The Big Sleuth 2017 – Visit Strawbeary!

The Big Sleuth 2017, Birmingham

The Big Sleuth trail has started! You can visit my bear Strawbeary in Sutton Coldfield for the next 10 weeks!

The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth is an art project with around 100 bear sculptures around the streets of Birmingham. Each bear is painted by an artist, and there are also over 100 bear cubs painted by schools and community groups. They’ll be on display for 10 weeks, then at the end of the summer they’ll be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital.

It’s a similar format to The Big Hoot in 2015, when I painted an owl called Tea T-Owl. My owl sold for £6,000 – I’m amazed and so happy it raised so much for the children’s hospital. It was sold to a private buyer – I’d love to see where he is now!

Featured on BBC News

The Big Sleuth on BBC News

Trail Map

Have a day out and visit the bears in Birmingham! It starts on Monday 10th July 2017 and the bears are out for 10 weeks.

There’s a trail map on The Big Sleuth website with all the bear locations, and there’s also an app (Google Play and iOS) so you can keep track of your bear hunt. The app is £1.99, with profits going to the hospital.


My bear is called Strawbeary  – because puns are the best, and strawberries are one of the best things about the British summer! She’ll brighten up the streets of Birmingham with her bright colours, in true Cakes with Faces style. The strawberries all have different faces, bursting with personality. There’s also cute ladybirds and bees among the pattern of leaves.

Strawbeary is sponsored by One Stop, which is such a coincidence because I used to visit my local One Stop every day to go to the Post Office!

Where to find Strawbeary

My bear is number 64 on the trail map. She’s in Sutton Coldfield on the Lower Parade, at the Gracechurch Centre. If you visit Strawbeary I’d love to see your pictures – remember to tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Where to find Strawbeary in Sutton Coldfield

See how I painted Strawbeary – Video coming soon!

Strawbeary took 7 full days to paint, from morning until late at night. I wanted the graphical style of my artwork to translate into paint, with clean lines and flat colour. It took three coats to get the background bright green without streaks, and each coat took 5 hours to paint.

I painted her using acrylic paints (my favourite type of paint!), with Posca pens for the outlines and details. That’s a lot of leaves to draw!

I filmed the whole process and I’m editing it into a speed painting video for YouTube – subscribe to Cakes with Faces’ channel to catch it! It’ll also have my vlog from the launch party, where all 100 bears were together for one night – it looked amazing!

Big Sleuth painting