Monday 27 December 2010

Only connect.... links to other news and stuff

OK, This post is just a little delayed it should have happened a few weeks ago, but other stuff [as happens] got in the way.
Still better late than never. Lots of things out from listening to me prattle on at 'Monde de Jeu' in Paris earlier this year with Lone Wolf creator, Joe Dever, and a Le Grimoire, of whom I was a guest, who posted a YouTube clip which among other things, shows me signing books [I know you can't wait... but, on the other hand, if you want to see me draw...]. To stuff about The Fabled Lands 're-launch' in book form, and also, as a new iPad game from Megara Entertainment. Features Russ rabbiting ...

Interview with Joe Dever and Russ Nicholson [part 1/ 2/ 3] by the excellent Paul Gresty and Sophia Ehrsam at Monde du Jeu Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

No dialogue on the next, but you can watch me scribble ...

I'll add a disclaimer to some of my chatter ... I had nothing prepared [almost] and having cringingly watched some of this, after some passage of time, I realise my memory, et al, is based on what I thought at the time and nothing else.

Also available from Dragon Warriors ....
Which also features really nice new colour artwork from Jon Hodgson - see more at his blog:

There are of course other projects I've been busy with but till they are printed, etc. cannot say much at the moment.

To finish, this is an old experimental piece for one of the British Fantasy Society zines a good number of years ago.
I'll try and post a few more pics, etc. before the week is out, and the year ..sigh [doesn't time fly]. Now, if it would only warm up or I could buy a Lottery ticket that means we could have central heating installed... [all say ..aah]

Hope you all had a good time over Christmas .. my best wishes to you all and to your families.

Sunday 26 December 2010

The Christmas Seasons Greeting that I forgot!

So the day has come and the day has gone and what do you know.. I forgot to post my 'Ye old Seasons Christmas Greeting' but ...sorry you'll still have to suffer. Most people [of sense] would blame me ...I blame this bloody awful cold weather; freezing snow and burst tap ends.... luckily that was in the garden that made an interesting  sideways 'fountain', which nearly cost me injury as I slipped drying to reduce the gush .... ah. the fun.

This is a quick post of that picture card mentioned as a Greeting and thank you for all you who follow me and my work ... luckily I've been busy too [that takes time as well ... lol ..but in the nicest possible way].
I'll add a few more bits ..tomorrow. Shock ! Horror!

Wednesday 17 November 2010


Right, the answers to the competition. 
First realise my answers are based on my knowledge [as it is], and memory [poor as it is].

Picture 1. 
The village is Dunning, and is listed as having architectural interest as it covers a range of historical features throughout its buildings. One house was the only real 'undamaged' survivor of a highlander attack during the first major Jacobite rebellion of 1715. Apparently it's now been restored. It is one of those annoying fallacies that these rebellions [it and the Bonny Prince Charlie one of 1745] were Scotland rising against the English - a load of twaddle. 

The well itself stood at the top of the street where I lived and actually worked giving fresh spring water when I was a small boy. the village featured two such wells for many years [the other being in Tron Square]. At the back was a hill, the land then was 'empty' common land, and under the grass the hill was made mostly of sand - in fact, a 'sandpit' existed near the top and the steepness of the hill [from the old wood at the top down to behind the well] was the scene of many a sledging accident when young. lol.

Picture 2. 
The oldest church [there are two] in the village and its tower is an example of Norman {Romanesque} Architecture of about 1200 [though not the clock lol], and is called St Serf's. It stands by the edge of Tron Square in the so called 'centre' of the village. The tower has very narrow stairs and it has a lovely view from the top of the surrounding village where the bells are housed. Once, whilst sketching up there, and concentrating on what I was doing, I was caught by a peal of bells and alarmed nearly fell out one of the windows.

St Serf, who established the church in Dunning was, according to legend, where he fought and killed a Dragon that was terrorising the village. Part of the upper village is still called The Dragon [pronounced dreygon], and close by runs the Dunning Burn where people believed its lair [the Dragon's Den] still existed even when I was a boy. I was never convinced, but it was a nice myth. 

