"Thep Kinnaree" Sketch

A concept sketch of "Thep Kinnaree".  I had this idea to do a drawing/painting of a half-human-half-bird being, so started my research into the harpy this afternoon.  It was all interesting, but once I stumbled on an image of a Thai statue of Kinnaree in gold with ornate head dress and other details, I was immediately captured by its unique beauty.  Not familiar with the Thai mythology at all, I did a quick look-up and found out that she is a mythological figure who is half beautiful woman and half swan.  The upper body is that of a woman and her hips down is supposed to be the body and the tail of a swan.  Well, none of the sculptures and painted images I saw depicted "lower body of a swan".  Let's face it, swans have horribly short legs and webbed feet.  They may be graceful gliding on the water, but on land, aside from their long necks and white feathers, they look as wobbly as ducks. (Ducks are cute!  Don't get me wrong...)  So I can see why the artists past and present have taken their artistic license in their creation and given Kinnaree more like the legs of a crane and the tail of a peacock, elongating the lines all around. (Either that or something must have gotten lost in the translation of the word "swan"...) ^^;  Mine is no exception.  Aside from the long thin feathers trailing behind her, I based my Kinnaree pretty much on the traditional Thai images of this mythological creature.

I'll most likely be adding lotus flowers in the background once this gets to the inking stage for the line art.  Looks like it will be a lot of fun! ^^

Edit:  OK, so I learned something new today.  I looked up Kinnaree using the Japanese Google and there was a mention that this figure appears as one of the many Buddhist protective deities in Buddhist paintings and that it is called by the name 緊那羅(きんなら)(kinnara) in Japanese, based on the Sanskrit pronunciation, kimnara.  No wonder it looked vaguely familiar...


  1. Love the peacock feathers. They are my favorite real bird (the phoenix being my favorite mythological bird.) ;D

  2. Thank you. ^^ You know, the first idea I had was to draw a Firebird dancer. My brain tangented: firebird -> phoenix -> harpy -> kinnaree. Haha.

  3. wow! looks like a great sketch - i think the inspiration for the drawing is also equally wonderful - i have no doubt itll turn into a beautiful painting ^^
    have any ideas for a color scheme yet?

  4. Thank you. ^^ I'm thinking of colors like gold, orange, brown, burgundy,... warm, earth tones (the same kind of colors like my last piece).


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