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). 

1 comment:

  1. Love the textures! I remember now a technique I picked up: make the eyes smaller and the rest of the animal will seem larger, more appropriate to that of a stag.