The Alicanto

Large gold bird


This image was one I did of a giant golden bird called the Alicanto for a myth and legend series. The myth comes from old American folklore from the time of the gold rush. It’s said to live in mines, eat gold and chase away miners who got too close to it’s food source.

My inspiration for the Alicanto was a collection of different birds of prey, I tried to replicate the sharp and angled face of these birds and I feel this was achieved with some degree of success, As I designed the creatures body I tried to create a powerful land based bird similar to an Ostridge or an Emu, I achieved this by using a larger jutting chest plate for the bird, this combined with its leg stance gave it a grounded and powerful look. The idea was an animal that if caught in a fight wouldn’t need to fly but instead could charge forwards at speed.

The Alicanto colour pallet was majority reds, yellows and oranges. However I did start to think about incorporating blues and purples into the shadows in order to better emphasize the glossiness of what are supposed to be metallic feathers. This being said it isn’t as prominent but this was also due to me attempting to design sharp feathers made of metals rather than the softer feathers you would find on actual birds.

Overall this is one of my favorite pieces of work and is one I would look at doing in future with more emphasis on location and story.

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