November 30, 2011


I'm having a hell of time keeping up with Mr.Markin, but I'll be damned if it isn't a ton of fun to try. Today I present the Turul:

A mythological bird of great symbolic importance to the Hungarian people.  it is said to represent the power and will of God and was recognized as an ancestor of Atilla the Hun.  Representations of the Turul can be found in many different places, often represented as carrying a flaming sword.  One legend tells the story of the wife of the hero Ugyek, a descendent of Atilla, who had a dream in which Turul appeared.  In this dream, a crystal-clear stream sprang from within her, and as it flowed westward it became a mighty river.  This dream was said to represent a symbolic impregnation of the woman by the Turul, and to indicate that she would give birth to a line of great kings.

I tested out a different way of working with the Turul, and I'm uncertain as to how much I like it. Working in black and white keeps things nice and simple, but I'm still not comfortable with the color layer... Gonna be a little while till I get the kinks in the process worked out. Speaking of, Dan already has the next creature posted (jerk!) so I guess I've got a great opportunity to dive right back in. 

November 24, 2011


Should have had this up and posted weeks ago, but I've been spreading myself out across a lot of little things. Some practice stuff, that I'm debating showing at all, and then a bunch of fun bits and bobs that I'll get up here soon.

Anyways, the Gytrash is another of the "weekly" creature designs committed by Dan, Sho and myself. Here's the blurb we worked from:

A kind of sinister fairy from the folklore of northern britain. At night, it can take the form of a large horse, donkey or sometimes a shaggy black dog with webbed feet. It has huge saucer-shaped eyes and walks with a splashing sound. It is generally described as lurking silently by the side of the road waiting for unwary travellers; however, some stories speak of it in a more positive light as helping to lead lost travellers to safety. There is a memorable description of the Gytrash in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. (see also Padfoot) 


November 10, 2011


Finally getting back into the swing of things now that the wedding and honeymoon are over. Theoretically that means a weekly batch of figure drawing (as well as weekly creature sketches, and maybe something more...)

The drawings from last night turned out... ok. I don't know if I'm just rusty, or what was going on, but I'd swear half the poses didn't last their full time. I'd get about two thirds of the way through what I had planned, and it'd be time for the next pose. Very frustrating. Ah well, guess I need to make with the being faster...

November 9, 2011

The Ky-Lin

Here's the description we were working from this week:

A variant of the Unicorn from the mythology and traditions of China. The Ky-Lin has the head of a dragon, with a single horn, the mane of a lion, the body of a stag, and the tail of an ox. This is taken to indicate that the Ky-Lin represents the five elements and the five virtues. It is also said to embody the yin-yang balance between masculine and feminine: "Ky" meing male and "Lin" female. Its single horn stands for the unity of the world under one great ruler and the Ky-Lin, which normally lives in Paradise, only visits the world at the birth of wise philosophers or during the reign of especially virtuous monarchs. Like its Western cousin, the Ky-Lin is always represented as extremely gentle and it never uses its horn to defend itself. In Chinese art, it appears in the company of sages and immortals, and anyone shown mounted on a Ky-Lin must be a person of great fame or virtue. The term 'To ride a Ky-Lin' indicates a person of outstanding luck and ability. It personifies all that is good, pure and peaceful in the world.

I was a little thrown by the "5 elements" so I did some digging to find out what they were. Turns out that in Chinese mythology, the elements are Earth, Metal, Wood, Water, and Fire. I thought it would be worthwhile to incorporate those aspects along with the various animal traits, using it all as an excuse to challenge myself with some textural inking.

Take a look here to see another version of the Ky-lin (as well as all the other mythological creatures from our weekly sketch challenge, not to mention a heap of other great work). 

November 1, 2011


Finally getting around to catching up to Dan. We (Dan, Sho and I) decided just before I left for the honeymoon that we'd start back into the weekly sketches. We flipped through a mythological creature dictionary that I have, and pulled out 3 candidates to design. Dan has promptly posted each week, making me look like a total slacker, so now it's time to try to jam out some neat designs and get things back in order.

First up is the Pouaki, the entry for which reads:

In Maori legend, Pouaki is a monstrous bird that hunts for people and livestock. Its predations were ended by the cunning plan of the hero Hau-o-Tawera who caused his people to fashion a great net in which to trap the bird. Waiting in hiding, they baited the trap and entangled Pouaki in the net while stabbing it to death. A similarly named bird, Poukai, who may be the same being, is similarly trapped by a pair of hunters led by Pungarehu who travels into the Otherworld after many people have been taken away by it. They chop off the bird's wings and find the remains of their fellow villagers, but on their return they find that all their relatives have died or become much older, since their time in the Otherworld was longer than they had imagined.

What interested me most about the entry was the section regarding the "Otherworld", and its temporal relationship to the normal world. As I was sketching out ideas, trying to come up with something, it dawned on me that the Pouaki could theoretically be incredibly old, given the way time passes in the Otherworld. With that in mind, I started on something that looked like an evolutionary step between dinosaurs and birds, and then gave it a bit of a magical look on its outer edges to suggest its capability to move between worlds.