Thursday, December 30, 2010


Kelpies are vicious creatures from Celtic mythology who lure children to lakes, drown them, and eat them. They can take the form of horses or beautiful women. Either way, when you try to ride them, their skin becomes adhesive, bonding you to them, and they drag you to your watery demise. You know, that old chestnut.

Little Kimberly discovers why you should never tear the tag off your pillow.

If you have any kelpie designs of your own, let me know and I'll post them below, along with these fantastic artists. Or you can join us January 14th for...


Storyman extraordinaire Vi-Dieu Nguyen and I usually come up with a random adjective and noun to form these challenges, and it's odd how fitting they are sometimes. For this one, we also added a random location, for which I (being a huge fantasy nerd) chose Westeros. Those of your familiar with George R. R. Martin's fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire, will notice how fitting "winter" and "wolfmen" are with the location "Westeros."

My previous countdown was for Gallery Nucleus's Breath of Embers show, which has unfortunately been moved to October 2011. There was only one event as countdown worthy as a gallery of dragon artwork:


Zane Yarbrough said...

dude austin this is so cool man love that you did a full blown illustration...I posted mine up you should take a look!

Vi said...

Haha. It's like some metaphor for wetting your bed.

Nate Villanueva said...

Poor kelpies. These are great! I posted my over sized kelpie on me blog as well.

Carrie Liao said...

All of these are awesome! :)

Q: Why is it called "Chades Challenge"? Just curious!

Megan Nicole Dong said...

That is hilariously creepy! I love that you included a puddle of water and gave him glowing eyes.

Unknown said...

Zane- Thanks for contributing! It's cool to see someone incorporating both forms of Kelpie.

Vi- Yeah, there's something about wet monsters that makes them more haunting/out-of-place, like The Ring.

Nate-Grazie man, and welcome to the Chades Challenge. Bonus points for working in the Krampus, another terrifying mythological being.

Carrie- It's Chades like "Cha"racter "Des"ign. I used chades to shorten "character design" in all my notes at CalArts, and just kind of liked it. I pronounce it like "raids" but others have said "Kah-Dez". Whichever works!

Megan- Thanks, it was fun to draw! It's good to have so many contributing. I definitely drew inspiration from your sketches of Kelpies hunting kids.

Zane Yarbrough said...

Thanks man! Yeah the reason I did that is because I read somewhere that they shape shift from horses to the girl I drew last is actually the same kelpie as the one in the first drawing!

Megan: great stuff I loved the bug eyes on your drawings definitely pulled inspiration from your too!

Josh (musarter) said...

These are all great. I had never herd of kelpies; thanks for the eduction.

What location is the Westeros?