A Gangsi from Dongnae
I have seen recently a TV show set in the XVII century in Korea. It is very refined and detail-oriented, mainly with clothes, tools, and architecture, which were all surprisingly beautiful. I did not know anything about this period and the show has aroused my curiosity. This is the reason why I have been looking at a lot of Korean traditional art. I wanted to draw something related to all this, and I preferred to draw something grimmer since my last works have been kind of bright and nice. So I started to look for monsters in Korean mythology, and I found the gangsi, better known as jiangshi or Chinese hopping vampire.
The jiangshi legends are very interesting: they are a mix of vampires and hungry ghosts, with green skin and white hair. They hop, that is right, and bite, and can kill you to eat your qi or life force. If you have some curiosity, you can check here. They are very popular in East Asia and even have a film and literature genre!
For the drawing, I used references of hanboks (the traditional dresses) and hairstyles. I tried to maintain simplicity in the clothes and hair complements, and to use colors that enhance the greenish-white skin. I chose a bright zenithal light, which provided a fine blending of shades and an ample range of tones. The blood was great to add contrast and, at the same time, to add more texture and to play with different brushes. The general textures were also slightly unpolished to have a little bit more of grittiness and to create interest. As final touches, I did a seal with the word gangsi in Korean, and I put some gradients in the background as in the Asian woodblock prints (I am a big fan of these).
I enjoyed this drawing very much, especially the lightwork, the subtle copper colors, and the texture of the blood. It was fun and not so hard as I have thought, so I will have to create more monsters like this one.
I will have to save the beautiful inmyeonjo for another drawing!