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.


ATC: Selkie

My fourth ATC in my Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series is a lot more friendlier than the kraken in the last one. She also dwells in the sea, but can also live on land if she desires.

Over time, she has become confused and mixed in with the mermaid, but she is a different creature entirely.

In the sea, she has the form and attributes of a seal, and takes human form when she’s on land by removing her seal coat. Selkies like to dance by the light of the Silvery Moon and really are gentle folk. Selkie men are devilishly handsome in human form, selkie women simply beautiful. They have been known to marry humans, but must always at some point return to the sea. A human who steals the selkie’s coat can claim her as his own, and she must remain with him until she gets her coat back. When she returns to the sea, she can not return to see her husband for seven years, but usually they never return – although if she bore children, she would occasionally play with her children in the sea.

They are really at home and happy in the sea, however.

My ATC depicts a selkie leaping from the waves, mid-transformation and letting her golden hair down before she even gets on land to remove her coat and stretch her legs. Created once again using pastels, gel pens and metallic markers, the colours on this ATC are quite subtle. I tried to take the best photo I could, but most had a little glare.

ATC: Kraken

Here we are with the third ATC in my Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series.

This mythical being wouldn’t really be considered friendly, however, not in the slightest. The Kraken, legend has it, is a powerful sea creature which captures and wrecks any unsuspecting passing ship on the high seas, pulling it to its doom beneath the waves. It appears to be some kind of giant octopus with many tentacles which wrap and twist and crush anything that it wants to grab hold of.

My ATC, created once again using pastels, gel pens and metallic markers, actually has the head of a shark, with sharp jagged teeth, as if the tentacles weren’t enough. The body tapers away to a strong tail behind it, which I haven’t added to this ATC. And from the body, the many tentacles emerge, all the way down to the poison-tipped tail. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that little snippet.

Like I said… wouldn’t really be considered friendly.

Good job then that it’s a mythical creature, I suppose…


ATC: Wyvern

So. I had planned on posting a new ATC each week for my new Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series. And here I am posting another ATC, a day after the first one.

Why? Well, thank you for asking. I so enjoyed creating yesterday’s Phoenix, I decided that I couldn’t wait until next week to do another, so went right ahead and created one right here right now. Well, earlier, as you’ll be reading this after the event.

Today’s Mythical Being is the Wyvern. Often mistaken for a dragon, wyverns have two legs whereas dragons have four. It’s an easy mistake to make, but don’t go calling a wyvern a dragon. They’re quite touchy.

Once again pastels, gold and silver markers and gel pens were used for this mini creation (2.5 inches by 3.5 inches is the ATC size).

If you think I’m a dragon
More fool you
Dragons have four legs
I have two
I have long strong wings
And a sharp barbed tail
Try to find me
You will surely fail
But pay attention
Look up and down
You may see my images
All around town
If it’s a dragon
That you think you see…
Remember the Wyvern
Remember me


I’ve reposted this little rhyme I’ve written about the Wyvern quite a few times, so I think it’s due for another outing.

Tomorrow, I shall try for a written post. But me and plans, y’know…

ATC: Phoenix

I’m back to being creative again… well, a little anyhow.

I’ve decided to venture on to a new series of ATC creations. ATCs (or Artist’s Trading Cards) are small artistic creations that measure 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. The last time I created ATCs was during July’s World Watercolour Month, when I did them using the medium of watercolour. Goes without saying really.

This time around, however, I’m not limited to watercolour. That isn’t to say I won’t use watercolour, as I probably will, but with ATCs anything goes, as long as that anything fits within the boundary of the tiny blank canvas.

For today’s ATC, I’ve used pastels, gel pens and gold and silver marker pens. ‘Phoenix’ is the first in my Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends series.

This is my first time at using pastels, and I found them quite easy to use and very smudgy! I’ve never washed my hands as much as I have whilst creating this little picture, but it was all fun. It passed a couple of hours as I got carried away with it, which is good.

Both images on this post are a little misleading as they don’t actually show the real size, but as the series progresses you’ll see that they really are ATC size.