Tuesday 8 October 2013

Bits of this and bits of that ...

I don't know, you get a flu injection and within a few days come down with an infection. This is, as the title suggests, a bit of this and a bit of that of a post. It started out as one of my infamous short posts but I think I was carried away.

But do please keep going, for there are some new bits as well ;).

If anything seems familiar I must apologise but sometimes it's necessary, and sometimes it's because of my forgetting I've posted that before. Sounds familiar ... oh, sorry, I've posted that before. Blame the medication, officer.

I've had a few jobs this year that have yet to see print, but cannot mention or show you because ... you guessed? They have yet to see print. One in fact I was told today may not see print till 2014. One job is because it is still ongoing, although I hope to finalise the first part by the end of November. But I have finished a book cover and it will, I hope, be the subject of my next post when I intend to discuss, and show, as some of you I know are interested, the development from initial approach through to the 'delivery' of the final artwork. But more about that later.

The idea for this next post about the book cover, which is for John Whitbourn's latest 'The Two Confessions', came from Dave Morris, he of 'Fabled Lands', 'Mirabilis' 'Frankenstein' and other game related creations, including his 'new' series 'Critical IF Gamebooks' which gives me my link into my first series of pictures. Subtle, eh :). 

One of these gamebooks is Necklace of Skulls, for which I posted a lot of its art in an earlier blog, and another is Heart of Ice. 

 Now I've posted a few of its pictures before, but here are a few more along with some of my original character study roughs.

One of the fun aspects, when I worked on this project was that Dave allowed me the opportunity to help visualise, and create, the look of many of the key characters in the story. Here [below] you see a few showing my study rough along with the finished illustration.

One last rough study and if you'd like to read the whole thing, and more,  please do check out Dave's excellent Fabled Lands blog. 

As I'm linking with some old bits from those days of yore when Dave and I were trying out ideas to see what would make a good project for us to work together on, here are a couple more.

This was for a proposed interactive e-comic, called Medra that he was writing.

This next is a couple of pages for another related to a slightly different take on the the legend of King Arthur, which, if memory serves, pre-dated the BBC series on King Arthur, called The New Knights of Camelot.


Not to be out done, as they say, here are a few character roughs I proposed for another graphic novel idea linked to The Fabled Lands, this time by its co-creator Jamie Thomson [and his brother Peter Thomson] which originally started life as a radio serial, The Heart of Harkun and is listed as ''a work in progress''.

Although, as Jamie is now in thrall to The Dark Lord [more details can be found linked through Dave's blog], a work in hiatus might be nearer the mark, but you never know.

Right... a few images found on the web.

This next that I found was listed under my name, and although unsigned I'm sure it is by me. It was done back in the early 70's when I was trying to perfect my brush work, long before I became involved with girl comics. I remember I did a few for this fanzine where I was given the topic but  otherwise had total freedom.


Next, we have a few from Games Workshop, and a scaled up piece from The Fiend Folio.


Finally those new pieces I promised way back at the beginning. These were done for Goodman Games a half page and a full page.
Lastly, an oldie from the again the 70's. The excellent Rosemary Pardoe, a devoted and enthusiastic expert on M.R. James wanted me to create a series of A3 [ish] pictures depicting scenes from various stories to be sold as posters. I recounted part of this before as all of my copies were destroyed, along with a lot of other works, when part of my roof collapsed. This was a favourite of my mother, who had the original on her wall for many years, depicting Count Magnus.


The next post, as mentioned at the start, will be based on the genesis of my work on a book cover from 'start' to 'finish'.


  1. Really nice sketches. I reminds me of the good old times when I first started fantasy gaming.

    1. Thank you Markus next post is about colour ..well one piece.

  2. Great work Russ =)
    The pic of the 'Twins' at the bar with all the shot glasses is fantastic!

    1. Appreciate that Tim, it was a fun project to work on with Dave [Morris] and if you look for his Fabled Lands Blog you should find a download of the whole book.

  3. The rain! marvellous work there Russ. Really like the drowned dead too, but gosh, that rain.

    1. Thanks Zhu, the rain does not exist on the original and the two versions were offered and you got the rain! Knowing Goodman Games quality productions I look forward to seeing the print version.


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