The Art of Bunnies in Books: an Easter Illustration Celebration | Nina Rycroft | Skillshare

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The Art of Bunnies in Books: an Easter Illustration Celebration

teacher avatar Nina Rycroft, Picture Book Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Bunnies in Books: A Brief History


    • 3.

      How to Draw Rabbits and Bunnies


    • 4.

      Paint ‘Rabbit’ From 'Winnie-The-Pooh'


    • 5.

      What is Anthropomorphism?


    • 6.

      Paint a Easter Illustration


    • 7.

      Toy Rabbits


    • 8.

      Design Your Own Velveteen Rabbit


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About This Class

If you enjoy picture books, illustration, bunnies and celebrating Easter with more than just chocolate, then this class is a must! 

This class explores the popularity and the history of rabbits, hares and bunnies in picture books. From The Tortoise and the Hare to well-known characters like the Velveteen Rabbit, Peter Rabbit and Miffy. Picture book stories will inspire as you explore different illustration styles and techniques. 

In this class, you will learn how to ...

  • draw rabbits and bunnies
  • paint 'Rabbit' from the 'Winnie-the-pooh' series
  • draw an anthropomorphic (human-like) rabbit
  • draw a series of toy rabbits
  • illustrate an Easter artwork using watercolour

This class is suitable for all levels.

Interested in character design? 

Below is my series of Skillshare classes that walk you through the entire process of how to illustrate a character from start to finish. Use this series to either brush-up on a particular skill or work your way through, for a comprehensive guide.

Nina's Skillshare Character Design Series

  1. Face Facts: Beginners Guide to Drawing a Self Portrait
  2. Face Shapes: Draw a Series of Character Using Simple Shapes 
  3. 101 Guide to Drawing Eyes
  4. Emoji Me: The art of Facial Expression
  5. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part One
  6. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Two
  7. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Three
  8. Draw a Circus of Characters: Exploring Body Shape and Proportion
  9. Draw a Circus of Movement: Simple Techniques to Bring Characters to Life
  10. Draw a Circus of Line & Gesture: Design a Picture Book Character From Start to Finish
  11. Watercolor Magic: One Character Five Ways
  12. Illustration Masterclass: Exploring Technique and Style
  13. Learn to Use Procreate: Design and Illustrate a Bear Character
  14. • NEW • Animal Character Design for Picture Book Illustrators: Techniques and tips for designing characters with a narrative

Meet Your Teacher

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Nina Rycroft

Picture Book Illustrator


Please link up, subscribe and follow me on: Facebook I Instagram I Pinterest I Website

Hi! I'm Nina Rycroft, a picture book illustrator. I worked as a graphic designer in Sydney and London before turning my hand to illustration, with my first picture book Little Platypus received a CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) Notable Book Award in 2000. Since then, I've had more than a dozen picture books published worldwide, winning some awards along the way. 

If you're interested in learning how and design and develop character, illustration techniques and picture book illustration, then please follow me...or even better...try one of my classes :)

