Jan 14, 2011
I spent a long time working on this painting. Since the new year I've been trying my hand at more traditional media because I wanted to challenge myself. I hadn't used physical paints since freshman year so it has been taking a little adjusting. There is certainly a lot more clean up involved.
This was done with an acrylic paint on watercolor paper. Pretty soon here I want to try painting on an actual canvas. I did do a little cheating and add the tint of the water over it in photoshop. I also smeared the paint that is above the water line to give it the impression of refraction, and then added some effects to make it once again look like paint strokes. I think its fairly seamless.
As you may have guessed, its my submission for the topic "East Asian Monsters" and shows a Kappa lurking in a river, watching a monk passing by. A kappa is a traditional monster from Japanese folklore. They are mischievous creatures and among other things have been blamed for drownings. The indentation on the top of its head is supposed to be a source of their power and as such, they must kept full when they are away from a water source. If it is made to spill it, then they become immobile. Kappas are said to obsess over being polite and if you give a bow to a kappa, it would be compelled to return the courtesy. The kappa will spill the water in its head it will be unable to leave the bowed position until filled again. Folklore says that a kappa will serve for all eternity any human who refills his head. They are also very fond of cucumbers.
I'm posting two versions: the original painting and the then the one with the features I added in photoshop.