Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Benzaiten- New piece and Step-by-Step progress

I've created a piece to enter in a contest on an art forum. I was interested mainly for the possibility of a few entries to be included in an artbook. The theme was 'Ethnique- Women of Legend', so it was about choosing a female mythological or legendary figure from various cultures. Of course, I only found out about the competition 2 days before the deadline, but I do draw well under pressure ;)

As subject, I chose Benzaiten: The Japanese/Shinto equivalent to the Hindu goddess Saraswati, Benzaiten represents music, language, knowledge, poetry and speech.

Old Japanese prints were a big inspiration for style. The water and fishes represent the flowing nature of words and songs and the fact that both Saraswati and Benzaiten are associated with rivers. I've used chiefly tones of muted blues, orange and pink to represent the peaceful and feminine nature of the goddess. She is supported above the water by a moonfish (akamanbo) and accompanied by goldfishes: Both kind of fishes represent good luck, indicating her status of protector goddess and bestower of fortune.

Step 1- Pencil sketch (crappy digital picture, because I was too lazy to scan the large drawing in 2 pieces):

Step 2- Inking:

Step 3- A limited insight on the colouring process:

The finished piece!

A few closeups of details:

I've been wanting to draw a moonfish for a while now: I think they just look so gorgeous (and they're huge! Probably large enough for a dainty goddess to ride on, too!). Fishes in general are lots of fun to draw.

It would be awesome to be included in some anthology, but I'm quite happy with this one as a new portfolio piece, if nothing else. It was very enjoyable to create.


  1. The finished piece is really beautiful. Also, tres cool to see the process!

  2. Wow, this is really really amazing. I hope you got into that anthology! It is quite a fantastic piece of art :D

  3. hi! benzaiten is amazing! i took the liberty of reposting it on my website. hope it is ok

  4. I found this image online in a search for Japanese earthquake mythology images.

    It's stunning - is it for sale?
    I'd like to post it around too if that is okay...

    Welcome to the cloud - glad to have found your talent.

  5. I've been looking for a beautiful depiction of Benzaiten for my tattoo piece. May I use this? It is truly amazing!

  6. I really love this piece! seriously love it.
    i want to have this tattooed as a fullback piece but of course i want the artist permission first.

  7. Hello there!
    I am captivated with this beautiful portrayal of Benzaiten. With your blessing of course, may I please use this as the design for a costume I intend to enter into a contest in September? I will be honored to cite credit to you in whichever way you'd like :)