For this concept, I wanted to go with an illustration. The basic gist of the story is based on the Chinese folklore of the Dragon Gate of the Yellow River. It is said that if a carp was to swim upstream and jump the gate, they would become a dragon.
So, the large figure I am not sure what he is, either a spiritual guardian of the gate, or an unsuccessful carp stuck in spiritual realm magic limbo. I am leaning on the last idea. Either way, the character questions the small carp for his reasons for crossing the gate and assesses whether he would make it. I wanted to have the idea that the concept of BIG isn't necessarily in the large figure's size, but of the large question he poses. Does the small carp took the perilous journey to become a dragon to misuse the new form, to act as a god, for protection, to help others, to prove others wrong, etc.
The first picture is the new WIP.
The second picture is the original sketch idea I made months ago. The plant sketches were to symbolize that the large figure was a deceased spirit of warning whose physical body was now full of growing plants, to show how long ago all that was, the plants making up what would have been dragon parts.
In the new WIP I incorporated more "draconic" features on the large figure. It reflects the second idea, as somehow he almost became a dragon but something happened, either whether he was physically stopped by reasons beyond his control, or due to some gods antics/magic/"not worthy enough" aspect that prevented a full transformation. He isn't accepted by the world of fish or of dragons or of the gods, but definitely hunted by the world of man. He's probably spiteful and bitter.I also wanted to incorporate more "traditional Chinese style art style".
The small carp is just a young 2 foot carp.
I am planning to make an accompanying short story with the elements described! Thanks for your time and consideration!