Garuda's Court Picture

I wanted to call this "The King of Birds and His Court" but sadly it was a little too long.

My entry for the second round of ~SagomeKitsune124's contest. The theme this time was countries; I got Thailand. We were meant to pick some figure or creature representative of the country. I picked Garuda, king of birds, who is actually the national symbol of Thailand: [link]

This isn't meant to depict a specific story of Garuda; instead I thought that since he is the king of birds, he would sometimes hold court and listen to all the birds and their petitions or reports. So that's the idea here. And where else would he hold court but in Himmapan forest, the forest between heaven and earth?

As for the rest, my research, let me show you it:

Garuda is in the center, he is attended by his two sons, Nok Sumpatee (red/gold) and Nok Sadayu (green/gold). Both of them feature pretty prominently in important legends, helping out heroes and such. Also in attendance are two of the Thep Kinnaree, who are half woman, half swan.

The bird on Garuda's fist is the Brahminy Kite, which is considered to be the real-world incarnation of Garuda in India.

(Thai mythology has a lot of really awesome mash-ups, I am seriously disappointed I didn't get to draw the elephant-headed birds or the winged tigers, but I couldn't work them in.)

The birds are all species that live in Thailand. I don't have all the names in front of me, but they include: eastern great egret, cotton pygmy goose, white-bellied sea eagle, silver pheasant, pied imperial pigeon, magpies, blue-crowned hanging parrot and the oriental white-eye.

/research

This is probably the most complicated piece I have done in recent memory, with by far the most figures. It was done 100% in Photoshop; I thought about sketching it freehand, but I quickly realized I needed the flexibility of digital to get everything the way I wanted it. As it was I originally meant the piece to be 11 x 14" but had to expand it to 11 x 17". I will post a WIP thread a little later.

It was a fair amount of work but I'm pretty proud of this. I do think I will try to do other Thai mythological creatures in the future because there were a lot of cool ideas I didn't get a chance to use.
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