After various refinements to Karthikeya’s armor and weapons, I realized that there was one more thing that he carried into battles. He rallied his heavenly troops behind the banner of the Rooster. The story goes that Karthikeya defeated the evil demon Surapadman and used half of the demon’s life to create this banner (the other half becoming the peacock that carries him around). The rooster I suppose became a representation of battle because they are associated with rooster fighting sports as well as shown as enemies of snakes (which represent evil I guess?).
For the banner’s design, I kept it close to the orange/red color scheme of his spear. I considered inverting the color scheme but decided that a red banner on a gold staff looked better than a gold banner on a red staff. The Rooster itself is a simple jigsaw puzzle like design with colorful plumage and one foot raised, as if it’s ready to march into battle.
I also considered making the banner into a sort of weapon, but decided that there was already too much going on with with it and it might be a bit too distracting and dropped that idea.
Lastly, since Karthikeya is the General of the Heavenly Army, I decided to show his army in the background in the form of white chess pieces (based on my previous design of Ganesha and Karthikeya playing chess for the divine mango)