Time is up for doing layout, so here's what I'm going with:
The Hare has been redrawn from scratch. TGF pointed out that the previous pose could be stronger and bring the eye back into the image, so I quickly redid the sketch, then moved it around until it looked okay to me.
IMO, this still may not be the best solution to my illustration problem, but it's strong enough to stick with it. I'm going to keep everything on layers, which I don't usually do, in order to allow some tweaking later on.
Time to start painting! Wish me luck...