Watercolor Sketch: God of Longevity Shou Star



Watercolor on Handmade Paper

There are three deities in the Taoist philosophy that represent good fortune.  The personified images of these three are Fu star, Lu star and Shou star.  They are referred to as stars because of their ties with chinese astrology.  You will see statues of these three stars in almost every temple in Hong Kong and in many homes, restaurants and shops.

Shou star or I believe, Sao, in Cantonese is the God of Longevity.  He has a high domed forehead, carries a staff in his right hand and holds a peach in his left, which represents immortality.

This watercolor sketch is from a Sao statue on a wall at Hung Shing Temple that  I would pass on my way to my framers on Queens Road East, in Wan Chai. This is just a small street side temple that used to face the water front until Hong Kong expanded outward!   There seemed to be a revolving display of deities on this wall, because every time I passed by there was something new to see.  I enjoyed taking photos of whatever happened to be there.  It would have been impossible to sketch at this location as busy as Queens Road is and the temples proximity to the street, so I did this one in the studio because I wanted a memory of this temple in my sketchbook.  I’m planning on a series of temple paintings featuring the other stars!  Stay tuned.

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