Choosing Pastel Pencils for Drawing a Hare

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One of our members Mike sent in a picture of a Hare that he would like to do. Mike wrote:

Hi Colin,

I have this minute just watched your drawing of the Hare.

I am about to have a go at the attached Image, using PanPastels for the background and the Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils for the Hare itself on Pastelmat, as opposed to what you were using.

A variation on a theme I know, but I would be most appreciative for your views as to which Colours of the Pitt’s I should maybe use please.

Thank you for your time – I spend ages just sat watching your video clips of the various projects that you undertake and am absolutely fascinated by your methods and very often intricate work.

Best wishes.


mikes hare picture

As always the colours I am recommending are just a basic set of colours which you could use for the general tone and using sand colour pastel paper. I always recommended to test out these colours on spare paper first to ensure you’re happy with how it looks. The colour numbers referenced are from the Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil range.

When I first took a look at this picture my immediate thought was to use the warmer (or earthy) colours for the hare. These would include the warmer greys which are softer and do not have a blue content such as 270 and 273. Followed by colours such as 175.

But after a short study of the picture you can see there’s a mauve tone to the photograph. Which changes which colours I would use. Because there is a bias to the photo, you do not want disharmony between the tones, especially when it comes to adding the background in. This is therefore an example of where it is important to study the reference picture for a while. I certainly do with all my pictures.

So therefore the cooler tones that would be used instead are 230 light grey, 233 medium grey, 189 cinnamon, 283 Burnt Siena and 181 Payne’s Grey. The browns that you would need are warmer colours such as the 176 Van Dyck Brown and 169 Caput Mortuum. There would naturally be more colours you would need, these are the first ones that come to mind when looking at the picture.

Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil Chart

Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil Colour Chart

At the front of the animal where it is lighter you could use 270 light grey followed by 182 Brown Ochre and 187 Burnt Ochre to make up that ochre effect. There isn’t a colour like that in the Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil range so you’d have to make it up. You would also need 199 black in the picture to deepen the darker areas such as the top of the ears. In the lighter areas you’re looking at a combination of those colours mentioned above such as 270 > 273 and 169.

Over the ear area you would obviously use white as the base and also a few touches around the eye.

As a few final thoughts, I wouldn’t put the grass in as it is on the photo. I would put it in with more of an impressionistic style as you see on many of my animal pictures.

I hope that helps Mike and others that may wish to do a similar picture in future. Advice such as the above is a bonus service to members of our website. If you would like help with your pictures and access all of our tutorials, learn about our membership here.

By | 2018-09-12T10:43:14+00:00 March 19th, 2018|Animal Tips, Help Choosing Colours, Tips & Techniques|0 Comments