After having painted the pineapple that is more than a bit prickly to me 😉 , my thoughts went to one of the cutest animals, that also happens to be a bit prickly: the long-eared hedgehog.
I´ve never had the opportunity to meet one as they are native to Central Asian countries as well as some countries in the Middle East, North Africa and China. But I found lots of cute pictures and videos when I googled “hedgehog”, one of which served as a model for my water color.
There are seventeen species of hedgehogs and the Long-eared hedgehog is one of the smallest and thus fits easily into a hand.
Because of their cuteness factor they are often kept as pets. Cute as the ears may be (and they definitely are!), they actually serve as heat regulators for these tiny insectivores that are often found in the wild in dry steppes or in deserts.
As it is much smaller than the Western European Hedgehog for example, it is also much faster. It is less likely to curl up in a ball when approached by predators and will rather try and outrun them or even leap at predators with its relatively short needles.