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Friday, June 16, 2017

Recent Qilin Character Design Sketches 002 UNICORNS


Well, here were the recent character design sketches I did last week. They came up out of nowhere. I'm feeling much better about my sketching ability. It's still not at the level I would prefer, but you just gotta go through it to get to it!

I DID, however, reference 1 loosely from the late artist Ken Hultgren, whom was a lead artist whom worked on Bambi (Disney).

I still wanted, very much to stick with these designs/characters to be as simplified as possible... but, some of my artistic brain went a bit beyond it. I'm really working on trying to maintain the simplified feel. I suppose I don;t mind too much if it gets a bit Disney-ish, since they're the top standard for traditional animation, but trying to stay away from too many details like a comic book, or fine art. When doing poses like the ones I did, I wasn't sure yet how to think in simplified forms, and some of them went a bit anatomical. I have mixed feeling about that, because I don't want too much realism.

Anyways, it's a long process of development. I'm only in the pre production phase which means, lots or development, designing, practicing, experimenting, getting to know the characters, and so on. That also includes learning programs, timing, animation experimentation.

Many of THESE are the Dujiao Qilin or UNICORN Qilin.

I am also considering adding Chinese Dragons (called "Long") and other kinds of Chinese Unicorns, which are NOT Qilin.

獨角麒麟 Dujiao Qilin (Unicorns):

麒麟Typical Qilin:



It's important to note that altho' there are MANY MANY versions of Qilin for thousands of years, their heads are supposed to typically be more DRAGON LIKE. Dragons have their eyes set in the FRONT of their heads, with binocular vision like all typical predator skulls/heads.

Even tho' it's THE MOST common shape for dragons of all types by most artists (especially on the internet of whom I'm friends with countless)  we generally use a "basic horse shape head" however, we set the eyes NOT LIKE A HORSE. Horses are Herbivores (plant eaters) and have their eyes set on the sides of their heads to have wider vision, including behind themselves.

Altho' these are mythical creatures, it's important to understand biology & anatomy of live creatures, or even prehistoric ones, like dinosaurs.

The majority of my Qilin are equine or deer-like which is very common throughout most Chinese Dynasties. But, they also had bulky versions that were more oxen-like with bulky legs and very muscular, or even remind me of Western Draft Horses.

But, the EYES MUST be binocular DRAGON EYES. They MUST view FORWARD, and should be LARGE. Also, I've found that Chinese Dragons (Long) can often appear very human-like in their expressions even tho' they are also depicted as roaring like a beast. they are no common beast or brute, but were viewed in ancient times as "gods" or divine sprites/elementals. Qilin also.

Qilin & Dragons also have thick eyelashes, and distinct  brows with fluttery brows that appear to me like fishy-fins, or reptile spikes, but I've seen fluffy ones as well. It depends on the artist.

A Major reference for these comes from The Last Unicorn which were intentionally drawn with HUMAN EYES.

Mane & Hair:

I've decided to keep the beards & mustache (altho' I might lessen or delete them for females, but I haven't decided yet). So far, I generally view the one's I've been working on as MALE.

I am generally keeping the main to be more like that of a Horse. However, these beings are divine and heavenly (much like angels or fairies) so they defy gravity, because they're not fully of this world, and not entirely existing within the 3rd dimension. Their hair always flows upward, or even as tho' under water.

The tufts of hair are very typical of Chinese art (not sure which dynasties), especially on horses, but also on Dragons, Qilin, and other divine animal-like beings. Chinese "gods" ( "god" with a "little g" as there are many kinds of beings that can translate to English as "gods")  are benevolent, and these ones are specifically lucky, and life changing. The good fortune beings, sort of similar to Western fairy tales of the Fairy-Godmother whom grants wishes, or brings good fortune.

They are NOT the western equivalent of demons. The Eastern equivalent of "demons" can range from Yao Guai/Yao Gui, to Gui (ghosts) for even what are called "You" (sounds like "yo") which are basically the same thing. However, these beings are also not entirely evil, or can also be good. In the West you generally wouldn't think of demons or devils or sectors as good.

I have tufts of hair on the front legs, and the fetlocks. But, I'm deliberately keeping it super simplified, because I'm SO tempted to go more detailed, but that will screw up animation with too many details.

The tail is more Lion-like, but more like some artwork by Susan Dawe, yet simplified.


One interesting thing about Qilin is they are often depicted with parts of their bodies on fire. I haven;t come up with a design for that yet, and for the moment I'm sticking to the hair tufts. Altho' that WOULD look, pretty good animated.


I haven't actually scanned any of the sketches I was making, but I was playing with the teeth. Qilin have Dragon heads, which means they have FANGS.

That MIGHT seem strange, but camels ALSO hang fangs. Also, oddly, not all camels have their eyes set on the side, but some have them set forward facing with binocular vision in their skulls.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Unicorns, Rainbows, And Stars!

I've been redoing my graphics for Tumblr, Facebook, and elsewhere.

It struck me to do RAINBOWS after I was reviewing a number of the sources I'd mentioned in my previous blogposts.

I I have almost NO RAINBOWS in my work. The only 1 I can think of was the Sekhmet one I did for a stupid rigged Furries/Anthro' contest, that I never won both times, and the winners were just the buddies of the person having the contest.

Anyways, these are VERY Care Bears & Die Lezten Einhorn (The Last Unicorn) inspired in the coloring styles. Anyways, it turns out the people LOVE RAINBOWS!

Here's actually BOTH of the Sekhmet Goddess Pieces:

Here's This Dujiao Qilin Piece Reworked

I also did a PURPLE version for DeviantART's PrideMonth thingy.

Here's the progression of a number of changes I made to this graphic. I wanted to stay more minimalistic, but I felt it needed a but of SOMETHING. I went with a cool colors vibe, and started adding a stars. Eventually, it became a rainbow.