The illustrators on Jadeclaw made some creative decisions and I wanted to emulate that style, at the same time I wanted to bring the unique oriental look of Qiling (traditionally spelled Qilin or K'i-lin) images as can be seen on Wikipedia. The Qiling are usually depicted as having scaled bodies, deer hooves and antlers, feathering of the limbs and shoulders (fur? fire? clouds?) , a lion's tail and sometimes a mane, and a dragon's head, often with tentacle-like whiskers and fur fringe around the jawline. They are fabulous mythical beasts but not what one would call cute. The Jadeclaw illustrations had a blunt face, two straight horns rather than curved 2-prong antler(s) (Chinese illustrations show variation in number of horns and even their position), no feathering, and light to non-existant barbel-whiskers. After trying to draw the scaley style with less than satisfactory results, I shifted towards the Jadeclaw look. And this is what I came up with:
I gave her the Jadeclaw-style horns, although I may yet decide to draw her with the 2-prong antlers, but other than that I'm pleased with the result, especially how well the COPIC Markers worked in the sketchbook. Perhaps, as I gain skill and confidence with the markers, I'll try making her pearlescent -- my comprimise between the fishy-scaled traditional style and the clean Jadeclaw style.