Foundations 2022: Borromini Bear makes an appearance

February 23, 2022 | 6 Comments

Borromini Bear (who has been in a state of semi-retirement for a few years) made an appearance this morning during my weekly Livestream for the current Foundations Group Run-through.

For those of you who don’t know…

Borromini Bear(BB) was my travelling companion back when I first started sketching. I often travelled alone and rarely took pictures of myself, so taking a photo with BB was a way of saying that I was there too. (eg. Paris and Rome!)

When I first started posting my work online in 2008 I was reluctant to reveal my true identity so for a number of months I hid behind his. That soon changed (thanks to Urban Sketchers) but BB had already made some friends so he accompanied me on many trips. He got his photo taken with lots of Urban Sketchers and was sketched a lot too by many of the big USK names! This is a collage of photos from a dedicated Flickr album.


Just for the record he is not a ‘teddy’ bear – he is a cool dude and a sophisticated bear interested in architecture (especially Italian Baroque) and likes having his photo taken with grand buildings and famous people (sometimes with special access!) You can explore more articles about him here

As I mentioned earlier, he has been retired for a number of years but he still does make an occasional appearance – such as this photo when we were in Rome last in April 2019. Inside San Carlo by Borromini (the famous architect!)

So it was fun to get him out for some sketching this morning.

In fact, I realised that he was a great subject with which to summarise the first six lessons of Foundations. This old sketch of him shows his dimensions however depending on BB’s particular pose his head might appear larger than his body.

As seen in the two quick demos I did today.

And while I’m sharing stuff from this morning’s livestream…

As a special treat for you all, my blog readers, here is the theory sheet that accompanied my demo today.

BB sends his greetings to all his old friends and was happy to come out of hibernation today!


  • Arlene Lennox says:

    i’m so happy to see Borromini again. I used to enjoy his appearances way back when I first started following you nearly ten years ago. I am wondering if my small rabbit could go along to Scotland this spring for a Borromini -type sketching adventure.

  • Borromini is certainly a blast from the past. Made me smile. The first time I saw him I decided that I needed one and at the time found getting one to be quite difficult. Since then I’ve accumulated at least half a dozen of them. I never did use mine the way you use yours (not enough imagination I suppose), but I’ve drawn them many times.

  • Tina Koyama says:

    Good to see BB again! I remember being a bit sad when your blog name changed from “Liz and Borromini” to just your name some years back (though I can understand why you did that). But here’s what’s funny: I use Bloglovin blog reader to access all the blogs I follow, and on there, your blog still comes up as “Liz and Borromini” (must be a hidden tag that Bloglovin picks up)!

  • Jean Wyer says:

    BB is how I found you! I am so glad to see him again. My family has quite a history of bearly companions although not as widely traveled as Borromini. I found a reference to him on the internet and went hunting to see what manner of ursine fellow he was. That led me to you and your courses. A wonderful bit of life magic. Thank you BB. Long may you enjoy your retirement.

  • Margaret says:

    After all these years, it’s lovely to see BB. I was quite certain you had left him with Louise after the Barcelona symposium. Happy he is still with you!

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