Mythology tells us that in the lofty peaks of Mt.Kailas, the divine family of Shiva and Parvati with their children Ganesha and Karthikeya reside. All is tranquil and quiet. All desire has been conquered and there is peace.
All of that changes when the sage Narada brings a mango called the fruit of knowledge and offers it to the best between the sons of Shiva. Suddenly there is competition and a desire to best the other and obtain this rare fruit. The contest is to circle the world three times and the first person to complete it would be awarded the prize. Karthikeya immediately hops aboard his magical peacock and takes off on his flight around the world. Ganesha in the mean time, ponders the meaning of the contest. He realizes that he can never be as fast as Karthikeya, but then also realizes that his parents are his whole world. He then proceeds to go around his parents thrice, explains his logic and claims the prize.
Having encountered a few beautiful peacocks in Berlin and seeing the beauty of their wings when in flight, I was inspired to draw a scene from the above story, with Karthikeya effortlessly soaring through the cosmic empyrean around the world on his magnificent peacock. Previously, when I had drawn Karthikeya just riding the peacock, I realized that it would be impractical to do so on a normal sized peacock and enlarged the size and proportions of animal to an ostrich size. Now I realized that in order to fly with a human sized passenger, the peacock would need to be enlarged to the size of a dragon, ala 'How to train your dragon'!
Choosing the colors was also a very difficult task. I read a few scientific papers that the peacock feathers have unique prismatic properties that give them a multi-shaded shimmer when looked at from different angles and this would be impossible to convey in a simple drawing. In the end I chose on a few shades of blues, oranges and greens that worked well together.
The next part seen is the Earth, typically represented as the female Bhooma-devi and the Moon, typically represented as the male Chandra. I chose to show them both as tiny orbs compared to the giant peacock and its rider, to highlight the contrast in size.
The last part was the empyrean or starscape. The name Karthikeya means the child of the Krittikas which are the stars of the Pleidas cluster, literally giving his name the meaning 'Star Child'. I took inspiration from the air spirits of the original Hans Christian Anderson version of 'The Little Mermaid' for their hybrid fish/spirit look, as they watch over their ward. I finished this out with some more stars connected together as a sort of network mesh to form constellations.
Hope you like it!