My dozen or so Skillshare... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Welcome to the Art of Bunnies in Books. In this Easter special, I'm going to walk you through the history of bunnies in picture books. From early fables like the Tortoise and The Hare, to well-known picture book characters like Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit, to a more modern picture book like Shaun Taun Rabbits and dig Bruna's Miffy. You'll be inspired by a range of illustration styles and techniques. This class is going to take you through the entire process of designing character. By viewing a timeline of bunnies and books, you'll see how illustrators have developed an approach to animal characters over the years. The various degrees of anthropomorphism in both animal and toy characters. Will then use this as inspiration to draw our own bunnies from photographic reference, trying a hand at anthropomorphism, and then using the velvet teen rabbit as inspiration to draw our own toy rabbits. My name is Nina right Croft. I'm a children's book Illustrator and I've been illustrating picture books since my first publication back in 2000. Since then I've had more than a dozen picture books published worldwide. So please join me on this Easter illustration celebration where we not only explore the history of bunnies in picture books, but we also have a go at drawing our own bunny characters and artwork. I hope to see you in my other classes and character development, and I'm going to wish you a goodbye for now. 2. Bunnies in Books: A Brief History: To begin this lesson of bunnies and books, I'm going to take you way back to the very start of picture book illustration, using examples of art, from one of the most well-known fables, The Tortoise and the Hare. Aesop's Fables date back from ancient Greece as early as 550 BC, originally spread by word of mouth. Aesop Fables spread worldwide and became some of the first stories to be illustrated. Here's an early illustration block print for the fable that we all know today as The Tortoise and the Hare, illustrated by Bernard Salomon in 1547. An engraving by Francis Barlow in 1703, and a colored print by Milo Winter, illustrated in 1886. You can see how all the animals featured in these illustrations look very much like the real animal. Although the fox, hare, and tortoise are in a group discussion or the hare and tortoise are running a race. The animals are moving on all fours. They're not on their hind legs and they're not doing anything human-like, they're still truly animals. Unlike this illustration of the tortoise and the hare by Arthur Rackman, done in 1912, where the animals in the picture are a far more human and anthropomorphic in style. The characters are up on their hind legs. They're wearing jackets, waistcoats, trousers, and even gloves. They're also in a human environment, standing together outside a brick building, and they snickering about the tortoise challenging the hare to a race. Here we have a modern version of the fable illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, 2013. The animals in this illustration are a well balanced mix of animal and human. They move like animals yet, they had small items of clothing, character interaction, and behavior that allow the reader to relate to them in a more meaningful way. In my last class, draw a circus of characters. It was interesting to see the lineup of cast from the Winnie the Pooh series. Looking at the original illustrations on the bottom row, Alan Rabbit were created by Milne and the Earnest Shepherd solely to add, a little more variety to the character list. They were the only animals not taken from a toy and you can really see the difference, when you look and compare them to the other characters from the Winnie the Pooh series. In this class, I'm going to walk you through the process of anthropomorphism. A well-known technique that illustrators used to bring human characteristics to animal characters. In my next lesson, I'm going to use these photos to show you how to draw rabbits and bunnies using three simple steps. Make sure to post your sketches in the project section and we'll be adding to them as we move through the class. I can't wait to see you work and see you in the next lesson. 3. How to Draw Rabbits and Bunnies: I'm placing my PDF printer out underneath the sheet of a blank paper which is really quite a light paper you can see through it and it's very smooth so it's really nice to work with. I'm starting my first rabbit image and I'm pulling out the simple shapes that I see. There's an oval for the head and longer ovals for the ears and you can see that I've got a round circle for the chest area. I've also got a larger round circle for the belly and the hip area. You can see I'm just pulling in how the front paws work and also the hind legs. That's really good to be able to break down the shapes of the actual rabbit and how they work. How does that hind legs bend? What does the actual face look like? The rib cage, how does that sit in amongst the rest of the body? You can get a greater understanding by just pulling back and understanding the basic shapes. I'm now drawing the back view of the rabbit and you can see the circular shape for the body, a teardrop shape for the tail and it's quite a graphic looking set of shapes. I might play around with that just a little bit more. Just putting in the head and elongated ovals for the ears and the whiskers here. I'm just doing a bit of a side step at the moment. I just want to play around with this back view of the rabbit because there could be some really nice ideas that come from this. I'm drawing a larger circle sitting underneath the small circle sort of an avocado shape. I'm going to play with that teardrop tail. This is a really simple graphic style rabbit with just the ears sitting on top and the whiskers on the sides almost like a babushka doll body with the two ears. I want to draw something a little bit more in line with the photograph of an actual rabbit. You can see I still got the small circle with the larger circle but I've got more of a realistic rabbit head shape. I'm just putting in the areas for the thigh. When I look at a photo of the rabbit I can see that you can see a