You can see in the photo above, my solution was to darken the interior and rocks, to lessen their importance. Yet, I still didn't think this was how I wanted it to look. I stopped for the night to let it rest and see it with fresh eyes the next day.
Next day, I still didn't like it, so I took a chance and changed it. Getting rid of the rocks and opening up the passage allowed the light to come through. Now there was a place for the rabbits as well as the viewer to escape to.
I continued to clean up some areas and add more darks. The black rabbit needed to have the dark fur smoothed. I then flipped the page over and worked on the underside. Adding some graphite to the underside of the black rabbit made the blacks richer and the strokes more even.
This is when I also started to add a bit of color to the rabbits ears and the inside of the tree.
The above is a closer view of the two rabbits and the inside of the tree. In the finished work below, I lifted up some of the graphite on the inside of the tree and added a bit of warm sienna colored pencil to the light, extending it out to the rabbits fur. I did some further defining of the body of the two rabbits and added a touch of acrylic color for the two eyes. The tree seemed too bent, so I widened it with some more bark on the right side, and also darkened the left side. The finished work is below.
Below is the finished work in the frame I'll be using. I wasn't sure how this piece was going to turn out. I did not intend to have two rabbits, and didn't know what I was going to do with them. I knew I didn't want to put a door in the tree, but the tree was going to play a role in the scene. I knew that having rabbits as a subject could end up being too cute. Cute was not what I wanted either. I think the two rabbits mirroring each other has helped to make it more mysterious rather than cutesy. Or at least I hope so! However, how can rabbit NOT end up being cute! I'm happy with the results. Thank you for following along with me on this.
Graphite and Mixed Media on Film, 7" x 7"