Who hasn't, during their childhood, held a solemn funeral ceremony for a pet? In this case, though, junior has yet to learn that, when writing the eulogy, 'hellfire and damnation' sermons are not the place to look for inspiration. That's altogether the wrong type of sermon.
I promised I wouldn't draw any more kids with horns and tails, but.....I couldn't resist. Sorry. This is basically an experiment with composition and a slightly different style of watercolour.
Nope, none of these are Kadoak, and they are not his siblings....but let's just say that they are related to him in some other, direct way. Quite possibly, anyway.
Sorry about the lag when it comes to replying to all your comments - I'll get to them on Saturday, hopefully.
Enjoy! And if you do, please comment! I live for comments. :3
Hey guys! (Yet another style U-turn, whoops.) This is a lineart of the Scottish Nicnevin and/or Gyre Carline, who is Queen of the Unseelie Court of Alba. Quene of Elphame, in other words.
And, a pivotal character in my putative comic, Invicta! (Hah! You guys thought it was dead...nope, just bedridden for a wee while.)
A bit of background....
"She reigns with a male consort at her side, but his name is never given, it is my guess he changes with her moods. She ... appears sometimes in the Scottish tales as Habetrot, a crone-like spirit known for her magical powers of spinning, weaving and clothmaking. It is said she wears a long grey mantle and carries a white wand and can appear as an old crone or a beautiful young woman. White geese are sacred to her and their cackling may herald her arrival. In this we see she is linked with the Germanic goddess Holda… Hel, queen of the Underworld, the leader of the Wild Hunt in Norse legend. She is Mother Nicnevin, queen of witches, the Mother of Witches, the “great muckle Wallowa”." (sarahannelawless.com/2009/06/1…
Or, she is a....
"a gigantic and malignant female, the Hecate of this mythology, who rode on the storm and marshalled the rambling host of wanderers under her grim banner. This hag (in all respects the reverse of the Mab or Titania of the Celtic creed) was called Nicneven in that later system which blended the faith of the Celts and of the Goths on this subject. The great Scottish poet Dunbar has made a spirited description of this Hecate riding at the head of witches and good neighbours (fairies, namely), sorceresses and elves, indifferently, upon the ghostly eve of All-Hallow Mass. In Italy we hear of the hags arraying themselves under the orders of Diana (in her triple character of Hecate, doubtless) and Herodias, who were the joint leaders of their choir, But we return to the more simple fairy belief, as entertained by the Celts before they were conquered by the Saxons."
(Sir Walter Scott.)
Or...at least, those are two versions. The problem with this Goddess-turned-Faerie-Queen-upon-the-arrival-of-Christianity is that she seems to have more faces than the proverbial Cerberus. Thomas the Rhymer maintains that she appeared to him in a version so pure that he took her to be the Virgin Mary. According to version A of the aforementioned Thomas the Rhymer ballad (Child #37) she was wearing a skirt of grass-green silk and a velvet mantle, and was mounted on a milk white steed. The steed had 59 bells on each tett (lock of matted hair). I went with the bells in the mane for this image, although I don't think that there are 59 bells there, so I compromised by adding bells on her saddle-blanket, not an option permitted in either of the three versions of the ballad, but oh well.
In any case, I've always wondered how Thomas knew the number, anyway....was it a flash of divine providence, or was he a distant ancestor of Sesame street's 'The Count', and tormented by the pressing desire to count things, or did she say "by the way, there are 59 bells in my horse's mane. Just in case you're gonna, oh I don't know, dictate a famous ballad about me or something." So I think I can probably be forgiven for a little artistic license.
So, here's the symbolism;
In Invicta, she's not just Queen of the Scottish Faeries, but I wanted to reference her Scottish roots - thus, the embroidered thistles on her velvet mantle, and the drawing of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Scotland, in the top right hand corner. In some stories, she is reputed to ride out on Samhain from the top of Ben Nevis. As the Quene of spinning, weaving an clothmaking, I thought that fine clothes would probably be fitting.
Thomas the Rhymer mentions she wears a long mantle and a skirt, but because I'm so bloody minded I decided to misunderstand him and draw her in only a mantle and a skirt. Besides, many previous paintings that concern her or other celtic goddesses often go for a topless theme. And they don't even try to conceal the fact that they've just painted topless women by adding urns, vases or cherubs, which I believe is the standard practise. Tut-tut.
She has her white wand, her 'Slachdan' (of birch, willow, bramble or broom) strapped to her skirt, and she carries a hunting horn, referencing her role as leader of the wild hunt. There are driads behind her, which stand for her eldritch entourage, and ghosts, as she was also reputed to ride out with the dead. In fact, some people believe that faeries are no more than ghosts. In addition, the lilies represent both death and purity (ironic, that.)
After Christianity arrived, she became known as the Quene of the faeries and/or the Goddess of death and disease. For that reason, I have included multiple skull motifs in the various patterns. The Celtic-looking designs obviously reference the people she came to be associated with (regardless of where she started out.) Her reins are made of bones and teeth, as in her original German/Nordic forms she was associated with bones and iron noses and teeth. (Don't ask me why.) There are geese and ghost motifs on her horn.
I referenced her face from various medieval or medieval-inspired paintings, the most notable of which was probably the Lady of Shalott (1888.) Vaguely, anyway.
Oh wow, would you look at that - I've written you guys a frikkin' novel. Sorry 'bout that! Anyway, enjoy! I may very well be doing a watercolour and a digitally coloured version, but I make no promises.
From Thud, by Terry Pratchett:
"We need to know the truth, Vimes. Commander Sam Vimes's truth. It may count for more than you think. In the Plains, certainly, and much further. People know about you, commander. Descendant of a watchman who believed that if a corrupted court will not behead an evil king, then the watchman should do it himself-"
"It was only one king," Vimes protested.
"Sam Vimes once arrested me for treason," said Vetinari calmly. "And Sam Vimes once arrested a dragon. Sam Vimes stopped a war between nations by arresting two high commands. He's an arresting fellow, Sam Vimes. Sam Vimes killed a werewolf with his bare hands, and carries law with him like a lamp-"
"Where did all that come from?"
"Watchmen across half the continent will say that Sam Vimes is as straight as an arrow, can't be corrupted, won't be turned, never took a bribe."
Please comment if you fav or like this - I love for comments, I really do!
My name is Roisin, and I’m currently doing a full time Bachelor of Digital Design (Animation, film…) and loving every second!
I’m also Dragon, Drow, Elf and general fantasy-obsessed, and am of the very strong opinion that there is not enough time in all the world to do everything I want to do…
Oh well, there’s always parallel dimensions and my epic timetravelling skills…..
Current Residence: Ankh-Morpork
Favourite genre of music: Music with rocks in
Favourite photographer: Too many to list.
Favourite style of art: classical/ traditional
MP3 player of choice: Philips
Wallpaper of choice: Raphael/Michelangelo
Skin of choice: human.
Personal Quote: I am not, as a rule, quotable.