little bit of the feet so I've got those on either side as well and then that teardrop tail. This is making a little bit more realistic looking, just watching and looking at the photo for the folds of the ears. I'm just now drawing the back of the rabbit with the shape of the legs as well and then that teardrop tail then putting in the larger feet which you would ever so slightly see from a back view. Then I've got the whiskers as well. It's quite a cute little rabbit shape there. Now I'm going to draw the side view of the rabbit. Rather than just drawing an egg shape you can see slightly flat plains where the ear is attached to the head and where the head attaches to the body. I'm drawing ovals, just simple ovals for the ears to begin with and again that smaller oval for the chest area and the arch of the back. I'm drawing the ground because I want to know where and how those feet sit against the ground area. I've got the front paws which tend to pointier than I guess a dog or a cat paw. You can see the bend in the paw as well. I'm just trying to figure out exactly where and how those arms fold in and also how the legs fold into the body. You can see the tail is attached to the body so don't just draw a circle anywhere on the back, align it with the base of the body. Now you can see I am drawing a darker line for the ears and ears are worth spending a bit of time and understanding where the folds are because it just makes the ears look that much more real so it's worth putting in the effort for that. Also spend a bit of time understanding the nose and the folds of the mouth, the top lip and the cheeks and how the mouth sits underneath that as well. Here I'm just putting in the final touches. What I'm going to do now is just drag some lines across because I want to draw a front view of the rabbit and I'm drawing the cranium area which is smaller than the cheek area. You can see how I'm figuring out where the nose sits by using the side view and transferring the information across to the front view and also whether with the mouth sits. I'm putting in smaller circles for the cheeks just to see where they sit and I'm nestling that bottom jaw in under that cheek area. Now I'm drawing in the bridge of the nose and with rabbits then the eyes actually sit on the side of the head you won't see the full eye so that bridge of the nose will be in front of the eyeball. I'm just outlining the outer edges of the face and I'm putting in the height of the ears again looking at my side view and transferring the information across to my front view and just putting in those final touches. Now I'm just the figuring out where the back is going to be so you can see how the head is nestled quite far into the body and the front paws. I'm just drawing ovals in just a little bit of detail around the paw area and then the base of the back paws here just sitting next to these front paws. I'm drawing in the leg and the hip area and also the chest where does that finish and those front paws are going to be sitting behind that. Just putting in my final touches and I have the front view of the rabbit. What I'm doing here is I'm drawing the rabbit. You can see I've drawn a outline here and I'm drawing a similar shape, body, torso and hind from the image above but what I want to do is extend the legs out so that I can understand how that works and what that looks like. So getting an understanding of how the leg unfolds, where are the joints, the ankle, the knee? How does the hip work when it's extended? How does the leg work when it's extended? What happens when it folds back into the body as opposed to when their limbs are more stretched out? It's just getting a feel and an understanding of how the character moves. When you're drawing any animal you want to make sure not to over extend any of the limbs beyond what they would naturally be able to do so you do want to see how far the animal can stretch that particular limb out and the natural movement. You don't want to change that too much. I'm just working my way around the edge of the rabbit quite quickly. I've got both ears facing forward which I think is quite dynamic looking and just drawing around the edges of the front legs there. I'm just putting in the final touches of this rabbit and so here we have it. The drawing basic shapes of rabbits from photographs and join me my next class on illustrating a Winnie the Pooh style rabbit from the very first drawing that we did in this class. 4. Paint ‘Rabbit’ From 'Winnie-The-Pooh': Welcome back. Now before we start on this rabbit illustration, you will need a few items. You'll need watercolor paper, I'm using a hot press smooth watercolor paper and it's quite thick so it doesn't buckle. You'll need a light brown pencil any kind. But I use this for tracing. Even a water-soluble pencil is really good for tracing for watercolor illustrations. You'll need an eraser, a sharpener, a black pen, porcelain plate I use that as my palate. A water container, I use a glass and I don't make it too deep quite like a small containers and changing water often. You'll also need around sable watercolor brush a winsor newton watercolor tubes of paint. I've only got three colors for this illustration. Yellow ocher, permanent rose, and ivory black. The first thing I'm going to do is align my illustration that we did earlier in the class. I'm going to place the hot press watercolor paper over the top. Now I am using a light box but you can also use a window to get the same effect of being able to see through and trace your illustration. Now you can see that I'm tilting the watercolor paper because I want my rabbit to be more upright in the final artwork. What I will do is, I'll trace these illustrations that I've done and I'll make a print out so that you can trace directly from an illustration that I've done. Here I'm just outlining using a light brown pencil. Now the reason for using a light brown pencil instead of a lead pencil is the lead pencil tends to move around when you have the watercolor over the top. Also when you use watercolor over a lead pencil and then you go to erase the line, it's sometimes it doesn't come away very easily. If you use a light brown pencil, it disguises the line for when you put the watercolor