A birthday pic for my good friend dreddheads - a pixel version of his DreddSelf!
If you’ve not seen them already, check out the strangest collection of Judges you’ll ever lay eyes upon!
Just thought I’d put out a message for anyone interested. I kind of burnt myself out with my MMM project and on top of that I’ve had some family issues recently so I’d taken an impromptu break. I fully intend to get started up again very soon so look out for some new posts.
As an aside, I do intend to complete the 31 days of MMM but I will probably end up spreading them out and maybe doing some unrelated posts in between them.
Thanks to anyone who liked my stuff enough to follow and to anyone who read this, it’s really appreciated.
Day 18 - Horses!
I think it’s pretty evident from the amount of creatures based on horses that people love them. They can represent some of the best qualities, but they can also represent some of the the worst. Today we’ve got a selection of horse-based creatures for your perusal.
First up is the Unicorn. It was seen as a symbol of purity and grace as well as a having remarkable healing powers. It was not found in Greek mythology as it was considered a real animal living in India.
Next is the Pegasus. While now seen as a species of creature, Pegasus was actually a unique creature, the child of Poseidon and Medusa. He aided the hero Bellerophon in his many adventures.
The Hippocampus was the ultimate symbol of Poseidon’s dual patronage over the oceans and horses. He was often depicted ridding upon a chariot drawn by hippocampi.
The Kelpie was a water-horse from Celtic mythology with an ever-dripping mane and seal-like skin. In some stories it could transform into a beautiful woman, but it’s purpose was always the same - to lure people to a watery death.
The Qilin is often incorrectly refferred to as the ‘Chinese unicorn’. Though it is horse shaped, it is always shown with the cloven-hooves of a goat; and while it can possess one horn on it’s head, it more often has antlers. Descriptions vary widely, but it always has a mane that defies gravity and is scaled to some degree. It was a great omen to witness the passage of a Qilin.
The Nuckelavee is a monster from the Orkney Isles that shares roots with monsters across Scandinavia and Germany. It was also a water- horse with sinister purposes; bringing famine and drought and killing livestock. It had the torso of a human with a cyclopean eye on it’s back, flippers for front feet and no skin on it’s body. It is quite possibly the most metal monster I’ve ever heard off.
Finally we have the Nightmare. While not technically mythological, it does look cool.
Thanks again and hope you come back tomorrow for more MMM!
PS. Apologies for no post yesterday - Real Life TM. I will still be posting one pic for every day of March.
Day 17 - Undead!
Today we have a collection of deads. Rather than doing one particular type, I’ve chosen a few different kinds from various cultures.
First up is a vampire. Traditionally they were described as having purplish skin and covered in the linen wrap they were originally buried in.
The draugr is from Nordic mythology and is associated with the sea. They often protected buried treasure or grave sites.
The ghoul originated in Arabic traditions and is a considered a demon. It dwelt in graveyards and ate the flesh of the deceased.
The jiangshi could be considered a Chinese vampire, but there are notable differences. They had greenish skin, wore the garments of a Qing Dynasty official and suffered from rigor mortis.
Mummies have existed for thousands of years, but their undead nature is a much more recent tradition. They often have magical powers or are themselves the subjects of curses.
Revenants are undead beings who come back to life for a specific purpose, often to sommit acts of revenge. They were a High Medieval creation and can sometimes be depicted as heavily armoured.
Animated skeletons are a Middle ages and Gothic tradition. There is often dark magic involved in their animation.
Zombies originated from Hoodoo traditions and could either be drugged people or reanimated corpses. The modern interpretation are often the victims of a virus.
Ghosts have many different incarnations and traditions. They are always incorporeal but may or may not be invisible.
Wraiths are forms of ghosts, but more recently have taken on other properties. The use of wraith by Tolkien has lent wraiths a more sinister twist.
And come back tomorrow for more MMM!
PS - Just thought, I should probably have done a leprechaun today… Ah well.
Day 16 - Eqyptian Deities!
Today we have a selection of major Ancient Egyptian gods. There were other minor, lesser known, or regional gods as well as other more powerful gods but these gods were all highly revered and long-lived.
Atum - God of creation. The first god, who created himself and the the world. He lifted the souls of dead pharoahs to the heavens.
Thoth - God of knowledge, hieroglyphs and wisdom.
Ra - God of the Sun. It was believed that he created all life; the Egyptians referred to themselves as the ‘Cattle of Ra’.
Osiris - God of the afterlife and the underworld. He was the husband of Isis, brother to Set and Father of Horus. He was murdered by Set, who desired Osiris’ throne.
Isis - Goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility. She travelled the earth to recover the pieces of her murdered husband Osiris and brought him back to life.
Horus - God of vengeance, sky, protection and war. He had many battles with his uncle Set to avenge his father’s murder and to protect the people of Egypt from him.
Set - God of storms, the desert and chaos. While often seen as an ‘evil’ god he also held positive roles.
