ATC: Kelpie

We’re back with a not very nice creature for this, my fifth ATC in my Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series.

This time we’re looking at the legend of the kelpie, a malevolent shape-shifting water spirit from Scottish folklore. They spend a lot of their time in or by rivers and streams, and usually take the shape of a tame horse or foal or pony. They do this to make themselves attractive to children, to encourage them to ride them – but this is where they turn sinister. Their coats are sticky, and whoever rides the kelpie cannot dismount. The kelpie then plunges beneath the surface of the water, and carries away its captive to be eaten at its leisure.

Like I said not very nice.

They also take the form of a human, sitting by the waters edge, or resting on a bridge, pretending to need some kind of assistance. Once again it is merely a ploy to grab itself a passing snack!

The kelpies can be captured though, simply by putting one of them into a bridle, and the one who does this then has control over not one, but all of the kelpies. Although they would need to be extra careful not to become stuck fast to the spirit first!

Created once again using pastels, gel pens and metallic markers, this was a rather quick ATC to create. My intention was to make the mane blend into the waves so the ‘horse’ became one with the water, but it would have become too dark, and the creature is already dark enough, I feel. Some of the gel pens have glitter in them, which really stands out on the kelpie’s eye, and I like how the face seems to have a wet look to it. Purely coincidental.


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