over the top. If you even use water soluble pencil, the line will disappear altogether or it won't be around to distract you from the watercolor. You still, don't press hard, just keep the line very light. It's only for guidelines. You don't want to make it too strong align to begin with. Now you can see that I'm now mixing my yellow ocher with the water. You can see how I've got my paints on my porcelain plate. Now, I like to mix all my watercolors on a porcelain plate and I just have a little porcelain teacup that I use for my water. I don't like to make the water very deep. I want to keep it shallow. I don't want the water going above the metal of my brush and I mean it ruins the brushes if if the water is any deeper than that as it gets into the water and things. I'm just laying in mixing the color, making a nice consistent color and I'm placing the color where I want the areas of the rabbit to be brown. You can see I'm using quite a bit of water here. I'm just coloring in areas of the air at the moment. You can see that the puddles of water, I don't mind those while I'm painting, you can actually tilt your illustration and use those puddles to help with shading and shadows and things like that for later. I'm just mixing a tiny bit of the rose. While that yellow ocher is still a little bit wet, I'm just placing a bit of the rose on the ears and the nose just to add a little bit of of rosie color for the ears, nose and if it sometimes the cheeks are quite nice to rose up as well. You can see I'm now dragging a second coat of the watercolor, the yellow ocher. I'm putting in a textural passions, so it's a bit of a shadow, but it's also a little bit of a textural pattern. It looks a little bit like fur. I'm just moving that around. You can see I'm tilting my page so that when it dries, it'll drive with a darker edge. Now I'm mixing my rose. I'm actually going to come in my paint is completely dry. You don't want to add a new color and do a new section until the brown is completely dry and otherwise the color's going to bleed in to each other. I'm just pressing in the rose color into the area where I want scarf to be. I'm just doing that the tips of the scarf and you can see how pointed my brushes, I got to really beautiful sable brush. It's a number five. I know a lot of brushes come in fours and sixes. Those sizes work perfectly well as well. But you can see the most important part of a brush is the volume of fluid that it can hold and also the point, the tip. I'm just using a really water down I've red black to put in a little bit of shadowing under the arms around the base of the belly and the tail. I would wait about 10 minutes to make absolutely sure that my watercolor is completely dry before I start inking. Now, I'm just moving my pen around. I'm going to make it more in line with the style of the Winnie-the-Pooh illustration. I'm using the ink outline and I'm going to be scratching in the fur and a little bit more shadowing. I'm just going to move around the edge of the rabbit, creating a jagged line. If you are using a dip pen you can get a similar effect. I'm just using an outline 0.5 pin for this. Whatever you have in your box you can see I'm working my way around the legs and the feet. You can also see how I'm keeping my pen in a one area and I'm turning the illustration around. Rather than me dragging my hand across the illustration and keeping my hands away from the illustration and making illustration spin around so that I keep everything clean and tidy. I'm doing a little bit of cross hatching for the shadow areas and I'm just working in textural very line work for the tail and for the body of the rabbit. Now, I like to start if I'm doing any inking. I'd like to start on the body area because it's very easy to be drawn to directly to the eye and all that detail. But I actually think if you start in the body area or a larger area, you can actually get a little bit of a feel for the inking before you move to something significant like the eye or the nose. All that detail. I'm just to get warmed up, choose a larger air view illustration before you go into any of that detail. Now I'm just working my way around the scarf and the expression on the face and the outline. I'm just coming back in again and seeing if I can just add a few more bits of detail around the body. I think I'm almost there. This is my illustration of all inspired by Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh. But we've taken the shape from an actual photo. Just putting in those final touches a little bit more shading. Then here we have it. Rabbit. Make sure to post your sketches and illustrations onto the projects section of this class. Please join me in my next class where I'll be continuing our journey of bunnies in books, focusing on anthropomorphism. 5. What is Anthropomorphism?: Welcome back. In this lesson, I'm going to continue our walk through the history of Bunnies in Books. For as long as picture books have been imprint, illustrators have used Anthropomorphism, as a technique to engage, and connect to the reader. There are various degrees of anthropomorphism, and various techniques that illustrators use. They can choose to keep the animal quite natural looking, or they can take it to the furthest degree and make them wear human clothes and live in a human environment. Just observing bunnies and books, will be able to see various degrees of anthropomorphic techniques, and variations. We're now going to move on to another very well-known white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, originally illustrated by John Tenniel. Compared to rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, the white rabbit is far more human-like, wearing a waist coat and jacket, upon his hind leg, and he's looking at his pocket watch, always running late. The story is Alice, falling through the rabbit hole into a fantasy world full of peculiar anthropomorphic creatures. 