Humankind has always shown creative imagination. Cave paintings can be found in Europe, Africa, Australia and many parts of the world. They tell stories about past lives and possibly the hopes of those who created these works of art. When humans started questioning their lives and the Universe, the communicated this via their art as well; Australian Aboriginal art tells stories of the Dreamland. Even before writing, humans were telling stories, weaving words to create myths and legends, many of which echo through many continents. We all share heroes and heroines, adventures of daring do, strange lands and fantastical creatures.
My favourite is the dragon. They are large, beautiful, strong, powerful and intelligent; testosterone with wings, beauty and wiles. All of humanities strengths wrapped up in glistening armour-hard scales and (in my early-childhood-Tolkein-influenced view) encrusted with sparkling, precious jewels. Gob-smackingly beautiful. With wing-spans almost as big as a house, their muscles have to be powerful and just about every story has a dragon who outwits its attackers. Beauty, brawn and brains too!
Artistically, this has always caused me a problem. Just one day, I would love to draw a butch dragon however, when I try to draw terrifying dragons, they always end up looking cutsey. Not good unless they are aiming for lulling adventurers into a false sense of superiority. (hmm... could be an idea...) Solution: Draw just a fraction of one... Dragons are so large that we would rarely see all of it in one glance - plus I love drawing eyes...
Roleplayer series #3 Dragons eye at Redbubble (also in print and direct sale badges and Portable Art)
While looking for a second creature drawing, for this series, I was reminded of the Cockatrice. These are interesting creatures; part chicken/Rooster and (guess what!) part Dragon! Maybe I could make this look a little more menacing? Big sharp beak and curved claws are menacing. (Have you ever been chased by an angry, territorial Rooster? Trust me - scary, painful stuff). Still not sure if it is nasty though. Maybe it was having a good day? Available at Redbubble - Roleplayer series#4 Cockatrice.
So, from pre-historic art, to myths, to cockatrice, to t-shirts; that is the segue for today. Happy Adventuring!
(and don't eat too many Easter eggs)