Character Contest 63: Taurus

Your character design challenge for this week is to come up with an image with HeroMachine based on the idea of the Zodiac sign "Taurus". To help you out, here's a bit on the history of the name from Wikipedia:

In Greek mythology, Taurus was identified with Zeus, who assumed the form of a magnificent white bull in order to seduce Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess. In illustrations, only the front portion of this constellation are depicted; in Greek mythology this was sometimes explained as Taurus being partly submerged as he carried Europa out to sea. Greek mythographer Acusilaus marks the bull Taurus as the same that formed the myth of the Cretan Bull, one of The Twelve Labors of Hercules.

Obviously Taurus is ripe for minotaur images, so feel free to go for that. Or you could do something related to bulls like a Cowboy type of hero, or a big mechanized suit, or (like Watson Bradshaw did in the Aries contest) you could design a ship named Taurus bound for a rendezvous with the moon Europa.

The point is, you should use the concept of Taurus as a springboard for character creation, rather than feeling unduly bound by the restrictions it imposes. Let that imagination run wild, child!

The contest rules are the same as usual:

  1. Use only a HeroMachine applet (no PhotoShopping except for basic cropping) to create a PNG or JPG of your entry, named as [your name]-[character name].[file extension]. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his "Bayou Belle" character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.
  2. Post the image to a publicly accessible website (ImageShack, PhotoBucket, the UGO Forums, etc.).
  3. Enter the name of your entry and a link directly to the image in a comment to this post. The image cannot have been used in any previous HeroMachine character design contest.
  4. The link to your image should go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). If you see "preview" or "rotate" somewhere in the link you're probably doing it wrong.
  5. I'll choose a winner next Monday, who will receive his or her choice of any item or a portrait to be included in the final HeroMachine 3 program, or a "Sketch of the Week" style black and white illustration (you pick the subject and I draw it up however I like).

No limit on entries this week, so knock yourselves out. Good luck everyone!

104 Responses to Character Contest 63: Taurus

  1. Hammerknight says:

    Sounds like this one will be full of bull.

  2. Trekkie says:

    Having anticipated more zodiac contests, I created this one in advance.
    It’s a version of Zeus seducing Europa. He’s disguised more like an anthropomorphic bull, but it looked good.

    I’m not sure why I gave him a golden fleece, though.

  3. Anarchangel says:

    Taurus is a 4ft tall hero employed by the Department of Metahuman Enforcement (D.M.E) Superhumans employed by the government to police the ever growing number of people who develop extra normal abilities.

  4. Anarchangel says:

    @Hammerknight – That was terrible.

  5. Frevoli says:

    In the blue corner:
    Solidity, practicality, extreme determination and strength of will – the “raging bull” of the Zodiac.

    Disliking of change, he ajusted by doing what he was used to – fighting. Being of a gentle nature, he keeps it to sport unless provoked otherwise.

    It’s Taurus

  6. Hammerknight says:

    I couldn’t help myself Anarchangel. (Hammer hangs his head down in shame for the bad joke.)

  7. Trekkie says:

    Here’s my second entry, a rather large mech suit.

    By the year 2063, humans were able to send people to Venus. The suits are designed to cope with Venusian terrain, and includes an in-built energy weapon in case of encounter with hostiles, or to blast through rock. The visor displays information and has a target display. They are nicknamed ‘Taurus Suits’ due to the horn-like protrusions on the top of the helmet which are radio antennae, and the fact that they’re being sent to Venus.

    Main picture:

  8. abominal401 says:

    This is my entry…he may look like a taurus but his name is actually Celest…

  9. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Tried going with just a B&W image for this entry:

  10. Myro says:

    I don’t know. I think I heard something about the consumption of the crimson male cattle giving you the necessary avian appendages as a precursor to flight.

  11. Zaheelee says:

    I have never done a zodiac contest before, and I wanted to place myself out of my Heromachine comfort zone, so I made this:

    Personally, I think the whole story about Zeus stealing Europa while in bull form is really sketchy, So I wanted to show what Europa probably thought of that little adventure.

