Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Commissions [a short post].

Occasionally, I'm commissioned to do personal work. I've been approached over the years by a few people to do private work but many never reply after I've told them my fees. Whether original artwork, which they expect for a pittance, or newly commissioned pieces, there are some people who appear to think such drawing takes no time at all, and involves little or no work. It's just a drawing after all. I beg to differ.

My rant, but enough, let's press on. Below see a few examples of personal work.

The first is the second part of a vertical diptych, I'll add a 'version' of the bottom part of the diptych, which was done a few years ago, but the only version I can find, at present, is sadly of poor quality. I've tried to 'rescue' the image as much as I can. Still you'll get an 'idea', and see how the two parts, produced years apart, are meant to work together.
The bottom part was an original creation, but the latest part, the top part of the diptych, has a link to the original 'entrance' to Firetop Mountain. When FF book 1, 'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain', was originally published, the entrance was not one of the illustrations asked for as such although a drawing of a cave entrance was used. After the books first printing, I was asked to create a picture [see below] using the drawing of the 'cave' entrance as a starting point, that showed a more dramatic 'entrance' to Firetop Mountain, but as far as I know, it only appeared in a Puffin Magazine [but, as is usually, I may be wrong].

This 'new' version [seen above], showing some hideous entrance to the lair of its 'owner' [see bottom part of the diptych shown above], was done at the behest of a client, and as you'll see, is not the same, but has similarities. Below is the original entrance created for Firetop Mountain.
Next, below is a small whimsical picture of Faerie, and has, like the diptych above, it has never been printed.
The following below, is my 'Cyclops', but it is a poor scan, from a photograph, of part of a larger picture, and was originally produced in watercolour and ink pen.
Below is a promotional 'map', which was produced back in 2003 for a local company in Kent, England, and that was never actually printed for public distribution to my knowledge.
Next, a caricature sketch I did for someone [see the one on the left], which I later coloured as an exercise [see the one on the right]. 

Finally, for this short post, a final personal piece that I 'knocked' together from two other cartoon pieces of work as a basis for a Greetings card.
The Basset's name was 'Arthur' and if anyone is aware of how self serving, stupid and greedy Bassets can be, then they will know what a prime number [expletive deleted] Arthur was to me. But Arthur had his public, who all adored and loved them, and they could never understand when I would say, 'Right, take him, he's yours.'  There are Basset Hounds and there was Arthur; you might think a dog on a roof? If he could have reached it, Arthur would have done it.

His favourite form of recreation was seriously rolling in all encompassing fox detritus; many is the time he had to be fetched at 1.00am from another jolly escapade when he had to suffer the indignity of a BATH, followed closely by me having a bath for fear that people would think I had been rolling in fox detritus. Ah, happy days.


  1. I've owned three bassets. I know exactly what you're talking about.

  2. I have a mad cat that eats all my plants!

    Great work Russ, if only we could peruse larger versions to ogle all that fine Nicholson detailing.:)

  3. Matt - Three Bassets - impressive!

    Atom - My son-in-law has 2 'indoor' cats who eat all his spider plants.

    When I was younger our family cat reduced the local pigeon population by a lot. I discovered this when I found his larder, while trying to open a shed door, after a lot of effort, and looking behind it found a near chest high pile of feathers and dessicated bits of pigeon. Curious thing was after it was 'found' and cleared he [our cat] stopped using it as his larder.

    About the work - these were done as private commissions, they are not in the public domain as they say, and I don't think it fair to the owners to provide 'larger' versions so, as many appear to do, the work can be copied without asking for permission. Some may think me stingy about this but I don't agree. The posts show enough, I think, so people can see what the work was like.

  4. I agree whole heartily! When I suggested larger versions I meant "slightly larger" but not big enough for people to use without permission.You are right to protect your work.Those Firetop Mountain pieces look great, thanks for posting them.

    Cats do seem to catch pidgeons very easy.I think the pidgeons sleep in accessable areas and the cats nab em from their roosts.Did you
    stuff your mattress and pillows with all those feathers. Kinda gives you inspiration for an illustration doesnt it? Some lairing creature
    surrounded by piles of its past victims!

    Enjoy your weekend Russ!

  5. I love maps in that style. I could seriously see using that in a role-playing game (have to change the mobile home park into something else - gypsy encampment?)

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  7. Take your point, Atom, will see what I can do.

    As an aside, check out this picture [if you haven't already] of the Orion Nebula.


    Now that's IMPRESSIVE!

    Matthew, I'd make a comment about the Gypsies but they come round and do something to your Hollyhocks... brrrrr.

  8. would you like to help clapton ate and do a football club in forest gate and do a free poster for us to put in shops hence showing yourself off as well