This week, here in the Uk, contains the infamous 'blue Monday' , the day of the year when we are meant to feel the most down. Light levels are low , it's a Monday, Christmas is over and Spring feels a long way off....ok, ok, I know if you weren't feeling low before you read this, you are now. That said for many of us this time of year can be difficult.
As I went walking the other day I was confronted on the nearby lanes with this sign
Hasn't it just felt like this for ages now. Just as we start planning, hoping for better times, someone goes and sticks a 'road closed' sign in front of us. I smiled to my self and obviously just carried on, it didn't apply to me, and actually was a blessing as it meant there weren't any cars to worry me on my wanderings.
Maybe , like the saying says, 'When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade' , so although the days have been dark, the nights have been glorious.
And although some roads may be closed , there are diversions ahead, I was so gladdened to see a beautiful camellia out , this weekend.
Diversions are everywhere, my main one, of course is watercolour. It's been a while since I showed you how to paint a hare. This one is a complicated piece, and not for the faint hearted. If you feel it's a bit tricky then have a look through and start on an easier blog. But there's no harm in having a go and seeing what happens.
First get a good drawing of your hare , work out in your head what goes where. what can you see, what is hidden.
Next I mask out the whiskers
Then I start on the eye, I have described before how I paint eyes, so it might be worth referring to one of my earlier blogs on eyes. Then I work outwards from the eye.
I look to see where the lights and darks are. i am using a base if yellow ochre, then darker browns reds, cerulean blue and a shadow colour made from cobalt and cadmium red.
So now I am moving further from the eye. Up to the ears, letting my watercolour work to my advantage, letting colours bleed into one another, going very dark with my shadow colour into the depths of the ear. I also add his nose. Keep looking, adding and taking away
Keep reassessing what you're doing.
Now my brushes are getting bigger. Much more wet in wet. I add yellow ochre and drop browns and reds into it, so his coat looks real. Keep stepping back , see what you're doing.
And keep going, don't let the paint dry when you want to add more depth to it. Be brave, sometimes a bold stroke can say all you want to say, then don't fiddle
I am working my wat down the legs, adding darker tones for the muscles etc.
Then finally letting the feet fade off, adding more shadows and darker tones where I think it needs it, but trying to be economical. .I don't want my watercolour to be too fussy, say as much as you need with as little as possible.
And your hare is done, and so are a few diverting hours.