There were such wonderful and thoughtful comments after my last post that I have decided to continue the discussion about this painting. Thank you if you left a comment. I love having other people's opinions, even when I choose to ignore them! It seems most of you were generously encouraging me to include what ever plants and animal combinations are appropriate to my artistic vision. But I am leaning more toward science in this one and have added some red twig Dogwood and some Oregon grape. Both are native to this area, though whether or not they would ever be found in a grouping like this I will not worry about.
I didn't mention that this painting is four feet wide so there is lots of room to play with. I want a dramatic effect as though we have come across this hare in a sunny clearing, with the foreground in shadow. This is causing me such problems and my always helpful family keep pointing out that the snow in shadow looks more like dryer lint than snow.
And this grouping of snow covered berries in shadow looks more like a manatee than anything else! Clearly I need to get back into the studio and work on this.
I am really enjoying the way the edge of the Oregon Grape leaf forms a zig zag. I could never think these things up. Nature amazes me as always!