  12. LionStar says:

    hello one and all! Even though most of you do not know me, i have entered about two or three contests here. I am not entering this contest. I would just like to take this moment to give my thanks to Heromachine for enabling me to finally make my own universe of characters come to life! i currently have over 250 characters, locations, objects, etc. and i would still be in progress if it wasnt for heromachine! Thanks a bunch for making the production of my universe possible! 🙂

  13. Hellucard says:

    Well here is my first entry ever. A peaceful tauros shaman 😀 of a sort.

  14. D says:

    I’m not sure who it was, but someone a while back said something about wanting to see a minotaur paladin. So I thought, why not give it a go?

    It’s also my first attempt at lighting, something I don’t usually do, so please feel free to tell me what you think (politely, of course).

  15. unknownblackpaper says:

    By the Horns

    I tried another image which I take items from HM to create a new image. So I played around and made a Bull’s head with a spacey background!

  16. Tool says:

    I think I’ll try my hand or mous eI should say at this contest as well. I like creating characters for these things, it gives me a direction in which way to go when I get stumped and want to create but don’t know what to do.

  17. Rapthama says:

    I originally had no intensions to put this to the test, but hey, what the heck!

    One of the six Great Indians. This one symbolizes hunting and buffalos.

  18. ThePerfectTense says:

    Cornus has been a Roman Gladiator for many years. He is famous all over the empire for his… unique fighting style, which consists of bellowing at the top of his voice while charging headlong at his opponent. He is also the only known gladiator to use his patented “Spiky shield and stabby fist” combination successfully, although many emulators have used it to not quite as successful, yet no less entertaining ends.

  19. Trekkie says:

    Third entry, Charging Bull.
    I decided to try something with a different layout.

  20. Ambipom229 says:

    My Character Taurus (original, I Know!).

  21. Zaheelee says:

    @D(17): The background has a lot going on, so maybe if you toned it down a bit, the main character would contrast more. Also, you can still see the pants even when the boots are supposed to cover them. Not sure, how you could fix that, but just a few minor changes like that and you will have a really nice looking character!

  22. The Imp says:

    I went for the boring Europa/bull motif; I’m just uninspired lately.

  23. Jeff Hebert says:

    We can’t have you be uninspired, Imp! What can we do to juice you up?

  24. Joel says:

    Sorry, I didn’t get home until really late, so my first entry is just abominable.

  25. unknownblackpaper says:

    EL Toro

    Close Up!

    Maybe I’ve just been watching to much wresting lately, but I think it fit in nicely with the theme of this week. Sorry if my Spanish is off

  26. ThePerfectTense says:

    @Jeff(31)… must not comment on innuendo…

  27. Myro says:

    Imp (30): Here we go. One Chuck Jones masterpiece for inspiration.

  28. Myro says:

    I have a second entry. This is the legend of the Seventh Trial of Heracles, to capture the Cretan Bull.

  29. Kytana says:

    For this time i mixed the greek story about Theseus and the Minotauros with the Mars who represent the roman god of war.
    That shows the strong side of the Hero and also of the taurus himself. The other planet simbolizes Pluto(or Hades in greek) who represent the God of Underworld and the dead.
    So i used a snow setting labyrinth for this.

  30. Frevoli says:

    Jeff, I just realised that my deviantart link doesn’t show up as Frevoli-Taurus, should I reupload it with photobucket?

  31. Jeff Hebert says:

    That’s OK Frevoli, I’ll fix it when I download it, no problem.

  32. BenK22 says:

    I thought I’d try my hand at Taurus (since it’s my birth sign lol) and came up with this Minotaur slayer.

  33. Frevoli says:

    Cool, thanks

    In that case, I’ll continue with my “First entry propper, second entry play on words” theme I’ve been doing for the past few –

    In the red corner: Formerly known as Russell Arthur, former tourguide and currenttly able to use his former tour bus as a mech suit (although I think some of the paint on the B may’ve flaked off)

    It’s Tour Rus

  34. Ambipom229 says:

    To look at my character click my name from my previous message.

  35. The Imp says:

    @Jeff (31): I think part of it is having to work two sixty hour weeks in a row. I’m beat. 😀

    @Myro (37): You have discovered my secret weakness – Bugs Bunny cartoons!

  36. Blazing Tornado says:

    Given that I’m such a mythology nerd, I decided to go with the Minotaurus in his labyrinth:

  37. D says:

    I had to create a new Photobucket album, because for some reason all but one of my files has disappeared from the old one.

