Logo

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Having decided on a name I decided to make a logo for the book. Featuring greek-style examples of the two Ichthyocentaurs, it also contains elements of the Pisces constellation, alluding to its historic significance

logo4centaurai logos logo1 logo2 logo3

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Apotheon

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An indy game with a classical greek-inspired art style I recently saw for sale on PSN. This style could work well for a logo, or possible as background detail in the final illustrations

Mythical Creatures

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For my series of illustrations I am going to use mythical animals with roots in allegory and metaphor and redesigning them with a focus on their animal elements. I had initially planned on using classical mythical creatures such as centaurs and griffins as a basis for my design. Many of these classical creatures have their roots in ancient Greece or even earlier.

Feedback from my presentation suggested that I look into more unknown or local myths for inspiration. Bringing a lesser known creature to the forefront could be more interesting than something that has been redesigned for thousands of years. After some research I realised that classical Greek and Roman myths are often share similar roots to folklore, to the point where it becomes hard to separate them. There are several types of creatures that I am considering:

Horses

Frequently seen in classical Greek and Roman myth as symbols of male sexual prowess and fertility, for example the Centaur (man-horse) and the Satyr (man-goat). Later Celtic societies, being dependent on the horse for survival considered it a link to the Gods – capable of understanding and delivering divine secrets.

In ancient Greek society white horses were sacrificed into the sea at sunset as an offering to the sun god. Sinse then there has been a continuous connection between horse and water, through to the Kelpies and Each Uisge (water horses) of recent Scottish folklore.

Hippocampus

  • from the Greek for “horse” and “monster”
  • typically depicted with the front half of a horse and scaly, fish-like hindquarters
  • A gold statue was found from the Kingdom of Lydia, dating back to the 6th Century BC.
  • A constant presence in mythology, through Greek and Roman, Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern societies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia#Early_history:_Maeonia_and_Lydia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampus_%28mythology%29

Kelpie

  • a horse like creature similar to the hippocamp, seen in Celtic folklore
  • head, neck , mane and legs of a normal horse , webbed feet, and a long, two-lobed, whale-like tail.
  • Also called a water horse, through some Kelpies are specific to streams and fords.
  • Many highland lochs have some kind of water horse story linked to them, including Lochs Ness, Morar and Lomond
  • Possibly a way to warn children away from dangerous bodies of water

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_horse

http://www.symbolic-horse.info/myth.htm

Phooka

  • from Púca, the Irish word from Hobgoblin
  • takes on a variety of shapes and sizes to wreak havoc, notably a pony, calf, bat or bird
  • when in horse form it rushes between a victim’s legs, and hoists them away across the countryside

http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/CreepyCreatures.html

Ichthyocentaur

  • from the Greek “ikhthis” (fish) and “centaurus”
  • depicted with the upper body of a man, the lower front of a horse, the tail of a fish and crustacean claw horns
  • a pair feature in Greek mythology: Bythos (Sea-Depths) and Aphros (Sea-Foam)
  • possible origin in the divine fish of Syrian mythology, later set as the constellation Pisces

http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Ikhthyokentauroi.html

http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/Z10.1.html

Merfolk

Mythical human-fish hybrids, featured an mythology worldwide. The first known record of mermaid was in stories from Assyria in c. 1000 BC. Mermaid mythology possibly originated in attempts to depict shamans in the process of transforming into fish, later adopted by Greeks and Romans as representations of water gods. Later sighting of seals and manatees were attributed to mermaids

Physical desciption varies by region, at time appearing human with the ability to breathe underwater (arabia and persia), as pale spirits that move like floating weeds (eastern europe), a fish-like creature (japan), and with the ability to weep pearls (china).

Marrow

  • female inhabitants of ‘Tir fo Thoinn’ – the Land beneath the Waves
  • From the irish “muir” meaning sea and “oigh” meaning maid
  • In Kerry, Cork and Wexford, they wear a small red cap made from feathers, which they abandon to come ashore

Selkie

  • Similar to Marrows,  found in Scottish, Irish and Icelandic folklore
  • From Old English “seolh” (seal)
  • Appearing like normal women, they wear seal skins to allow them to live as seals and breathe underwater and shed them to live on land
  • Hinding a Selkies skin with prevent it from returning to its seal form

Melusine

  • European spirit of fresh water
  • usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down
  • sometimes shown with wings, two tails, or both

http://mentalfloss.com/article/12685/10-legendary-monsters-europe

http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/CreepyCreatures.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_horse

http://www.symbolic-horse.info/myth.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia#Early_history:_Maeonia_and_Lydia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampus_%28mythology%29

http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Ikhthyokentauroi.html

http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/Z10.1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie

http://www.pantheon.org/areas/bestiary/articles.html

Project Plan – Gantt Chart

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A Gantt chart I created to help me plan my project. Time management has been a weak point for me in the past so i’m hoping that I can stick to the plan and stay honest with myself about how the project is progressing.

https://www.tomsplanner.com/?template=new#doc=mHDkAuNUOuQmWIzPQOig

timetableI also found a website that logs Timesheets online for free:
http://www.onlinetimesheet.com/

Presentation Feedback

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My idea for a final project was to create a series of 3 or 4 illustrations of mythical or fantasy creatures. The idea was to build on my love of drawing realistic animals by finding a chimera (combination) animal with the traits of many different animals rolled into one to keep it interesting. I plan to use possible origins of the myth and influences from nature to make creatures appear as if they have evolved and could exist naturally.

As I researched I became more and more interested in the links between different classical fantasy creatures and their extraordinary origins in either animals or metaphors. This bogged down my presentation somewhat, as I lost focus on what my project ultimately is and got lost in the mythology. I felt I failed to communicate my idea properly and it became clear that the project needed refining and planning before I could begin.

The panel had several suggestions for improvements;

  1. Focus on 1 or 2 beasts : work on making the models and textured as detailed as possible by focusing on a few models. Multiple illustrations can still be made from the one model
  2. Look into lesser known folklore for inspiration : well known Greek legendary creatures are overdone, with multiple well known adaptions and redesigns. I could look into local folklore tails for lesser known creatures
  3. Focus on creature designs  : while I had planned to CAT rig the models for multiple poses, I should focus on making the creature design and execution as believable as possible
  4. Make a detailed timetable : Breakdown into a day by day map of the project requirements, including the hours required to complete tasks

Before moving forward I will create the timetable mapping the next 3 months, including time for a possible relocation to Canada and working with SpinVFX. Then I shall finalise my search for mythical creatures and start sketching