In my posts I have said a lot about colour sequence and, along the way, talked about selecting appropriate ranges of colours for my drawings. Here are some more colour comments, leading to the one about the bunny above.
I might consider that a yellow, red and brown range would be good for my horse. These have a similarity to its actual colours and give a warm and friendly feel which reflect the horse’s nature and temperament.
A strong harsh colour seemed to be best for my roaring lion and simple black and white achieved this. In the mid 1960’s when I drew the lion, Bridget Riley had been doing many black and white hard edge pictures, and I did several of my animals in this colouring. I feel that this worked best for the lion amongst my drawings.
With my “Flame on the Sun” painting, the sort of anti magnetism represented by complementary red and green hopefully reflect the explosive violence required.
For a more subtle result – my still life of a radish, apple, mushroom and flower heads – I used water colours to help to show the floppy translucent nature of the radish leaves.
Sometimes I find that I can use almost actual colours. Here is a commission drawing, with the continuous line running through both robins and the branch. I was asked to do only a hint of pink on the Robins’ chests. This is fine. However, I had to have a go at a full colour result for myself. The perky nature of robins is reflected pretty well, I think, by these “near” natural colours.
My yellow, green and blue sequence of colours fits well for “Nibbles”, a friendly rabbit who likes nothing more than eating her greens.
However, for a rabbit drawn with exactly the same single continuous line as for Nibbles, but who has a completely different temperament – RED, BLACK and WHITE fits the bill.
This is, of course, “Hot Cross Bunny” who lurks at the top of this post. A real, full on, “Psycho”.
The two Rabbit paintings and the Pair of Robins accompanied several other of my pictures at the Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club exhibition a week ago at Ripley Town Hall.
At the Preview Evening various prizes are awarded. One was the annual prize presented at the Spring Exhibition by Sir Thomas Ingleby, the club’s patron, for his own personal choice for the best picture on show. This was won by Julie Buckley for her “Black Labrador”.
Sir Thomas also mentioned other pictures which caught his eye. He said that he liked all the paintings by Mick Burton, but never thought that he would ever consider buying one called “Hot Cross Bunny”.
Here is a bit of background to the Rabbit paintings. Nibbles and Hot Cross Bunny are based upon my daughter Kate’s rabbits, Harriet and Clover.
Harriet was friendly and cuddly and Clover might have been better named “Cleaver”. We kept them both in the garage – in separate cages.
When we bought Clover, a lop eared rabbit, the breeder was saying how friendly and harmless the baby rabbit was. I asked if it was related to an adult lop eared which had just tried to bite my finger off and the answer was “Yes, it’s the granny”. We still bought Clover!
She was alright at first but later became very aggressive. Every time we opened her cage for any reason, she would bite viciously. We also realised that some one else would have to take care of the rabbits when we were on holiday.
Strangely, I found that if I put a hand on Clover’s head as soon as I opened the door she would stay still and relaxed as long as I kept the hand there. With the other hand I could top up food and water or clean out the cage. This worked for all of us. Fortunately, our neighbour was delighted to be able to do this too and things were fine when we were away.
After Clover died and I had buried her in the garden, Kate prepared a wooden plaque and nailed it to the fence “Here lies Clover Burton the rabbit”.
An interesting consequence of keeping the rabbits was that straw from the bale became piled on the floor of the garage. One day the straw was seen to be moving and we feared that we had rats and so I was deputed to check it out. I found a nest of baby hedgehogs.