Monster-a-Day - Simurgh Picture

Part of a series of paintings for my Water Media class this past semester. The assignment theme was "Everyday" leaving it very open to interpretation. I opted for a painting a day to fit the theme and allow me to paint things that interested me.

For about a week I painted one 8"x8" painting of mythological/folk creatures from around the world. I worked primarily from descriptions only and reference real world animals for the monsters. Some of the backgrounds are based on real places others are based on photos found online.

Here is the simurgh, a giant, benevolent, dog-bird hybrid of Persian mythology. In this image I depicted it as flying along the coastline it inhabits, checking in on the human inhabitants of the same area.
This one was causing me some trouble with the green feathers bleeding into the yellow coastline and the blue water bleeding into the yellow as well. A bit of black gouache solved my problems though. And then the actual creation of the simurgh was difficult. I wanted to use a dog species found in that area of the world which wasn't too difficult. Blending it with two different birds was where it got tricky (mainly because I'm not skilled with drawing canines or bird wings to begin with).
If you look really carefully you can make out a statue on top of the tower closest to us. The statue is of the simurgh!

Done with watercolors, gauche, and a little acrylic.
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