Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Weekly Drawing - The Qilin (part 1)
Size: 9 by 11 inches
This unfinished piece depicts a Chinese unicorn, called a qilin, making its way through a forest of redwoods. Also included are some ferns, shelf mushrooms, and a red bellied woodpecker. This was drawn in pen and colored with watercolor. So far I've only outlined a few things and thrown down a bit of color, but I like where this piece is headed.
The qilin comes from east Asian mythology, where its rare appearance indicated that a sage or great ruler would soon be born or die. Seeing one was a sign of coming prosperity and peace. Qilins are very gentle, never eating or even stepping on any living things. It is said they never walk on grass, for fear of harming a single blade; for this reason they are often depicted walking on water or air.
During the Ming Dynasty, giraffes were first brought to China with other exotic animals and imported goods, and the court called them qilins. Interestingly, in several east Asian countries, the word for "qilin" is the same as the word for "giraffe".
I'm looking forward to really digging into the color aspect of this piece next week and hopefully creating something that looks great. :)