63 years after the Alice in Wonderland's white rabbit, we have the development of a new rabbit character. Peter Rabbit came from a picture letter, originally sent by Beatrix Potter to Annie Moore's son Noel. After being rejected by several publishers, Beatrix decided to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself, printing an initial 250 copies for family and friends in 1901. It was then that the publisher Frederick Warne and Co, who had previously turned down The Tale of Peter Rabbit, reconsidered their decision. They offered to take it on, as long as Beatrix re-illustrated it in color. Warne also suggested cutting the illustrations from 42 to 32, marking the beginning of the 32-page picture book that we know today. The bunny book was published in color in October 1902. Timing well with a sudden surge in the small picture book market, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was a success. Moving on to a modern picture book published in 1947. We have The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. This is a story about a small rabbit who wants to run away, his mother, however tells him, if you run away, I'll run after you. The series of illustrations depicting the baby running away, are so imaginative. With baby bunny swimming like a fish in a river, flying with bird wings, and even sailing away from mum, as a bunny sailboat. The same writer illustrated team published Goodnight Moon in 1947, which featured a bunny saying good night to everything around. Goodnight room, goodnight moon, goodnight cow jumping over the moon, goodnight light, and red balloon. Published in 1994, Guess How Much I love You, is an English picture book by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram. The story features Little Nutbrown Hare, showing his dad just how much he loves him, as wide as he can reach, as far as he can hop, but Big Nutbrown Hare can reach further, and hop higher. The anthropomorphism in these illustrations are not so much with how the bunnies look, they're are in their natural environment, not wearing any clothes. However, their behaviors and their movement is very human-like, and something that the reader can really relate to. Compared to the sophisticated style of Shaun Tan's Rabbits, published in 1998, a picture book with very little text is so powerful. The invading rabbits arrived with all the trappings of human culture. It's clothes, agriculture, industry, and economy. They arrive, takeover, and exploit the land to the point of devastation. A small numbered, like marsupials are taken from their families, their communities, and their country. The anthropomorphic rabbits are more graphic and statue like in emotive, showing the change and devastation that can happen with canalization. Here is another picture book depicting a different kind of problem, The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett, published in 2009. This hilarious tale shows what happens, when a lonely rabbits sends out an invitation one January day, for other rabbits to join her. Two cold bunnies, Lonely and Chalk, snuggle up together with the result that by March, there's a pair of baby rabbits, by May there are five pairs, by July 13 pairs, and by October there's 55 pairs of rabbits. With rabbits in classrooms and literally bursting off the page, Emily Gravett's humor, brings a human quality to The Rabbit Problem. I Want My Hat Back, by John Klassen, published in 2012, where this unusual rabbit adopts the role of the villain, with far less facial expression. These simple illustrations, cover a very sinister rabbit character. I can't run past the two little bunnies that I illustrated for Juliette Mclver's, The Grasshoppers Dance. They feature all the way through the story, and they are just adorable, and I will use what I've learnt illustrating this picture book to show you exactly how it's done. Join me in my next class, where I'll take you through from our initial drawings of rabbits from photographs, using some anthropomorphic techniques to create this Easter celebration illustration. 6. Paint a Easter Illustration: Welcome back. In this class, we'll be doing a watercolor Easter celebration illustration. I would recommend a basic understanding of watercolor before starting this illustration. For absolute beginners, please head over to my illustration masterclass, exploring technique and style for beginners instruction to watercolor. In this lesson, we'll be doing this gorgeous watercolor illustration, so you'll need a few things. You'll need some paper to do your sketch on. I'm using A4 bank paper. You'll also need watercolor paper. I'm using an Arches Hot Press, which is a smooth watercolor paper. You'll need a light brown pencil for tracing. For my outline, I'm using a medium, Creta artist pencil in Nero oil black. An eraser, a sharpener, a porcelain plate for the watercolor as to use as a pellet. A water container, paper towels, really handy to have on hand. Number 5, round sable watercolor brush, Winsor & Newton watercolor tube paints, and I'm using yellow ocher, burnt sienna, yellow, permanent rose, sap green, Prussian blue, and ivory black. The first thing to do is to place your sketch and then your watercolor paper over the top of the sketch with a light source behind it. You can use a window or like I'm using a light box. You're going to use the light brown pencil to sketch your drawing from underneath. Now this sketch is a very light outline, it'll be used as a guideline, and the reason for using a light colored pencil is because you don't want that line to be obvious once you bring in the watercolor. You can also use water-soluble pencils to do this, and the line literally disappears when you bring in the watercolor. If you do use a lead pencil, sometimes that line is difficult to erase later on. Now that I have my illustration drawn up on my piece of paper, I'm ready to paint. Now I begin by dipping my number 5 sable watercolor brush into my container of shallow water. Now I use a shallow cup and I change the water often, and really do make sure to keep your water clean. Now I keep it shallow because I don't want the water creeping up past that metal part of my brush, it will ruin my brush. I make sure that I keep my water shallow and I keep it clean. If you have dirty water, then you'll end up with a dirty illustration. It's really important to change your water regularly. The first color that I use is the yellow ocher, and I make sure that I use the water and I pull out quite a bit of that color and I mix it to the consistency