Yu Long’s development
Yu Long’s Transformation
In the famous Monkey story, the Monk spends most of his time travelling on a white (okay, grey for you horse enthusiasts) horse. This horse was actually a dragon – Yu Long, the third son of the Dragon King of the West. He was sentenced to death for burning his father’s pearl and saved by the Goddess of Mercy in order to fulfil the role of the Monk’s steed. (Which was actually quite unnecessary until he accidentally ate the Monk’s horse on their first encounter).
Anyhow, Yu Long then earns a bit of a beating from Monkey and joins the group, after which he spends most of his time stuck as a horse and devoid of personality. I’ve always held an interest in the White Dragon Horse. There’s such potential there that I’d love to see explored. I think in the original story he only gets a couple of opportunities to shed the horse disguise during crises and although he gets to pull some neat tricks I don’t think he actually has much success with his contributions.
Now that you know all about him, maybe you’ve got an idea of why I wanted to draw him.
The latter stages of thumbnailing:
And a more developed sketch. I wanted to add more things to hint at his involvement in the story (however limited that involvement was). The orb in the sky with his tail wrapped around it is supposed to represent the great pearl. I was thinking of putting in some birds to represent where he was found (Eagle Sorrow River), and his brief stint disguised as a princess during which he sang and sword danced for the amusement of a demon lord (and as an attempt to assassinate him). However I think the top left where I’d planned to put them is better left open.