Picture 3/4.

This famous Celtic Cross - is the Dupplin Cross
Forteviot, which is close by, was once the last Pict capitol in Scotland, and the cross stood nearby in a field, near the River Earn, protected by an old fence but otherwise overgrown when I was young. It is a beautiful example of Celtic work, and now, after a lot of wrangling, stands in St Serf's church which stopped being a place of worship in 1972. It also has some lovely examples of late Victorian/Edwardian stain glass [see picture below].
For those interested - Forteviot, was also where Edward II had a hunting lodge and he was said to have been there, hunting the valley of Strathearn, the summer before the Battle of Bannockburn 1314 [near Stirling] . One of the great defeats of the English by the Scots, and an interesting aside, in 1513 at the battle of Flodden nearly 200 years later the Scots suffered their worst defeat against the English. In each case, in my opinion, the result of being led by puffed up arrogant fools. War does promote such, doesn't it.

Picture 5.
Happy penguins in front of St Mary's, Dundee by the Nethergate, apparently they are 'marching' towards the Discovery, Captain Scott's ship which is now berthed on the River Tay.

Picture 6. which features the infamous second Q.8 [AArgh!!] 
DC Thomson, is the most famous company in Dundee, and has been responsible for a whole range of comic titles. Having left Art College in Dundee, and having moved to England, I later freelanced for DC Thomson as a comic artist [this was during the early 80's]. The company has always been famous for two 'big foot' comics in particular - The Beano and The Dandy, who featured, among other great characters, Minnie the Minx and Desperate Dan [Dan's statue actually carries a copy of The Dandy]. 

Picture 7.
This cloud picture of a 'dragon' was seen over the village on our last visit. Often patterns, and combinations of objects, and surfaces, can help trigger imaginative ideas for creatures and other things. Such methods reach back to the ideas of Leonardo da Vinci as a source of artistic inspiration. 

The final question was about the local legend of a monument which can be found outside the village on the back road to Auchterarder, which itself is more famous for the Gleneagles Hotel and its golf courses. 
This monument is dedicated to the burning of a witch, called Maggie Walls in 1657. but no records can be found [they say] so it must be a myth. I beg to differ, when a student, I did a lot of research on the village, and, yes, there is no record of a Maggie Walls [witch or not]directly related to Dunning, but in the records of Perth, the city nearby, there was a record of a Maggie Walls accused of witchcraft at around that time. Yet no mention on the Internet; curious.

So there we go. A little about a Scottish village called Dunning, once a thriving market town with around 200 pubs [now 3]; with a Roman marching camp nearby; a standing stone commemorating an ancient battle [legend said], which where, as it was ploughed around, I watched it over the years 'shrink'. Dunning was also where I spent most of my better formative years as a young boy, where living in a house, [near the well in Q.1], that had originally been three three old weavers cottages joined together, strange events often happened. 

In finishing, I realise there were not many entries actually sent in, but thank you for all those who tried. 
I kind of suspect the time of posting was 'poor' and I should have planned it better, and if I ever do another, the competition will stay open for a week and all 'correct' entries will go into a hat, then the winner selected.

Sunday 14 November 2010

The Competition

Well,it's come around to that dread day when I said I would have a competition.

It's a thank you for all of you who have joined as followers [nobody else] and the prize is a wee original drawing of my choice [or not ].

OK. The first step is to explain the rules [as such] and how the competition will run.

As mentioned in a reply to a comment - I'm aware that some might have an unfair advantage because of the matter of time zones.

So the competition will run for a few days, if there is one fast outright winner then they will be declared the winner, but if several correct entries come in more or less at the 'same' time then all will be put 'into a hat' and a winner drawn. 

If no 'fast' winning entry is made then clues will be posted each day.

The judgement is final. 

As you'll see, there is a set of photographs, each which has a question or questions attached. All you have to do is answer the questions. All the answers are linked to stuff about me on the Internet or related sites. 

