This is a commission I did for the Then It Was Dark Kickstarter that ended back in May. The backer’s sole instruction was to draw a peryton — which I only knew about from reading Skin Deep — so I had relative creative freedom on this. Perytons are also a relatively new kind of magical beast, having been created by Borges for his Book of Imaginary Beings.
A peryton is described as an “animal combining the physical features of a stag and a bird.” I took this to mean that I could combine any sort of stag with any sort of bird, as long as they looked okay together, so I mushed an Irish elk and a white-tailed eagle together. (Majestic as heck!) I also tried to meld them more than just sticking wings on a deer, so it has a feathered hindquarters, scaly rear bird feet, and a feathery neck ruff.
I added in the blob of starry sky in the antlers just because I thought it looked cool and implied that this peryton might have a special function.
The finished commission is drawn on 9x12 Bristol board, inked over very light pencil lines that I lightboxed from the undersketch. I wanted to have a clean original — whereas I usually pencil straight in blue lead and don’t bother erasing — since the backer is going to be receiving the original in the mail.
Thought other people on Tumblr might like to see a nice drawing I just finished, as well as a bit of my process.