Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Illustrating DeryniWorld

I met Katherine Kurtz in 1978, at one of the first DarkoverCons in Queens, NY. She had come all the way from California and was seated decorously on the floor, surrounded by fans. At that point I hadn't read any of her books. After that, I got the first Deryni trilogy and read it, folding down page corners at places I thought would make good illustrations. This above image is one of the first storyline illustrations I did from the Deryni tales, rather than a character portrait. It shows the teenage king Kelson, accompanied by his advisers, riding to a battlefield "parley" or discussion of terms with the enemy. Katherine, being one of the earliest members of the medieval recreation group "Society for Creative Anachronism," knew a vast amount of medieval culture and included lots of details from the Middle Ages in her books, which seemed to be set in the early 1300s.

I borrowed my Deryni illustration style from an artist I had loved for years, namely H.J. Ford who illustrated the multicolored fairytale books collected by Andrew Lang, such as the "Blue Fairy Book," the "Green Fairy Book," etc. He had a lovely Art Nouveau-ish style but his depictions of figures, costumes, and armor were just what I needed for Deryni inspiration. This ink drawing, tinted with watercolor, is about 11" x 8" and was done in the fall of 1980. If all goes well, I'll be meeting with Katherine Kurtz this weekend, almost 29 years later.


Anonymous said...

Give her my love.

Tristan Alexander said...

Love this picture! Being in the SCA, knowing Kathrine, etc, of course I would love it. You can tell her I said "hi" as well.