I am not sure how much interest this will be to people who don't paint but I do hope you find it interesting . When I paint animals ( and I have painted many) I always begin with the eyes . I love painting eyes and once they are done, the animal is suddenly alive, I can go as mad as I want to with the rest of the piece as the eyes hold the key, they suddenly 'pop' and some kind of magic is produced just by adding paint to paper, what a lucky life I have!
1. Look at the eye and draw it carefully seeing where the light hits it.
2. Then I start around the pupil, this is a hare's eye so I use yellow ochre as the base colour and leave a lighter patch within it.
3. Now I can add some lovely darker amber's and oranges, I can see the eye beginning to sit in it's socket
4. I have painted the bottom half as I want the light to hit the top half of the eye. This is where it gets tricky as you have to paint the light reflected in the eye and this means you have to fade the colours together. Much as you would in a larger piece but this is on a minute scale. I use 0 and 00 brushes and often have more than one in my hand at once
5. Keep looking and adding darker tones into the corners and around the eye, until you can start to believe in it, see all the colours that are there and add what you can see not what you think you can see.
6. Finally it is time to add the pupil, keep the same line of light across the pupil and add some brown to the middle too, and some lighter bits. The top is lighter with faded blues and darker at the top where the shadow is, suddenly Mr Hare is looking at you in the moon light, if you can master the eyes then the rest is easy. x