U is for Unicorn

I’m not sure why I do this, but every time I draw a unicorn, I situate him in this weird cardboard world, where the clouds, sun etc. are suspended from wires and everything is obviously scenery. Maybe I do this because the unicorn seems so whimsical, so manufactured, that I can’t even imagine putting him into my flat, goofy version of the “Real World.” I don’t know.

Sometime, I’d also like to draw the Unicorn in its natural habitat, a little girl’s Trapper Keeper. That was one concept I considered for this page, but ultimately, it seemed too out of step with the overall look of the project. Still, it’d be fun. I could do him in highlighter on notebook paper, galloping around scratch work and games of MASH.

I’m pretty pleased with this picture. The color scheme really came out nicely. I’m also happy I found somewhere in this book to stuff a dragon. I knew I wanted to do “D is for Dybbuk,” so the dragon was not going to get its own page. I’m  glad that it at least gets to play a supporting role here. I’m enjoying the way the dragon and the unicorn are fighting. It reminds me, now that I can take a step back and really look at it, of all those Triceratops vs. T-Rex drawings you see in kids’ dinosaur books.

The only thing I’m not thrilled with in this picture are the mushrooms. I’m not sure why, but they just don’t quite do it for me.  I should have worked a little harder on them.

One finall thought on unicorns: Someone once told me that the whole unicorn myth came out of a mutation that occurs in deer, causing them to grow one stunted antler out of the middle of their foreheads. Apparently, this mutation was pretty common, but these deer, for whatever reason, became a hot commodity and were hunted ruthlessly, which basically led to this mutation being selected out. This might be true, but it’s also concievable that medieval man was capable of imagining a horse with a horn on it. It’s kind of weird the way we never give our ancestors any credit for creativity.

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