This one was a bit of a process. My first attempt I tried to skip the whole design process and just get to the sketch while doing a sketchnight with friends. Needless to say, it ended up lifeless, unoriginal, and akward. Unsatisfied, I gathered my research, sprawled out hordes of thumbnails, and launched into it again during another sketchgroup, and met with much more success. I opted out of creating a 'noble, gentle' creature to try my hand at capturing the passion a Chinese dragon invokes through an energetic action. So here is what our description was:
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.