The Turaco Rider

There was this big green bird that hopped a lot in the pet store in the town my parents lived in.  Turns out, that bird was a turaco.  They’re pretty neat birds, so you should totally read about them.  For this, I picked the red-crested turaco, because it wasn’t too extravagantly colored, but wasn’t just the basic green bird I had seen in the pet store.

Most of the development for this piece was spent just working on the Turaco itself. The stylization was proving to be somewhat of a problem at first — there were so many potential ways to do it.

Though I could have likely pushed it more, once I decided I had enough potential variations, I went through and started the composition.

Mice or rats seemed to be a fairly logical choice for a rider just because of  their size.  Somewhere between the two would be the right steed-to-rider ratio.  Combining them with the turaco drawings I did, I was able to figure out just how much I did want to stylize them, and went forward from there.

There were a few fun influences in this one, I think.  Take a little bit of Final Fantasy‘s chocobos, combine with Bill Peet’s Cowardly Clyde, and a splash of Brian Jacques’s Redwall.  All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the result, considering it was a goofy, random idea.