Some may seem obscure, but the information is there if you do the research on my homeland of Scotland. [Clue no. 1 ].

Clues will be posted each day if necessary. 

The first Question is a stinker! 
But the picture clues may be related [Clue no. 1 ].
PICTURE 1. This well can be found in the village I spent most of my younger life in.
Q.1  Name the village, which has architectural interest.

PICTURE 2. This is the oldest church in the village.

Q2.  Name the style of architecture. 
Q3. Name the church.

PICTURE 3/4. This is a famous Celtic Cross.
Q4. Name the cross.
Q5. Name where it originally stood.
Q6. Name where it is now.

PICTURE 5. These penguins can now be found where I went to art college.
Q7. What is the name of the city.
Q8. What is the name of the church behind.

PICTURE 6. These statues represent two famous British Comic Book characters. 
Q8. Name each character.

Q9. Name each comic they come from.

PICTURE 7. Cloud dragon over village [another clue].
Q 10. What is the mystery of the witch whose monument is found near the village.

Right 10 questions. Nothing more to add [though bribery? Naw, can't allow temptation ], Look forward to entries!!

Best of Luck to all. Russ.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

New boys and old fellows [Part 2].

Well,for the first time the last post had no comments at all; everybody must have been busy at bonfire parties.

But I said there would be a part two, and here it is. So let's start with a few pics done to describe characters soon to appear in a game, but I'll leave it to him to add more on his own blog which I also follow. 

So there you go. Now to add a few oldies but goodies in no particular order.

Why not another two.
And finally, the date of that competition, which will be Sunday 14th November.

Details of the competition will be announced then and as I'm aware people live in different time zones that will be taken into account.

Monday 8 November 2010

New boys and old fellows.

Brain eater
Right, you make promises and things happen. This post will include some new work and some old. Let's start with new, most of which are private commissions and only shown here because of the kindness of the owners. 
An eight headed beast
The Yellow Ogre Sorcerer 
The Ogre's Lair

So that's some of the new work I've been keeping busy with

Now for a few oldies. First up a couple of  oldies from The Fiend Folio, and a few rough ideas for 'Mechaniods' a part of the Abraxes World.

Now some of the "Mechanoids" designed for the futurist world linked to Abraxes.


To finish this time,a few more real oldies from The Citadel of Chaos and the Fiend Folio.

This is part one, part two [within two days] will contain some more selected oldies and give the date of the competition post.

Friday 29 October 2010

Emmanuel and his story strip.

Wow, I'm horrified to see how long it's been since my last post, so first, as promised all those weeks ago, I'll be posting the work of Emmanuel [no relation to any illustrator] whom I met at the Monde du Jeu. Not only a long time fan of my work, but as you'll see, one of my illustrations inspired him to create a 'comic' strip [or should I say - a 'storyboard'] of what happened before and after the picture I drew for that Fighting Fantasy Book.

I will follow this post very quickly [cough, cough] with two others.
One will feature some new work and to make up for the long hiatus in posting, the other will be a first for me, a Christmas Competition.

The competition will not be easy, but hopefully the prize will make it worthwhile! It will be open to all of my blog followers only [by the time of posting] and those who have ordered private commissions.  More details during next post. This [the next post] will probably be done during the first full week in November, which is, oh yes, next week and the competition will be posted soon thereafter.

But now back to Emmanuel's lovely work, which I think deserves a wider audience. Even if my original post date was missed [cough, cough!].

 and finally all the panels [as pages] created by Emmanuel.

To finish, a photograph taken at the Monde du Jeu [by Stefan] of myself [careworn and tired and thus all my wrinkles - that's the one seated on the left] and Emmanuel deep in conversation. My lovely partner, and rock, was beside me on that Friday, and in that photograph, but I had to 'crop' her from the picture because if I showed her face I'd have to die! Why do you women act so? Still, on reflection, and thinking of how [sad git] vain I can be... and looking at my mush ....I blame my father.

Till next time, and I promise it will be very soon.