I didn't like learning how to paint the first time. It's just not really my thing. I learned some watercolor and some acrylic so that I could paint a picture if that particular idea demanded to be painted (I've mentioned that visual ideas have a mind of their own) but only rarely did I have a meditative 'flow' moment when painting.
And now, I am besieged by ideas that demand to be painted. And they want to be painted digitally. They're very specific about this.
So, I'm trying to keep myself amused while I bang my head against learning to paint. Today's image is thanks to WoW, Google image search, and as always, Wikipedia. In WoW, there are hippogryphs. Traditionally, a hippogryph is a bird/horse hybrid, just as a gryphon is a eagle/lion hybrid. The in-game hippogryphs always looked a bit more like deer or antelope to me though.
So I got to thinking: Regular hippogryphs look like the bird portion came from a really big bird. However, birds are known for their variation and world-wide presence. They aren't like equines, which have horses, donkeys, zebras, (and Onagers, but that's a bit obscure) and that's about it. Now, antelope are also a very successful group, if you loosely define group. Antelope is sort of a catch-all category for stuff that isn't goats, sheep, cows, or horses. Antelope are all over Africa, have a presence in Asia, and were well-represented in the Americas before almost all of North America's megafauna died out about a million years ago. (Just coincidentally when humans were migrating throughout the Americas...*cough*)
So, if hippogryphs can look like bird/antelople as well as bird/horses... wouldn't there be a lot of different kinds of hippogryph?
Enter one of my all time favorite animals: The dik dik.
I suggest you try to get all of your giggling done in one go.
I made a dik dik the donor for the antelope portion of the hippogryph image above. I chose a sparrow for the bird portion for familiarity sake, because the colors were compatible, and because the beaks are interestingly hard to get right.
And now, a sad rant:
Originally, I wanted to include a picture of a dik dik with some sort of scale element in this post. Dik dik are tiny, tiny animals, and therefore funny. I wanted to visually share that with you, but I'm afraid I'm not up to it. Every image I find of a dik dik next to anything recognizable is a picture of a dead dik dik. Not just a dead one, one that has been shot as part of an African Safari, and is now being displayed for the camera.
I've always had a problem with stuffed trophy heads and the like, but this is just the sickening extreme of that behavior. You shot something completely harmless that is the size of a large hare, and you're just so proud of yourself that you have your buddies take a picture to document your skill and bravery?