The Demon StepsPosted: January 9, 2019
Another new illustration for Gabor Lux/Melan’s upcoming ‘zine, “Beyond Fomalhaut 04.”
The scene illustrates a public stair in which the walls are decorated with mysterious stone faces. Gabor sent a sketch and a description which led, eventually, to this drawing. A bravo in ring mail climbs the steps, glancing warily over his shoulder… what has he got in that sack? A cultist wearing a bird mask and striped uniform stands watch under a street light, spiky pole arm of questionable efficiency in hand. A member of the “world’s oldest profession” prepares to set a small lamp on her doorstep — perhaps to indicate she is open for business? Another adventurer in Oriental dress swaggers down the stairs, his left hand holding up the curved sword that hangs from his sash (ostensibly to keep it from knocking on the steps… perhaps also to steady it for quick drawing from the scabbard?). An old man in ragged clothes, an empty bottle and begging bowl with a few coins in it at his side, smokes his pipe and surveys the scene. Is he a spy for the local thieve’s guild? A wizard in disguise? Or just a down-on-his luck beggar hoping for better days? Best to tread carefully…
I really enjoy drawing scenes like this with a lot of elements and stories coming together. Melan’s “Fomalhaut” commissions are always a lot of fun because he always requests an interesting cast of characters, usually with specific attributes (bird mask, spired helmet, sack and ring mail, etc.). The illustrations end up with a sense of place I really enjoy.