“In the Sarantine Mosaic the encounter with the Zubir is an incredibly haunting scene and I wanted to convey the oppressive feeling of old power, but also the sense of decay that the old god carries.
This piece was a part of my Inktober 2017, a challenge where you produce a drawing every day for a whole month, but also intended from the start as a present to Guy Gavriel Kay, as he was signing in my city on his birthday. It’s been a while since I have read the Sarantine Mosaic, but my partner was discovering it for the first time while I was planning the illustration and wondering what scene I wanted to draw… When he told me about reading the encounter with the Zubir, it just sprang into my mind, almost fully formed: the towering Zubir with the bloodied horns, the dark forest around… A memory of fear, but also of awe, both Crispin’s and mine, reading about it a long time ago: the details have faded away, leaving only the global image, the feeling of what it was like to face the Zubir, to leave Linon on the rotting ground..
And so it made sense that the quote I paired with the illustration is the line saying that to destroy a human being the gods only have to reveal themselves to them.
Inktober is also a time to experiment, so I used some big salt crystals to give the ink texture on the ground… but some of it melted before I could remove it and so the original piece has some interesting unplanned glistering texture under the hooves of the Zubir, that can’t really be seen on the scan! I find it a happy mistake, and somehow very fitting with the illustration and what I wanted to do with it.
(Click for full image)