Saturday, June 14, 2008


"Kappa" sketch

Sketchbook page, 2008

I spent a few hours at a friendly local (and American in origin) fast food joint. While there, saw a dude in line at the checkout whose posture and build struck me as interesting. Luckily, they were busy and he had to stand there for a while. I only got a few glimpses at his face and never saw his lower half anyway, but got this sketch made.

The drawing began with the full standing figure, proceeded to exaggerating the few looks I got at his face, and went to the drawing of our new friend on the left. When I saw the guy in line, I thought of a turtle-like Japanese mythological creature called a kappa that I read a lot about this week. There's a bowl-ish haircut named after the do they are supposed to have, and the dude in line had it. He looked like what I would want a kappa to look like, so I dug in while I could, playing with the posture. Real dude didn't look near as bad as my version of him.

My kappa has the haircut, and I tried to leave a space for its primary feature, a depression on the top of its head in which water must be for it to retain its dangerous mojo. If you are a polite person with a habit of bowing, then it will return this bow, lose its precious H2O, and you're in the clear. So remember kids, don't be rude little bastards or a horrific water-dwelling turtle monster will come up under you in the water and there'll be no more of you - no sir.

Brought up thoughts of one of my first affinities in drawing that I felt alright at - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I think I was tracing them out of a Nintendo Power magazine I had in the 4th grade, and its one of the first things I can remember actually drawing for other people's requests. Knowing that their standard design is still my default for a humanoid-turtle, I tried to get as far away from that as I could, at least in the details. Hence the rib-y anterior plates and knobby shell.

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