of milk, and I want to keep the amount of paint consistent, so I make sure that I mix enough on the palette. I'm applying the area of sienna quite quickly, I'm moving down the entire area that I want in that color. While it's still wet, I'm dabbling in a bit of the paint as a shadow, and I've tilted my paper and I'm allowing the paint to drop to that baseline. Now you don't want too much water in there, otherwise it will bleed and ruin your entire illustrations. Be careful with how fluid your paint is. Let this paint dry completely before you go into layering more color of the top. I'm mixing a little bit of the rose, the permanent rose with the yellow ocher. I'm creating a peachy, pinky color which I am just putting around the nose, the ears, and the mouth of the rabbit. Then mixing a very watered-down ivory black, and I'm creating shadow areas, just under the chin and the head area, around the paw, under the tail, and at the bottom of the belly. Now I'm coming back in with the yellow ocher and brining up with a bit of actual yellow, and I'm coloring the chick that's sitting on the top, and I've got a few extra chicks down the bottom of my illustration which I might use this as little extras. Make sure that you don't put too much paint on it. You can see I've just pulled a bit of paint away, and I'm mixing more of that yellow. I just got a nice strong yellow, and I'm painting in one of the letters in the illustration, so I just using the very fine tip of my brush. Now you can use a smaller line brush if you want to, I'm just using the tip of the same brush, I'm using the number 5 brush the entire illustration. This is where the brush really counts. If you have a good brush, you should have a really nice fine tip. When it's wet, if it's all spread out, you just weren't going to a good accurate line. While I've got this paint on me, I'm coming in with a darker tone of the yellow ocher, and I'm forming a shadow area, so the back of the foot, one side of the body, the backside of the body, and I'm just putting in where I think a shadow may fall, the back arm. It looks quite blocky, so I'm just pulling a little bit of that paint away. I don't want as dark and as heavy as I first placed it down. That's the beauty about watercolors, you can come in and you can pull it off while it's wet, you can do all kinds of things with it. But once it's dry, that's it. I'm now drawing a mix of the yellow ocher and the rose to make a pinky color stripe, and I'm literally just dragging it across one of the stripe areas. Now I'm using the blue, the Prussian blue. It's quite dry, so I'm just mixing water and making sure that I have enough of that paint in the consistency that I want to before I start painting with it. I'm just working my way around the A and the E. I have an idea of where you want your colors to sit. You don't want them two or three colors of the same next to each other, you want to spread out evenly over the illustration. You can do what I've done or you can choose different colors if you wish. I'm just drawing a second line on my egg, and I'm coming in with what looks like a burnt sienna color just to fill in the brush that the bunny is holding. Just the handle of the brush. You notice I'm moving the illustration around, rather than my hand across the illustration, and that helps for not, I guess swiping, and wiping, and ruining your illustration. I'm mixing a bit of the sap green, and I'm putting a tiny bit of the yellow ocher in with the sap green just to ease it off it. It's too bright for the look that I'm after. Using the mix of sap green and yellow ocher for the Y and the S, and to balance the green across the illustration, I'm also going to bring that same green in and paint the area of the grass. Once you've finished with an area like the grass which is a strong green color, make sure that you clean out your water and keep it clean. Blues are okay to mix your greens and blues with your water. But if you move to a yellow or a pink, you want to make sure that your water is absolutely clean and fresh. Otherwise, you'll bring in these murky colors into illustration. I'm now bringing a mix of the permanent rose and the yellow. Place that on the beaks of the chicks, the legs of the chicks, and now I'm working on that same pink color into the lettering so that H and the P and now the A. You can see how I've balanced the colors out with the letters. I've got the color spread out quite evenly, the pinks, the greens, the blues. I haven't got too much of one color in an area. I've tried to spread it across the entire illustration. Using a light mix of the ivory black, I'm bringing a shadow in down the left-hand side of the egg shape, and I'm just touching up the shadow on the rabbit as well. The shadow on the rabbit and the egg are obviously going to be along the same left-hand side under the ear. Placing the final touches on the bumblebee, and I think I'm there. Just going to wait for it to dry now. Before we start work on the final outline for this illustration, we need to get rid of the light brown pencil guideline that we used at the start of this illustration. Now, we need to make sure that our illustrations completely bone dry before we start using the eraser. Even if it's slightly damp, you're going to ruin your illustration. So really, if you need to step away and have a cup of tea or coffee or whatever it is, you need to give this illustration time to dry. Brush away any eraser bits and pieces with a soft brush. Then we're now going to start doing the final outline of our illustration. For my outline, I'm using a black or narrow Krita artist's pencil in a medium. Now these are charcoal pencils that have black pigment and a little wax added to offer the accuracy of a graphite pencil with the black of the charcoal. It produces a shiny black smudge proof stroke. It's not like a charcoal where I'll just wash away. So really, but you can smudge it with those smudge ticks if you want to. It's a really lovely pencil to get a hold of and to play around with. It's got a really lovely line. I highly recommend it. I'm just working my way around the outline of my rabbit at this point, and you can see the line that I'm using is not the same consistency. I like to use a hard