Gytrash



 This submission of the mythology sketchgroup is the Gytrash: 

A kind of sinister fairy from the folklore of northern britain. At night, it can take the form of a large horse, donkey or sometimes a shaggy black dog with webbed feet. It has huge saucer-shaped eyes and walks with a splashing sound. It is generally described as lurking silently by the side of the road waiting for unwary travellers; however, some stories speak of it in a more positive light as helping to lead lost travellers to safety. There is a memorable description of the Gytrash in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. (see also Padfoot)

I chose the horse iteration of the creature, playing with the idea of a drowned animal seeking revenge upon all others to suffer a similar fate. The saucer-shaped eyes seemed like a chance to play with the eerie alertness of an unnaturally emaciated wretch.

Ky-Lin



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.

Pouaki

Always moving and sketching is important to continual growth. That's why Sho, David  and I have dug up the weekly sketchgroup again, this time with a narrower focus. Every week one of us will pick a random creature from David's big book of mythological monsters, and with a limited timeperiod, we'll jam out a quick sketch how we would envision it. So for this week, we've chosen the Paoki:

In Maori legend, Pouaki is a monstrous bird that hunts for people and livestock. Its predations were ended by the cunning plan of the hero Hau-o-Tawera who caused his people to fashion a great net in which to trap the bird. Waiting in hiding, they baited the trap and entangled Pouaki in the net while stabbing it to death. A similarly named bird, Poukai, who may be the same being, is similarly trapped by a pair of hunters led by Pungarehu who travels into the Otherworld after many people have been taken away by it. They chop off the bird's wings and find the remains of their fellow villagers, but on their return they find that all their relatives have died or become much older, since their time in the Otherworld was longer than they had imagined. 
I've decided to create a burly, muscular looking monster that looks strong enough to carry people away. I referenced some shark elements as part of a lot of Maori environmental threats, built around the body of a golden eagle, and shaped the wings like those of a sleeker seagull.