A digital painting of the torii gate of Hakone shrine standing in water. A nine headed dragon spirit breach the surface of the water underneath the torii gate. The image is painted digitally with watercolour textures in a colour palette consisting of blues, purples, pinks, with yellow and white accents.
Media: Digital.

Almost a year after painting the initial Hakone shrine painting, I wanted to revisit the image, but I wanted to add a bit of a twist to it; merging it with the folklore connected to the shrine. Hakone shrine is a Shinto shrine is hidden away in the forest close to Lake Ashi, but one of its torii gates stands in the lake itself.

According ot the local legends a nine-headed dragon used to live at the bottom of Lake Ashi. Hakone shrine’s chief priest used his magical powers to change the dragon into a nine-headed protective spirit. There is actually a sub-shrine inside Hakone shrine; Kuzuryu Shrine, built in 1988, that is dedicated to the protective spirit. Every year, on July 31 the dragon deity is celebrated, with also kicks off the Lake Ashi summer festival week.

If you’d like a print of this image it is available in my print shop.