and soft lines. I like to break it up, stop and add a little bit of texture. So I want to make the line a little bit more playful than just a solid straight line. I just finished the arm of the rabbit, and now I'm working around the back and you can see how I've pulled out a few feathery areas where I want the rabbit to look like it has fluff and fur just on the tail. I am thinking as I'm going through this, I'm thinking where I want this line. I don't just start from one end and work my way down the other. I want to play around with how the whole thing looks. I'm working on the feet and I'm putting in the areas, and you can see I'm scribbling a shadow area. I want to have this free spontaneous look to my illustration. I don't want it to look like it's so thought through, that it's lost any artistic, I guess, free-falling style. I'm moving around the edge of the egg and I've just bringing in a little bit of, I guess, shadow around the brush area, I'm moving to the chick area and making the chick look fluffy and adorable. I'm working my way around the egg now. The thing that can happen with this style of drawing is that you can smudge with your hand. Actually, when I draw, I don't have my hand rubbing across the page, so be aware of that. If you do feel like you're going to rub and move your hand across the page, place a piece of paper between your hand and the illustration to avoid any thing smudging. I'm just moving my way around the grass area, adding in a bit more shadow. I'm now going to put the shadow in on the lettering, and the whole time I'm doing this illustration, I'm imagining a light source from the top right corner of my artwork. The way I try to think about it is I want to light up the face of my character. I guess I put the light source or imagine a lamp shining onto the rabbit's face. Everything on the other side of that plane is going to have the shadows. I keep that in the back of my mind as I move around the letters, as I move around my characters on the illustration, and that really helps me understand where I'm going to put my shadows. Here we have a Easter celebration illustration. 7. Toy Rabbits: Welcome back to bunnies in books. In this lesson, we'll be steering away from the anthropomorphic bunnies, and instead, we're going to focus on pitch books that feature rabbits and bunnies as toys. The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjorie Williams was first published in 1922, illustrated by William Nicholson. Since then, many illustrators have risen to the challenge of a illustrating the Velveteen Rabbits journey, and some have fared better than others. Take note of the many different ways the artists have chosen to illustrate the rabbit toy character. Some quite graphic and simple, while others breathtakingly real. By viewing one story illustrated in many different ways, you can really see how choosing a particular technique or illustration style can really affect the look and the feel of the picture book. Take Maurice Sendak and his 1960s version of the Velveteen Rabbit, predating where the Wild Things are by three years, these charming joy turn illustrations at a simple whimsical style to one of the most beloved rabbit stories of all time. In 1983, Michael Hague in his watercolor illustrations literally flood the pages with moonlight and warmth, where he strikes this perfect balance of intimacy and technical accomplishment. Here we have illustrations published in 1994 by Monique Felix with the soft Hayes and play on light that pastels can bring to an illustration. Finally, nearly a century later in 2015, Japanese illustrator, Komako Sakai brings a textual, gutsy block printing looking adaption of the Velveteen Rabbit, and this is what I think is the best take on the story since Maurice Sendak, 1960s illustrations. Now I can't go through this lesson without mentioning Dick Bruna and his most notable bunny creation, Miffy. First published in 1955, a small toy looking rabbit was drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes, and primary colors. The Dutch graphic designer, picture book author and illustrator wrote more than 200 plus picture books before passing away in February this year. So I am going to use Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems to explain why toys work so well as characters in picture books. Most children become emotionally attached to an object or a toy in their first two years, and alerts difficult for the child to explain. Their toy, gives them the emotional support and feeling of security when they start to explore their ever-expanding world. This experience parallels with the same age that a child is being introduced to picture books stories. The young reader can literally walk the walk of the characters in the story that will emotionally connect to the story as they can relate to the story events from their own personal experience. Now to finish off with a very different kind of book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, published in 2006. This heartfelt stories about a China rabbit named Edward Tulane, who was owned, adored, and treated with the utmost care by girl named Abilene. One day Edward Tulane finds himself lost. We then taken on this extraordinary journey from the depths of the ocean, to the net of a fisherman from the top of a garbage heap to the bedside of a sick child in this heartfelt illustrations that really capture how even the most fragile can learn to love, to lose, and to love again. To finish off this lesson, and also in the spirit of Velveteen Rabbit, we're going to design, draw, and paint our own toy rabbit. Make sure to post your illustrations and sketches in the project section of this class, and I look forward to seeing you again very soon. 8. Design Your Own Velveteen Rabbit: Welcome back to the final lesson of the art of bunnies in books, in this class, we'll be taking inspiration from the Velveteen rabbit, drawing toy bunnies from the shapes that we gathered from original drawings from photographs, so here I'm using Bank paper and a lead pencil, and I'm tracing the shape of the bunnies head from the original photographs, and I can see it quite a nice shape forming, and what I've decided to do is do a similar shape for the body, so