    That’s actually not supposed to be v21, BTW. It’s supposed to be v2[1]. Photobucket ignores the brackets. I made some minor changes to the original, but otherwise it’s the same.

  38. Zaheelee says:

    @D(50): I like that one much better! Nice job!

  39. MLS says:

    Time for the next entry in my on-going series of GI Joe rip-offs–The Zodiac Commandos! Since the Commandos still need a heavy machine gunner, I figured who better to tote around all that ammunition and hardware than the astrological embodiment of raw power and strength. And since all the other representations of Taurus were masculine (unless I missed one) I decided to do a little Grace Jones/Bridget Nielsen/Jenette Goldstein inspired gender bending. Yes, the symbolism was intentional.

    Here’s Taurus, the machine gunner

    And here she is with the rest of the team

  40. Kwnnos says:

    Ariadne with the head of Taurus:

    Taurus killed by Thyseus (I had a problem with this image…):

  41. PapaKrok says:

    Angus had lived next to the biker bar for most of his life. Tonight, as the bikers slept in a drunken fog, he would make his move…

  42. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Papakrok(56): Awesome.

  43. PapaKrok says:

    Thanks SeanDavidRoss! Seemed appropriate in a Far-Sidesque kinda way. It makes me laugh to look at it….prolly because I am a Taurus caged in this damn office staring at the clock and waiting for my escape…..


  44. ams says:

    Here is my submission, the charging bull TAURUS. Cheers!

  45. D says:

    @Zaheelee (51): Thanks. Had a bit of trouble with this one; everytime I tried to mask an item to his hand, HM masked it to his robe instead. And when I tried to put his right boot on his foot, it ended up on his shadow and I had to resize and recolour it and shift it into position with the Move tool. All minor niggles, but annoying nonetheless.

  46. Zaheelee says:

    @D(61): Yeah, I hate it when one of my images is almost done, but there are a few small details that I can’t seem to fix (like the shadow of taurus for my submission @Zaheelee(14). I couldn’t seem to get it so be one solid color, any suggestions?).

  47. Domhellsing says:

    Black taurus by Domhellsing

  48. badgerking says:

    OOOH! can i still enter???

  49. Me, Myself & I says:

    badgerking (64) you can enter until Monday morning.

  50. Mr.Chris says:

    In a different vain, I would like you all to take your seats and pull out your homework for Dick Taurus, High School Principal:

    (Hopefully you guys will get the reference)

  51. Mr.Chris says:

    Actually, thats the wrong link, part of the image got cropped off on my heromachine, here is the actual link for my submission, sorry Jeff.

    Dick Taurus, High School Principal:

  52. McKnight57 says:

    Sort of a Minotaur thing. Got the inspiration from the story of Zeus as a white bull. Different take on the Minotaur look.

  53. unknownblackpaper says:


    Ino, the mother of the Monitor, envisioning the child who grow with in her by the sea where she first met the white bull.

    Wanted to do something a bit different, I just hope I didn’t go to far off the theme.

  54. McKnight57 says:

    Second version of Minotaur. After a few snacks. The skull seems to be the only part he doesn’t like.

  55. D says:

    @Zaheelee (62): You could try turning the alpha up to 100. Alternatively, and you might or might not want to do this, you could redo it so that it’s a “reverse shot”(ie you’re looking over her shoulder) and the sun is directly behind Taurus, which would mean he’s a dark silhouette, or have the sun above and behind, which would cast a darker shadow, but that’s OTY.

  56. logosgal says:

    Zaheelee (62): On the items you’re having trouble with, set the alpha on color 2 to 0.

    P.S. I like her facial expression!

  57. unknownblackpaper says:

    Atomic Punk (75)

    Did you see entry 33? ^^;

  58. Zyp says:

    Not the most original name: Toro! The spanish super villain!
    Gotta say seandavidross(24), that matador is so awesome! 😀

  59. The Epic of Gilgamesh:

    Special thanks to SeanDavidRose for the “Swinging” Pose recipe, PapaKrok for the “horn” (tapered tail), and MMI for the eyes!

