Shedu Picture

Originally, I wanted to call this creature a Lammassu. However I discovered that that would be incorrect after a quick bit of research.
A Lammassu is a type of benevolent female deity from Mesopotamian myth, commonly depicted with the body of a winged lion with the head and possibly breasts of a woman. The male version is more defensive (they were often carved on doorways to protect a building) than merely benevolent and has the body of a winged bull. It's called a Shedu. So I've renamed this Shedu.

The inspiration came to me about six months ago, or maybe a year. When on a countriside drive to my uncle's in Aberdeen, on the way I saw a big-ass tan-coloured bull (that's right, folks, I'm such a city boy that it wasn't until I was 17 or 18 that I saw a real live bull). It was only for literally a second, but I saw it in some minute detail and took a mental photo. OhMyGod it had muscles sticking out in places that I never imagined it would get muscles sticking out, like on it's back, I mean I thought that it would have muscly legs but God, it was really something. If it was human it would have made every Mr. Universe cry with jelousy like a little girl who envies her friends' pretty dress but her mum told her to be nice even though she now hates her friend's guts, so she can't do anything about the searing bile surging up from her stomach other than to cry with frustrated loathing and rage and have a tantrum.

That night I did a sketch of it to reference later. Later still, I turned it into a Shedu (then Lammasu). And not until now have I gotten round to painting it up. I thought it was a nice twist on the usual depiction to add a smiling silver mask instead of a human face (I'm not confident with shiny metal so I'm pleased with the way it's come out). And I think the horns look more like those of a buffalo, but hey, they suit it too.

Watercolours, technical pen and white gouache on 200gsm hot-pressed paper
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