it's like I guess a diamond shape so large on the bottom and quite thin at the top, and I'm thinking of putting in just little feet tucked in underneath, so I'm just playing around with shapes at the moment and no detail at all, so all this is the thinking process. I don't want to be too hard on myself as far as technique goes under scribbling away, I've decided to shorten the body, I like the idea of a shorter, more compact toy, and I'm thinking quite a solid body almost like a pear shape and heavy, full of sawdust and possibly even leather, so quite simple, and little toes poking out of a quite a big belly. I'm even putting in the same lines and thinking about I had the same line through the head as well. That is quite sweet with two largest stitches for the nose, and I'm just putting in circles for the eyes at the moment, I think that might look good as button eyes, and I like the idea of the ears following the line of the head all the way up and possibly even having a different colored material for the center of the ear, so the shape is taking form. I'm just going to move through and darken the areas that I want to keep, I guess, and just get more familiar, I guess, for the shape of the overall rabbit toy. I always find that the first one that I do is always the hardest, always takes the longest. I'm always almost overthinking it, so what I'll probably do is draw 3 to 5 different variations of the same toy, and hopefully I'll find something that I like in amongest all of that, it looks like the pause at the front could hold something, so I'm just drawing a little note, like a square note, and on the note, I'm going to write the words Happy Easter, which would be quite a nice finishing touch for this toy. I'm now going to go back to my original drawings and I'm going to do a similar shape, I want to make a wider nose, and widest eyes and just play around with quite a different shape to that first rabbit toy that I did. Now that I've got my basic head shape, I'm going to come down with quite a wide neck and make a very different looking shape, body and legs. I want the legs to actually extend out. Quite either look at this already, I'm thinking the arms could be folded in because I quite like that rectangular brick shape of a rabbit, and it looks quite masculine but quite cute as well, and just big stitches for the feet and hands, and then stitches to tie in the legs to the body as well, so it could be quite a simple toy, but quite ineffective rabbit looking toy as well, so just like I did with my previous class, draw a circles of characters where we explored body shape and body proportion, and we used shape like squares, circles, triangles, simple shapes to start forming the character. I'm going to use that same method for exploring. I guess, shapes for these toy rabbits. I've got a triangular shaped rabbit to begin with and then I've got my brick shaped rabbit, my rectangular shaped rabbit, which is a stronger, more solid looking rabbit, and this rabbit here, just to be different, I'm going to elongate it. I'm going to have much longer body, longer limbs and longer ears, and I'm going to point the toes in [inaudible] yeah, so just so it looks slightly different that to the other two rabbits, so this is a long lanky rabbit with striped socks, striped pause and I might even put stripes on their ears as well. I'm looking to explore completely different looking toys just to see where I go with it, so I'm just using pencil and paper it's not going to cost me anything, and I get to experiment and see what works. I might be able to grab bits and pieces from each of them, or I might find some rabbit toys shape that I really absolutely love. It's all just a matter of playing, being open to the idea of making mistakes and starting over or just trying something new, so it's all a matter of experimenting and trying to get as many different possibilities out of these drawings as I possibly can. Here I am on my fourth toy rabbit, and I've decided to, rather than have baton eyes, have little dots for eyes, and I quite like this teardrop shaped head, and again, I'm going to do that for the body, and you can see that I'm using a similar sort of shape shape to form the arms in front of that rabbit, and also the ears are much more simple and material like. Now here I've got the legs hanging down, which I quite like, but I'm also going to try them tucked in under this side because I want this rabbit to look firmer than just a cloth or a cloth toy rabbit. I want it to be more like a velveteen rabbit, like a leather, more upright, rigid, heavier rabbit, so I'm just now playing around maybe with the tones, I might have a different toned piece of fabric at the front, as well as a darker tone on the back, and just, actually quite like this shape of this one, and it's quite different to the other ones that I've drawn so far. Now I'm onto my fifth rabbit and I want to make this rabbit really simple, and almost like just a front and a back and a single [inaudible] just so the ears on, I've got wide set, dot eyes that are much lower than all the other rabbits, and a simple oval body. I'm not so sure about those ears, I like the idea of this rabbit just not really having too much fuss about it, I want it to be really simple now, I don't know there's arms look a bit stick arm to me. I quite like these legs that are fold out slightly at the bottom, so I like where that's going maybe not so much, I think it's more like joining and attaching the legs to the body may that's what is the shape of the leg, so a square body that go directly down to the legs. Again, it's much younger looking rabbit to the first lot and flatter looking. I like where I'm going with this one as well. It looks quite different to the other one, and I can say quite really simply working as a character for a picture book. Here I have seen decoration, qualitative of a square, toes and stripes, so here we have five different options for toy rabbits, inspired by sketches that we did from photos earlier. Make sure to post to your sketches onto the project section of this class, and don't forget to give this class a thumbs up if you found any of the information interesting or helpful in any way. Thanks and I'll see you again soon.