Postcard 5: The Green Thing
This postcard is one of my favourites so far. I was considering what a demon of the water would look like. Obviously, it could look like anything, but it occurred to me that you don’t see many catfish in common myths. The only one that sprang to mind was a creature in the ‘Jim Henson’s The Storyteller’ episode ‘Fearnot’. Between that and the Smeagol-Gollum sequence at the start of Return of the King, I had my demon. I looked up a lot of whiskers, eyes and armour plates to get the right look, and based the general anatomical layout on a very hunched humanoid.
Note the tessalating armour plates rather than scales – these are flexible and subcutaneous, and so stretch and bend with the creature’s movements. The translucent plate pattern is built up using many layers of green ink and white paint, highlighting a little more and using thinner glaze. The trickiest part is showing how the light bends and reflects from the recessed areas. Eventually the painter can create an effect resembling metallic and submerged edges.
This forms a counterpoint to the intense red-orange fireworks in the last postcard, with creepy, secluded misadventure in place of chaos and terror. Both belong in the same dark, fantastical world.
I did think up some back story for this ‘ere gribbly beast, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve written it.
Acrylic on greyboard, 162 x 238mm.
Daler-Rowney FW inks:
Black, Olive Green
W&N Galeria paint: