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traitor now is thy death day come

I've been working on this piece for a while. It depicts the moment before the 'final embrace' between King Arthur and his bastard son Mordred. Although in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (1485) Arthur runs Mordred through with a spear, and in the Vulgate Mort Artu (1210–1235) Arthur and Mordred both charge at each other on horses I chose to depict the scene with Arthur carrying the long sword, Excalibur, and Mordred a pike. I am pleased with the capuring of each's stance - Arthur's open and confrontational stance as he shouts the challenge "Traitor! Now is thy death day come" and Mordred defiant and oppressive. Emphasis is put on both stances by the low angle, and with Arthur in the slight forground this shows Mordred as a towering and imposing opponent. The setting sun motif is homage to both N. C. Wyeth illustration for Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1922) and also John Boorman's excellent film Excalibur (1981). Like all my work, this was drawn by hand using a stylus on a Wacom Cintiq and sets of pencil, watercolour and oil brushes. The final portrait is 20,000px x 14,145px which makes it over 282 megapixels in size. With a pixel density this high the reproduction is exceptionally fine, especially considering the world leading quality of pigment ink and paper used in the printing process.

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