, but I shelved the homage concept to be used for a different letter and started over, with the explicit intention of including a Bear of colour in this piece.
Fortunately, I was able to utilize a concept for another painting, an idea birthed when I did the Date Night illustration, which embodies much of what I was going for with this painting.
Cards on the table; I really struggled deciding what the Cub's race should be. I mean, like I said above, I want to be divers with my Bears and I do not mind if anyone knows I'm being intentionally so. On the other hand, I didn't want to turn this illustration into just "the non-white painting". On the other hand, I worried that it would seem like only way I could include a person of colour was by still having a white one there. Honestly, it was all just so... dumb; mostly liberal-guilt, only worrying about who I would or wouldn't offend, rather than just creating some fun art. So I did my best to let it go, and just create art. If anyone comes down on me for my choices, I know I tried my best, and will continue to do so moving forward. Anyway, it was actually my hubby's idea to make the other guy a red head and give him freckles, which I feel worked out splendidly.
And I really do like the way the painting turned out all around - I hope you enjoy it too!