I love doing art journal pages of the Chinese zodiac as it is animal based and there is lots of colour and nature symbolism. The rabbit is 4th of 12 animal signs and the story of creation tells how he would have been first if he hadn’t gone to have a nap while the first 3 arrived.
Year of the Rabbit SymbolismThe element associated with the year of the rabbit in 2023 is water and rabbits are always associated with Yin (yin/yang). Looking into the colours associated with the rabbit the lucky colours are pink, red, purple and blue. Unlucky colours for rabbits being dark yellow, dark brown and white. The rabbit is also said to symbolise the moon.
Year of the Rabbit Graphical RenderingThe colour symbolism of the rabbit zodiac sign gave me an idea for my page as these colours can work as hot/cold colours for suggesting form if working graphically. Red and pink would be hot colours while purple and blue would be cold. I chose to work in metal having mistakenly thought of the rabbit as associated with metal this year but that would have been the last Year of the Rabbit in 2011. The association of the elements with the zodiac signs can be quite complicated and on some sites the 2023 rabbit is described as associated with wood and having water as its complimentary element. Well I had decided on metal leaf for this art journal page which would give a very graphical look so on I went …
Making my Year of the Rabbit Art Journal PageAs I had decided to work with metal leaf for this page, gouache was a good compliment as it has a matt finish and is less likely for the leaf to adhere itself to. I started by sketching out my outlines with Neocolour crayons.
Video Process of Year of the Rabbit Art Journal Page with Metal LeafBelow is a video (also available on YouTube) of my process. It has been edited to show the techniques and main sections of the process rather than the whole thing which would be time consuming. I hope it gives you all the information you need to try out the techniques yourself and maybe experiment with different ways of doing them.
I hope this has been interesting and maybe inspires you to have a go with metal leaf or working graphically and maybe research the Chinese zodiac. Best wishes and hugs, Ceri xx