Well, this is it people, the last day of the 47 Ronin contest. What 47 Ronin contest? Why, the one I'm participating in at Talenthouse.com for the new movie starring Keanu Reeves. The challenge was to design a mythical beast inspired by the movie which would then be subject to votes. (Deadline for votes is Monday December 23rd. Vote for my piece here: http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a3fa924eb874b92f4a55a0ba241309f7/6690
You can vote more than once on both facebook AND twitter of which I'm now a card carrying member-@ShawnAlleyneArt)
Part 1 of this series was me showing a little of how I created the character: http://shawnah-lean.blogspot.com/2013/12/komainu-origin.html
Part 2 was me exposing some of the artists in the contest for cheating(start up copy and paste): http://shawnah-lean.blogspot.com/
But now part 3 will bring us back to the making of.
Komainu are usually a pair of lion-like statue creatures that
guard the entrance of many Japanese shrines and are meant to ward off evil spirits.
I figured I would make him stand upright and anthropomorphic to give him more of a "presence" than being on all fours. I saw him as a wise celestial spirit that was peaceful but also bad-ass and could fight if need be. At first I was going to give him a khakkhara, which is a ringed Buddhist staff, to show that wise peaceful side, but I decided against it. In this version of him he has been corrupted by a demonic force and is all action.
After some sketching I had his design and pose. I knew I wanted to incorporate the ball that is part of a lot of the statues somewhere in the design.
I just thought it was really cool that these cat like creatures had this ball to play with, so I decided to go the Final Fantasy route where the characters have a lot of extra design elements that may not necessarily have any function. I threw a giant ball on his back, then gave him some ceremonial wraps to hold it in place.
With the pencils done, it was time to bring in a little assist in the form of colorist extraordinaire Renee Clarke.
See Renee's work here: http://shizuka-shi.deviantart.com/)
Renee is not only an amazing colorist and artist in her own right, she's also an awesome person and a pleasure to work with. I look forward to more collabos with her.
And voila, after a lot of time and effort, the finished piece.
I hope you enjoyed this little peep behind the scenes, and I want to thank everyone who voted and shared the link.
See you next time.