Opted to spend some of my relaxing sketchtime (i.e. nothing work-related) in the evenings this week on the previous CA.org Character of the Week project, Death's Horse. Mine, however, isn't named Binky. The deadline (ha) was this past Sunday. The art I posted includes some of my early sketches. Since I still like to draw horses (remembering that old comfort drawings discussion...), it was an entirely enjoyable self-imposed sketch project to do.
While thinking about this subject, I found myself influenced by the aforementioned Binky, as well as the various horses that I owned or spent time with from jr high through college...long dead by this time (my first horse, Pride, in particular, such a lovely boyo -- horrible old picture of us both below); and the Mari Llwyd. With just a dash of the Christian Apocalyptic Pale Horse.
Also recalled a nice little story about Mr. Death at the door in an old Twilight Zone episode with a nice young Robert Redford. And what about that recent tv series Dead Like Me. They all had some quite different faces for Death. And without horses, too bad. With that, I then got to wondering about what I would see at death: would my doppelganger, my twin from the land of the dead, my mirror self, be the one coming to me as Death -- in my mind probably the only one I would trust to come fetch me when I was at last ready to die...whether fair, foul or something inbetween. Me, only me. :)
Then I read that long ago, when a new graveyard was built, a horse would be the first of any to be buried there. This horse would then become Death's horse.
And finally, I started thinking about Death Jr.... Hmm.
And came up with that first sketch at the top. :)
In any case, the majority of wip sketches I've seen thus far from the artists posting seem to be focusing on a dark horse. Or could that be a creature from hell.... Difficult to tell with some of them. I don't think Death is something that everyone dreads...after all, there's supposed to be a heaven, too.
For a bit of whimsy, I wrote a quick sonnet ("Ode to Death's Horse" - ha!) to help me visualize my final character:
At dusk this noble creature waits for me,
Ever patient he bears my burdens well;
His bright eyes the light helping me to see,
His swift feet the way to heaven...or hell.
Always eager to take on every task,
No soul too heavy for his broad, strong back;
"Room for another?" is all I need ask,
And so, we go; fetching those we yet lack.
By the end of our ride his head still high,
We take the dark path to his resting place;
His stable the grave we reach with a sigh,
At dawn Death's horse a skeleton I face.
No better friend could I have at my side,
When I go out as Death on my night ride.