How to Paint a Rabbit

By Philippa Jones
a photo, your rabbit
Rabbit image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

Painting a rabbit for the first time may seem like a daunting task. However, with some simple techniques and the right equipment, you can achieve this task easily in an afternoon. With patience, practice and determination, you can improve your ability quickly and make an artistic interpretation of your pet. By doing so, you can create a personalized, unique gift for a family member, which can be framed to make an even more authentic piece of work.

Get a picture of a rabbit, or take a photograph of your own rabbit and print it. Painting from a hard copy image will make painting easier, as the subject will not move and you can take a break when you like.

Secure the canvas in the easel. Unfasten the supporting brackets, and insert the canvas between them. Tighten the screws to hold it in place. Adjust the height of the easel so the canvas is at waist-height whether you are sitting or standing.

Sketch the outline of the rabbit on the canvas using a pencil. Draw its body, and then add features such as its tail, eyes, ears and feet. Add the surrounding environment including a horizon line, such as for the grass the rabbit is lying on.

Put beads of each color of acrylic on your paint palette. Add a dab of water to your paint brush, and mix it into the shade that matches the rabbit's fur.

Begin by painting the main color of the rabbit's fur. Use light brush strokes and acrylic painting techniques to make the fur look three-dimensional. For example, use a piece of sponge to drag paint across the body of the rabbit, and then press it down in patches to make splodges. This will lift the paint upwards to create a rough texture like fur.

Paint the surrounding features around the rabbit to put the painting into context. If it is lying in grass, use light upwards strokes of green shades of acrylic to give the impression of tufts of grass. For the sky, add 1/2 tsp of water to a bead of blue acrylic and mix it together. This will thin the paint to give a watery effect.

Add the rabbit's eyes, ears and tail. Use light pink to for the inner ear, and use a variety of shades of gray and brown for the tail. This will give a more authentic look to the image.

Continue to look back and forth between your painting and the picture of the rabbit. Compare the shades of color in the photograph with those on the canvas until the image is complete.