Use photographs to refer to when ever you are drawing anything, be it serious illustration or cartoon. Miko always uses photographs for reference.
Better than using photographs is to sketch and draw from life. So if you get a chance to visit a zoo, it would be a great idea to take a sketch book with you.
Drawing from life is a great way of learning, studying or just plain ‘looking’ and enjoying your subject.
But I think drawing Polar Bears from life in the Arctic would be dangerous and cccccccold. So just use the video.
It makes me feel cold just watching Miko drawing the Polar Bears.
I hope you’re keeping all your work. It’s a great idea to look back at your earlier drawings and see how much you have improved.