The Gowrow is so far my favourite creature from the Lovable Legends series. Aside from the overall character development, I’m extremely pleased with the background composition (something which I’m continuously working on improving) as well as the companion creature.

I started by hashing out a few ideas for the body shape and head design.

Gowrow composition sketches

After all these iterations, I ended up going with the teeniest sketch on the page:

Gowrow sketch

Since I wanted to show the more compassionate side of these creatures for the Lovable Legends series, my original thought was to contrast the Gowrow with a butterfly. I needed to be able to incorporate something at eye level, as his body position indicated that he was looking forward.

Next, I plonked him into Illustrator and started drawing over my sketch.

At this point I had the Gowrow filled in and shaded. Spikes were added to make the drawing more interesting, and his arms and tail were fine tuned.

Gowrow with colour

Next I started working on the background. I scrapped my original idea of having him outside, as I read that Gowrows are thought to be cave dwellers. I created an environment with rocks and stalactites with several layers to indicate depth.

Gowrow in cave environment

Then it was time to handle his companion. My choice to go the cave route eliminated the option of using a butterfly, so I had to come up with something new.

Bat drawing My first thoughts were to add a lantern, but it didn’t feel right for the composition. I even considered a snake or some kind of tunnelling creature which could have made its way into the Gowrow’s lair. And then finally I had my “A-ha!” moment (although it was really more of a “Duh, it’s so obvious” moment). I would draw… a bat!

After completing the Gowrow’s bat buddy, I filled in the surrounding background. The design was complete!

Gowrow with cave bat

You can get this design on shirts, bags and more on Society6.