After a long hiatus I’ve finally finished another drawing for the Majeena sequence. The illustration depicts the character ‘Carer Hades’, who is described as a sort of ethereal, faceless, spider-like creature, found in the depths of a mountain stronghold:
A slithery figure cloaked in a black robe fluttered in through the door, clinging to the roof. It’s long fingers seemed glued to the ceiling, though it moved across the room like it was carried by a breeze.
He drifted in with an emphatic spidery movement, and his body was so light that appeared to float. There was also very little body – he was mostly composed of the long, thin strands of cloak that hung from his shoulders. The rest of him was spirited and placeless, and he had no face that any living creature had ever seen. His voice was like a funneled channel of air that was lost in an endless ream of caves.
M. P. Adams gave me a set of character descriptions to work from rather than total free reign on the text. That’s been an interesting constraint and this character in particular has been a challenge for me to depict satisfactorily. I realised after about a year of off-and-on work that I could focus on the environment rather than the incorporeal Carer Hades. That gave me more room to work on lots of little details, which I always love, and less space to worry about how to draw the man himself. Although he’s not described as having them in the text, I gave him eight limbs to reflect his spidery attributes, and a sort of glowing aura.
This was the last character drawing for Majeena, and completes the commission. I started the sketches for this project in Liberia, a few weeks before the Ebola virus outbreak in early 2014. It’s a little sad to think such a long-running project might be coming to an end, but if time allows it I might draw one final illustration, not based on a character but on a line in the brief that caught my eye. Then, I can finally read the book – I’ve been waiting so that nothing influences my approach to the drawings except the author’s brief, and also just in case I’ve totally missed the mark on any of them!