Sunday, 6 June 2010


Worlds. One of the interesting aspects of drawing is to attempt, when possible [as some illustrative tasks demand otherwise], to 'flesh out' the subject of the picture to show something of the 'world beyond'. I'm not professing to be good at it, but it's something I like to do.

After the Fabled Lands series was cancelled by Macmillan [Pan Books] after only six titles, instead of the planned twelve, Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson decided to look for other directions. Dave has since gone on to, among other things, work, with Leo Hartis,  on his graphic novel Mirabilis - Years of Wonder, and his Fabled Lands  blog site.

One of the earliest creations that Dave and I worked on as a possible game scenario was The Shadow King, and I was given the task of roughing out [and they are rough, lol] a few scenes to show the world of the Shadow King, which was to be set at the turn of the 20th Century in an alternate London.

The other world scenario was that of Abraxes, the Fabled Land. Abraxes was, as you'll see from the map that I drew from Dave's rough, a large island where different peoples lived. The key cities of each race had its antecedent's in races that once inhabit our own world. Thus there are hints of Egyptian, Assyrian, Toltec peoples, among others.

Here is the map of Abraxas - The Fabled Land, and a few of the sketches I created to try to visualise the land of Abraxas.

I also had to come up with the creatures [from Dave's written descriptions], and create my own costume designs, and so on, that would inhabit this world.

Before finishing, a special mention for Andy, who has gone to all the trouble of identifying the published source of the illustrations I have posted on line to date.


  1. Wow, that's a ton of neat stuff. I really like the architecture ones.

  2. Fun. I love the cities, it's fun to get sucked into them.

  3. Your drawings are awesome. I especially like the Choriazine ones, but what kind of a die hard Santana fan calls a world Abraxas?

  4. Great conceptual work there Russ, thanks for the little window into your art processes and ideas.
    Love the costume & creature concepts.:)

  5. Thanks for all the comments, and the praise, much appreciated.

    In answer to the comment about the name, 'Abraxas'I cannot say much as I was not the author - Dave Morris is the man to ask. As for conceptual work, It's something I like to do - I did a lot on both, but these 'sketches' are all that exist to show what might have been.

  6. @squidman - well, you've answered your own question. A diehard Santana fan :-)