I wanted to write about this piece as I felt it’s one of my more original ideas when looking at mythology creatures. This creature is from Japanese folklore and it’s referred too as the Abura-Akago.
How the legend goes:
In Japanese folklore a greedy merchant was caught stealing oil from villagers lamps. He would make his prophet by selling this oil back to the villagers at a higher price and it eventually led to many of these people being considerably worse off in the long run. So disgusted with this act the ancestors cursed the merchant to wonder the world as a spirit. A little fat creature that drank the oil from peoples lamps to survive. My rendition of the story is probably not very accurate and my drawing is maybe not what you would expect from the story I just told.
When I created this however I wanted to see what I could make different. Adaptations in the animal kingdom allow creatures to drink their food (instead of consuming it via eating). I decided to cross between a spider monkey in body but with the head of a humming bird. This allowed the project to meet the set criteria.
This creature would be nocturnal. It has developed feline style eyes as this is often used to see effectively in the dark and will allow it to focus at night. This creature prowls in the shadows on dark nights. It waits to drain the oil from a perch at a distance when no one is present.
To build the base the best way to do this was to work using shapes. Using shapes allows for blocking and the creation of an overall anatomically sound creature.
The colour scheme I picked of reds and oranges was purely coincidental at the time. I liked the warm colours and felt these would work best with a creature found around oil lamps. The colours allow the creature to seem warm. I added green in the bamboo to work as part of a Colour wheel’s complimentary colours.