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Photoblog: Making a Hare & Hounds Set

I’ve made a Hare & Hounds (aka The French Military Game) set in the past. It was pretty simple with just the lines. Although that is perfectly sufficient to play this small but strategic game, I’ve been wanting to make a more creative version of it. I also wanted to change my approach a bit on making board games. Often times it takes me weeks or months to complete something. This is mostly due to the fact that I have little kids and can only squeeze in a bit of time in the evenings. So this time around, I treated this project more like a quick sketch or doodle.

Starting with a piece of red oak plywood and ruler, I drew in the actual grid/game area. At this point, I wasn’t really sure what else I was going to do but just starting is half the battle. After looking at a few random images on the internet of rabbits and dogs, I started sketching out the hare and hound.

hare and hounds drawing

Once the sketches were done, the next step is to burn in the lines and drawings. Red oak is really grainy and can be difficult to work with. I’m still figuring out which is the best pyrography techniques to use with it. In this case, I just worked in the shading as though I was doing a line drawing.

hand and hound burned in and almost finished

After filling in everything, the board still felt a bit off to me. Adding some accents on the corners help balance out the art.

hare and hounds complete

Although this was done over a few nights, the actual art process happened pretty quickly. I think it helps that the grid area is fairly simple and can be done quite easily. This means I’m not laboring over large grids and burning a lot of squares. This is probably not my favorite board, but it was a good “quick sketch” exercise. I’m hoping to do more of these “quick sketches” to see what will come out of it.