Brown Hare moment
Brown Hare in sight, while out early in the morning sketching. My watercolours are created from a catalogue of outdoor sketches and washes. I also take photos for reference, but there is nothing like sitting quietly, watching and listening to the wildlife as you sketch. I feel it’s good to spend time in a place you want to paint, you get a real feeling for it’s individuality and a sense of it’s history and relationship with the people and wildlife who inhabit it.
Now this Brown Hare painting came about, because while I was sitting amongst the long grass sketching the view of Caer Caradoc from Hope Bowdler Hill, I suddenly became aware of movement to my right. Very slowly I turned to see this Hare happily eating the dew soaked grass. No time to reach for a camera, so I quickly scribbled away over my landscape sketch, trying to catch as much of the hare’s expression as I could. I knew the hare could scamper off at any minute.
Brown Hare painting process
It has taken me a while to get the right colour mixes of reds, oranges and browns. I mix all my colours from three primary colours, which means I get a better balance of tone. I started my first washes with a brighter colour mix. The overlaying brushstrokes have a darker tone to add depth to the hare’s fur.
Then I’ve slowly been working on the background as well, building layers of blues, yellows and green washes. My aim is to give a stronger sense of the grass stalks in the foreground, with a more blended texture to the background. Hopefully the Brown Hare won’t become lost amongst the grasses.
I’ve painted the background greens with more deliberate strokes of paint, rather than a smooth wash. I want the background to have a sense of movement without causing a distraction to the foreground. The hare has lots of layers of paint and the ears have a velvet softness I’ve tried to capture. I’ve had to be careful to avoid the white areas as usual. As I don’t use masking fluid or white paint, don’t forget the paper is my white.
At last you can see the final painting of the Brown Hare, I’m missing him already.