    PBFR: Professional Bullfrog Riders

    @unknownblackpaper: Love it!

    @Zyp: Your El Toro is sweet! The expression, the pose, the action aura, it all pops.

  60. Zyp says:

    Another entry: A more traditional minotaur type of thingy…

    @The Atomic Punk – Thank you! 😀 I really like that Gilgamesh of yours too!

  61. Brons says:

    When I started with the notion of creating a Taurus-based member of a Zodiac-themed supervillain team, I had some pretty specific notions in mind, but somehow he “just growed”. He’s now less bullish, a little more Zeus, the Greek thunder god, and wandered a little more Thor-ward than I expected.

    So, here’s my Taurus, the member of the new Zodiac team who will go toe-to-toe with Thor when they take on the Avenegers. He kinda makes me want to flesh the team out a smidge.

  62. pyrodude760 says:

    i chose something of similar topic just to see how it turns out here it is

  63. dblade says:

    My first entry. I hope to make a full illustration with background, but just in case I don’t get to it here is the Bullgod

    I Am The Bullgod

  64. Zyp says:

    One more entry: El Matador de Toros, the Killer of Bulls. Spanish superhero sworn to defend the land from the villain El Toro (check out post 77)!

  65. dblade says:

    Revised First Entry. Ignore earlier one (87).

    I Am the Bullgod

  66. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Zyp(88): Damn. I think you may have got me beat again. Great face on that character.

  67. Zaheelee says:

    @logosgal(74): Thank you soooooo much for the advice! My picture looks so much cleaner now! So, without further ado, here is my revised image: Captured by the Minotaur!

  68. unknownblackpaper says:

    I’m surprised no one has done anything with Red Bull yet

  69. SeanDavidRoss says:

    unknownblackpepper(92): see entry 13, by Myro.

  70. unknownblackpaper says:

    Ah, completely missed that, but two points to you SeanDavidRoss if you get the second reference which is unrelated to the energy drink

  71. SeanDavidRoss says:

    unknownblackpepper(94): The Last Unicorn?

  72. John Bull: Code name of a long line of British super agents

  73. ajw says:
    Made this when heromachine 3 first came around
    my pagan god of war for my made up civilization,
    Taurabat god of war, all swords and shields adorned with his visage.

  74. logosgal says:

    I wasn’t going to enter this week, what with it having been finals week and all, but then I saw this on the Wikipedia page for the Tarus Constellation:

    “Taurus became an important object of worship among the Druids.”

    Since Taurus is also associated with the story of Zeus and Europa, and I’d already made a picture of a horny Celt this week, I figured it wouldn’t take too much to get this contest-appropriate.

    So here’s a Celtic retelling of Zeus and Europa. With a creepy horned centaur playing the part of Zeus. Because apparently Celtic Europa can’t tell the difference between a centaur and a bull in the dark. Maybe she’s a city girl. (Or maybe male centaurs, like male elephants, male seals, and male moose, are called bulls? I would have assumed “stallion” would be more likely, but you never know…)

  75. Cliff says:

    Yes, I am still alive.
    Several times have I made a contest entry, only to miss the dealine, or get so busy I forgot to make an entry.
    I will admit the contest entries have gotten SO AWESOME I have become a bit intimidated.
    Also I love all the new stuff. Wish I had the goat head long ago, and I have plans for the open fan, looks great with the flower bouquet masked on it.
    But at least I did one entry for this time.

    My Taurus of course comes from the labyrinth of Minos:

    and this one I did way back when we had the first State contest and have been waiting for a Texan theme, but might as well toss it out here.
    One of the original “Cowboys” … Maverick:

  76. Knitesoul says:

    A little off the path, maybe too much, but i’ll find out.

    I saw that the element for Taurus was Earth, so I made


    Inheriting a gift of being one with the earth passed down from her ancestors, Terra is strong.
    She is a strong as a bull, she can break boulders with ease, and the ground trembles only cause she is there.

  77. Jeff Hebert says:

    Welcome back, Cliff!

    OK folks, all entries are downloaded and I will start going through them in a moment. This contest is now closed.

    Many thanks for entering! The Finalists and winner will go up in a couple of hours.

  78. unknownblackpaper says:

    SeanDavidRoss (95) correct!