I am working in adobe illustrator to create a icon in svg format. The icon is supposed to be a young male lion, and the style is supposed to be Medieval (a design for a Medieval shield crest or something). I have everything to my liking except for his mane. I guess "mane" is the right word for it, but since it's a young adult male lion, it's not a full-blown mane. I just want to hint at the modest beginnings of a mane. Here is my two attempts and a picture of my AI file, (the icon is still in-progress):

  • Using vertically aligned circles (left)
  • Using wavy lines (right)

enter image description here

My circle/wavy line attempts just seemed too crude and the composition seemed to lose a lot of unity after introducing them. So I tried to look for some inspiration: after seeing how other designers achieved this on the internet I came across some images like:

enter image description here

However, such renditions just scream 21st centry to me, so I could not find inspiration. Most of the Medieval-esque icons I found of lions were not forward-facing but rather profiles, such as:

enter image description here

While the style is acceptable, the perspective doesn't give me enough to work with.

Question

How can I convey a slight mane in a Medieval-style lion icon?

Style Goals:

  • Simple but not childish in appearance
  • Medieval style preferred
  • I'd personally still call it an icon, but I concede that it's a fairly detailed icon, and for that I'll include the tag too.
  • It's like cute little hair beads... I love it, but I think that might not be the way to go. I think maybe you should probably go with something like the mane in your second example image, downsize it from there and see where that takes you... That might be easier to do. – Joonas Dec 4 at 8:01

Two notes:

Coat of Arms Shapes Types

Google search for Coat of Arms Shape Types or Heraldry Shields Shape types

The mane of the lion that you have set as an example forms the outline of a shield, this already gives the pattern of a medieval image.

enter image description here

Mane and Ears

The main difference between a mane of an adult lion and a young one is not only the hair length but also the size of the ears.

While the adult lion hides its ears behind the mane because the face and the mane are bigger, once again look the icon that you have set as an example where there are no ears; the young lion has the ears too big and round, almost the half size of the face.

enter image description here

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