"As I had suspected, the Cumaean was not a woman at all; yet neither was it one of the horrors I had beheld in the gardens of the House Absolute. Something sleekly reptilian coiled about the glowing rod. I looked for the head and found none, though each of the patternings on the reptile's back was a face, and the eyes of each face seemed lost in rapture." Gene Wolfe, 'The Claw of the Conciliator'
This beautifully written description creeped me out: I just had to illustrate it.
Illustrator template for scales, elements. Scales were done with custom made brushes.
Cumaean's face: in human guise, Wolfe described her as a crone. The face in the reptile's patternings were not described so, but it seemed appropriate.
Final: I omitted the hood from the Cumaean Sibyl's faces — too much! I also moved the source of the rays from the glowing rod to the Sibyls' eyes.