Katherine Kurtz' Deryni books are filled with big operatic scenes which take place in grand settings. This illustration depicts one where Dhugal, King Kelson's best friend, is knighted by a lord, now a bishop, who is his father by a secret marriage. During the ceremony the father reveals, by emitting a halo of light, that he is Deryni.
This illustration was commissioned by two friends of mine who are ongoing patrons of my art. It was originally supposed to be simpler, but the architectural details of the Romanesque church setting got out of hand and I just kept painting more columns and archways, even if they didn't go anywhere! I also painted miniature portraits of various friends into the audience. This is what happens when there isn't an art director. In the end, they paid me the pre-arranged price for a painting which was worth far more, in time and effort.
"The Knighting of Dhugal" is acrylic on illustration board, 18" x 24", painted in April-May 1991. Click on the picture for a larger view of all these obsessive details.