Three days and three monsters. With forty subjects to draw, there have to be some humans in the mix, but it seems my kids wanted me to start with monsters. Today it is the Hydra.
The Lernaean Hydra was a serpent or dragon that guarded one of the entrances to the Underworld. It had toxic blood and poisonous breath but it’s most famous feature was that, when decapitated, two heads would spring up in place of the one that had just been lopped off. Therefore, each attempt at defeating it would only result in making it much more deadly. The monster was, of course, slain by Heracles (and not Hercules since I am being Greek about this rather than Roman) as his second Labour. His novel idea was to cauterize the neck stumps each time he chopped a head off so that the Hydra was prevented from sprouting replacements. In such a way, the Hydra was then made vulnerable and was defeated when the last head was severed. In an act of “waste not want not”, Heracles dipped his arrows in the Hydra’s blood which then assisted him in completing other Labours.
The Hydra was another child of Typhon and Echidna and is, as such, a sibling to my Chimera from the first day of the challenge. That gave me the idea to draw the Hydra as a baby, as I had done with the Chimera. That handily also meant that I avoided the pressure of trying to make it look terrifying. I find it much easier to draw cute than scary. This, however, was the first drawing in which my finished drawing diverges from the sketch. I had been trying to make the juvenile Hydra look dissimilar from a dragon so had given it horns in my sketch but somehow the other dragon elements crept in so I capitulated and decided to just go with the many-headed dragon look. In that case, the horns just looked lame so I added sharp triangular plates along the length of the body, heads and tail for my finished drawing. When it came to choosing the colour, I was tempted by purple and aqua just because I happen to like those colours together right now. I also thought that the Hydra was definitely a reptile who would not need to resort to camouflage so could be whatever colour it wanted and that, as with poisonous lizards and frogs, maybe a bright colour would advertise its deadly potency. So I justified my use of purple and aqua. I think he looks rather endearing. Nasty Heracles for killing such a cute wee beastie.
Finished Hydra Drawing