Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Donestre

The Donestre

Even Monsters Get Sad

A couple months ago, a gentleman by the name of Jacob Covey contacted me about a book he was putting together — a "new, modern-day bestiary". It's a compilation of mythical creatures, done by contemporary artists. Having always been interested in drawing the fantastic, and even the super-fantastic (sorry, not the ultra-super-fantastic), I agreed to participate. Soon, I had a list of creatures to choose from, but the description of one in particular just sounded so very compelling:

A conflicted creature, it resembles a human with the head of a lion, including a long mane, huge eyes and round ears. It hunted travelers, leaving only a decapitated head beside which it would then weep.

I wrote back, and staked my claim on the sorrowful lion-man. I then began work on the image — and to my great surprise, I didn't do any further exploration on the character than the original quick sketch I had done while trying to decide which monsters to do:

Original Sketch for The Donestre

Of course, I had to take about 5 stabs at the watercolor before yielding one without screw-ups. I suppose that's the trade-off. Damn you, perpetually-balanced cosmos!

That's Great, Kevin. Why are you telling me this?

Because I did a limited edition print of The Donestre to sell in the Bearskinrug Store, Silly! So if you'd like to get yourself one, feel free to head over there now. There's only ten, so hurry!

Comments on this Article

There are currently 22 comments.

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Hugh G.

Very nice Kevin!

I'll see if I can put in a good word with the Cosmos for you. (He used to date my sister.)


When the feed loaded up in sage, I thought to myself “why is that lion so sad?”

Now I realise that it is a half-man, a wretched creature tormented by primal urges which he cannot control, try as he might.

Weep, weep for the Donestre! May his punishment be lessened, for his crime is not his own!


Wow Kevin - that's spectacular. It's like Where the Wild Things live - cubed.


Looks sweet!

The Philanthropist

Brilliant, although I like the sketch even better than the watercolor... I think its the sketches lack of detail...


I think you've interpreted the description really well...the watercolour is excellent!!


dude...I am NEVER getting out of the house again! This is scarry, really scarry!
I hate you Kevin you ruined my life! I hope some freakish lion-thing cries over your head, not mine....hargh hargh hargh "closes windows and blocks the door with the fridge"
....seriously speaking that watercolor is EVIL


Great again Kevin.

I like it when the process of creating such great work is opened up. I look forward to the book.


I'll just wnat to point out that a dude with a mustache THAT AWESOME could never be beaten by a crying lion/man.


Very cool! I used to play a similar creature in AD&D called a wemic (i apologize for being a geek). It had a wicked pounce attack... and I don't recall ever crying about it. There are some nice pics on google images if anyone wants to take a look.


Stunning piece Kevin. I absolutely love it. You really caught this creature perfectly. He looks sad, yet somehow dangerous (maybe it's the decaputated head). An exsquisite watercolour.


Purchased. Please include the original drawling to accompany this fine piece. Else I'll send swarms of locusts to pick at your homes foundation! Muhahaha!

Terry Tolleson

I wish I could justify the purchase of this print to my wife... Alas, my head would lie beside her decidingly non-weeping face if I made such a bid.

Fantastic job, Mr. BSR. No doubt, a big Sold Out will grace that image in your store soon.

Rob Wilmshurst

@Biga: Very much like Where the Wild Things live. I haven't read that in years...

I had to buy one. Hang the expense. I will destroy and weep over my bank statement in a few weeks :)


I love it, but I like the sketch a little bit better. I think it's the arm position that I like.

Awesome stuff!


Thanks everyone for the compliments!

Definitely, one of the reasons I went through 5 attempts on the final watercolor was I wasn't capturing what I loved about that sketch.

That's the thing about going from pencils to watercolor; things almost always have to "tighten-up", and that's when you risk losing the initially feel that is hidden in the looseness of the drawing.


Sweet stuff, Kev!

Awesome stuff.

Jordan: I love what you said, wicked ass english. I wish I could speak/type the english that well. (English is not my main/first language)


i'm very fond of your works , congratulations
(i keep the link for my blog )
thank you !


i think it's great that lion headed men still have a taste for circa 1800's bartenders...

jacob covey

Kevin, I had to weigh in here and say that the watercolor is brilliant. Hard to imagine how the beast would be more perfectly seen by anyone but the guy who loses his head in the deal. Sketch, great. Watercolor is amazing. You are a kind and talented man for keeping the bar so high on this book of ours.


It has to be my favorite monster. Belive or not, I nearly cried about it once. I feel sorry for it.


Yeah... that's what initially drew me to the myth — it was such a unique subject for a myth, that of a creature that can't control itself, and feels remorse. Much easier to sympathize with than a medusa, or some other creature.

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