This is the first in what I assume will be a series of drawings of the day tracing the development of a character design for a kirin. This is not a Serious Japanese Folkloric Kirin– I hope that, at least, is obvious– just a happy little cartoon kirin who could fill the place in a story normally occupied by a unicorn, but in a more interesting way, and without the pink and lavender sugary sweetness normally associated. This little guy, with his lumpy horn, armored body and wild, flamelike tufted hair, has a bit of an edge to him. The lines on the smooth part of the tail were intended as interlocking armor rings to echo the scales on the body, but they have an almost ratlike look that sort of works. This is a dangerous, if adorable, beastie.
The Japanese models I was looking at had the snakelike, paving stone scales shown in the note above the title rather than the overlapping pattern I actually used. In version 2, I’m going to do it that way.