I am delighted to present the debut illustration by Steven Taylor, Merlin in the Glastonbury Forest, for my new novel, Merlin. This is a digital illustration. The washes are drawn from a faux charcoal “brush” then inked over in Photoshop
This is the initial portrait of the legendary magus, Merlin , for the series I have been writing, The Merlin Cycle. When I sent my friend, Steven Taylor , the first-draft manuscript of the first book, Merlin, back in June, 2013, he was, thankfully, quick to read it. I would receive texts every few hours on a scene or image that he liked.
Steve called to say that he felt compelled to create the graphic novels for the stories. We have been trying to find a project together but it had not occurred to me that it might be Merlin. So we met at the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, talked and agreed that he would create the visual canon for the Stories and forge a dozen illustrations or so for the first book.
I am thrilled that Steve agreed to be part of this project on the restoration of Merlin, the magus. The Merlin Cycle is inspired by the 13th century poems by French playwright, Robert de Boron. In the de Boron conception, Merlin is born as the child of Satan and the first antichrist. Merlin is to wage war against growing Christendom in the 5th century.
Steve is the ultimate artist. Like George R. Martin, he has a deep fanboy sensitivity and knowledge of myth and legend. He is also a black belt in Kung Fu so I would not want to mess with him. As a pathfinder, Steve knows the beauty in the unseen. He also has a tremendous reverence for the power and majesty of nature. One of Merlin’s central characteristics is his respect for the natural world. In his earliest conceptions Merlin was known as the wild man of the wood which is so beautifully and ironically rendered in this portrait of Merlin in the Glastonbury Forest.