Anubis - God of embalming and protector of the dead.
Bastet - Goddess of cats, the home, fire, joy, dance, music and love.
Hathor - Goddess of the sky, love, beauty, motherhood and cows.
Ptah - God of creating, the arts and fertility.
Sekhmet - Goddess of fire, war, vengeance, healing and medicine.
Join me tomorrow for more MMM!
Day 15 - The Centaur!
The centaur were part-man, part-horse creatures said to have inhabited parts of ancient Greece. They are an example of liminal entities, beings who straddled the boundary between civilisation and nature.
They are portrayed in different ways, sometimes as drunken thugs who are more beast than man, while others such as Chiron are wise and noble teachers. Common skills associated with centaur are archery and astrology.
The centaur are believed to originate from the ancient Greeks first contact with men on horseback. To a culture with no concept of horse riding, the riders could be misinterpreted as part-man, part-beast (such as the Aztec reaction to seeing mounted Spanish troops).
Thanks and come back tomorrow!
Day 14 - The Hydra!
The first hydra was encountered by Heracles during his Labours. It was a serpentine reptile with multiple heads able to regenerate them if they were removed. Heracles managed to finally overcome it by cauterising the necks after removing the head so that the hydra could no longer regenerate.
Classical depictions show the hydra with a snake-like body but later versions can have legs. It’s also common for the hydra’s heads to look different, though not universal. Often it is shown as aquatic or semi-aquatic but it can also be a cave-dwelling monster (originally it was both, it lived in a lake/swamp that guarded the cave-like entrance to the underworld).
Another common characteristic was the hydra’s venomous bite and poisonous blood. It was so virulent that even it’s tracks were dangerous.
Come back tomorrow for more MMM!
Day 13 - The Golem!
The golem originates from Hebrew folklore and is an anthropomorphic being created from inanimate materials. The original golems were made of clay in an attempt to create life as God had with Adam. They were often rough-shaped and slow, able to carry out simple commandsi n a literal fashion, usually to the detriment of the creator. They were brought to life either with inscriptions either upon the forehead or written on paper which was then inserted into the mouth - one of the reasons why golems could not speak.
Later interpretations could be made of hardier materials, such as stone or metal. (Fun Fact - when I first read the Hobbit I was maybe 7 years old and spent a large amount of time playing Heroes of Might and Magic II, which featured iron and steel golems. I basically spent a couple of years thinking that Bilbo was being chased through goblin tunnels by a giant metal man…)
Modern fantasy golems can usually be made from a variety of materials though their mental capacity can differ greatly. The idea that words and inscriptions give them life is generally upheld through the use of magical runes. They can even fill the roles in fantasy that robots do in science-fiction - it’s thought that golems were an inspiration for Capek’s invention of the robot in 1921. Though he denied this at the time, the similarities are convincing.
Thanks and I hope you check tomorrow for another MMM!
Day 12 - The Cyclops!
Today we have the cyclops, a giant with only one eye. There are differing origins for the cyclops in Greek mythology. On the left is a later version but perhaps more well-known, this cyclops is like the one met by Odysseus. These cyclops are shepherds but also will eat men.
Next up is one of three cyclops that take part in the Titan-Olympian war after Zeus frees them from the depths of Tartarus. These cyclops are blacksmiths who forge Zeus’ lightning bolts, Hades’ helmet and Poseidon’s trident. It’s speculated that the cyclops single eye stems from the blacksmiths practice of wearing an eyepatch to avoid blinding both eyes during accidents.
Finally we’ve got a more beastly cyclops that is again in a more fantasy style. Another theory on the origin of the cyclops is that the Greeks found fossilised dwarf elephant skulls - their large nasal cavity looking like a single eye socket.
Come back tomorrow for more MMM!
Day 11 - The Phoenix!
The phoenix was a bird that typically would die by succumbing to flames and the been reborn from the ashes. This life/death cycle meant that it was associated with the sun, rebirth and was also adopted by early Christians to represent Christ’s resurrection.
It originated, most likely, in Greece but it is thought it either influenced or was influenced by the Egyptian benu, a heron-like bird also asscociated with the sun and rebirth.
Classical descriptions give the phoenix a nimbus of light and a crest of feathers on it’s head and a colourful plumage. It’s colour is not agreed upon but it is often associated with the colour purple; and though that, royalty. A phoenix’ size ranges from a rooster in some descriptions to larger than an ostrich in others.
I’ve decided to draw a smaller, more classical-based phoenix on the left, complete with nimbus, crest and plumage at a bit-bigger-than-a-rooster-maybe-peacock size. This is a more realistic phoenix like that of Fawkes from the Harry Potter films. On the right is a more fantasy-based phoenix, eagle-like in shape though many times larger than a human and wreathed in flames. Some depictions using this template go even further and have the phoenix composed of flames, but that would probably take me all night to draw ;)
Thanks again and come back tomorrow for more MMM!