Friday 28 December 2012

Tarot Awards

After the Christmas break it's rather lovely to come back to some rewarding and wonderful news... 'The Steampunk Tarot' has been awarded Tarot of the Year by Tarosophy Website for Professional Tarot readers. It's a fantastic honour and recognition for Barbara Moore's writing and my artwork, and I'm enormously grateful.

My artwork also received Best Artwork from The Tarot Lady website, which is rather fantastic and flattering. Thank you Theresa Reed!

Friday 30 November 2012

Darkrising: The Art of Aly Fell

Well, 'the book' is HERE! I just took delivery of 8 boxes of 'DARKRISING: The Art of Aly Fell'. Never a bad thing! This is my first collection of personal work, and I am enormously grateful to SQP Publishing for offering me this opportunity.

48 pages, soft-cover, with dozens of images, and even a pic of my ugly mug in the introduction! You can buy it by following the link on the left hand column of the blog, or alternatively clicking HERE. (It takes you to the same place on my website either way).

Hint hint... nearly Christmas... ahem... cough...

Tuesday 6 November 2012


Popped out to the post office this morning to collect a missed delivery, and it was THE book! :) My first personal collection. It will be available soon, these are just the advance copies for my own personal perusal. Thanks to SQP, Bob and Sal for this!

Tuesday 16 October 2012

First Oil Painting Monstrosity

I don't think I've posted this here yet... good reason why really! I've been to the Illustration Master Class in Amherst twice now. The first time as a solitary Brit, the second with my chum and artist extraordinaire Mr Jonny Duddle. The IMC is a great week long course with some top notch illustrators. Initially I went with the noble intent of learning oils, only having played with them a bit at college about !!!??? years ago. However, IMC is not the place to learn a new medium. It is the place to get great feedback and all sorts of ace help from other artists, but you're better off going with with a medium you're familiar with or at least have SOME understanding of. Anyway, my ambitious plans to be socially aware and produce a contemporary Joan of Arc (the option I chose) went pear shaped when the sketch I did was too ambiguous. In the end I narrowed it down to a 'portrait' just as an experiment with oils. This was the result. My 'first' oily mess.

Looking at it again, it has its moments, somewhere, sort of... At least it was easy to get in my luggage and back to the UK as it's pretty small. I've set up my studio to do another, that I posted about a bit ago... but I've been distracted since.

Oil on board, 8" x 10". Wow, that makes me sound like a 'proper' artist!

Thursday 11 October 2012


A character piece for my Elizabethan story. This is Rosalind, and I've done quite a few of her! I finished this one a couple of weeks ago, but I was a bit naughty - I adapted parts of the door from 'Trilby' to use as the panelling behind. Otherwise the pose is from a rough sketch I did for something else many moons ago. She normally wears leggings below her trunk hose, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of thigh... ahem...

The gun is a wheellock which historically appropriate. I recently went to the Tower of London where there are some 16th century wheellock pistols on display.

Here's a little story concerning Elizabethan weaponry:

In 1579 a young man called Thomas Appletree was showing off to some friends in a boat on the Thames. He had a gun and was firing off shots for the fun of it. Nearby the Queen was entertaining the French ambassador on her royal barge, and one of the bullets managed to hit a crewman, injuring him. People were convinced the Queen had escaped an assassination attempt. Appletree was found and confessed to firing the gun, and was condemned to death. A gallows was erected near the scene of the 'crime'. At the execution, Appletree mounted the gallows and told the people watching that he was not a traitor, but admitted he had been careless and stupid, and believed he deserved to die for endangering the Queen. Essentially, he'd been a bit of a twit! The noose was put round his neck and at the moment of execution, a man stepped out of the crowd from the Queen with a written pardon. She had known he was just a silly young man, but he had to be taught a lesson.

What we learn from this, is Elizabeth the First had a twisted sense of humour!

Friday 5 October 2012

Leeds Steampunk Market

More 'event' goodness, although I'm not sure anyone reads blogs any more, as the migration to Facebook now includes one seventh of the world's population apparently! But none the less I shall be in Leeds tomorrow at the STEAMPUNK MARKET. Whilst not strictly speaking a Steampunker, (a penchant for drainpipe trousers, winklepickers and studded belts negates a full time commitment to all things beige and brown) I've had a bit of a thing for goggles before they became the 'must have' item for all budding post apocalyptic or colonial adventurers. And jodhpurs look damn fine on a woman I must say... but I digress...

As I say, tomorrow I shall have a stall, and will sell printy type things, booky type things and indulge in general chit chat and tea drinking.

Cardigan Road,
West Yorkshire

(an old red-brick church, opposite Milfords woodyard), between Harold Grove and Royal Park Road.

Saturday 6th October 2012, 12 - 7pm (although I'll be buggering off at 5.30).

Tuesday 18 September 2012

The Black Mirror

An image from an ongoing personal project. The title is in a state of flux, but this is where it's at right now. Set during the reign of Elizabeth 1st is all I'm kind of going to say now! Part of my ongoing obsession with all things 16th century and Tudor costume, although that's not really apparent from this pic!!. :)

PS, a reminder I'll be at NICE this weekend in Kettering Northants selling, buying, chatting and looking.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Book of Stuff

I'm jolly excited to say that hopefully before Christmas I shall have my own collection of arty stuff on the shelves; what they call a 'monograph' in very posh expensive book circles. Published by the very nice people at SQP, I will have my very own ISBN number! :) So start saving those pennies, sheckels, dimes, dinars, etc (not too many of them!) for a book full of women 'doing stuff'. This is the mock-up cover, and I'll post more details as and when they become available, you know the drill.

And I thought I'd post this doodle I did a couple of weeks ago, inspired by a haircut! I originally gave her a ciggy, but changed it to a cheroot, as it seemed more appropriate. This was a real quickie, just to get started one morning, and this is the actual size! Sometimes it's quicker to work small and 'res-up' later, but I didn't here... doh, so a sketch it remains...

Monday 6 August 2012

Be N.I.C.E. to see you...

More extravaganzas of scribbling delight! This one is new: The Northants International Comic Expo. Huh? you say... Northants or rather Northamptonshire, and this event is in Kettering, and has a great line-up of guests including the one, the only, the magnificent Alan Moore, not far from his stomping ground in Northampton.

I shall have a table here for the two days, ably supported by 'the missus'™, so please pop along!

For all you Londoners, who need to be 'encouraged' to leave your shining metropolis ;) Kettering is a real quick trip from St Pancras station up the East coast line. I know because I used to travel it a lot, so there's no excuse for not seeing you at it!

The Date: 22nd/23rd September
The Place: Wicksteed Park, Kettering, Northants.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Death:The Endless, Your Card I Believe?

A more rendered up version of a sketch I did a couple of years ago. Neil Gaiman's 'Death', whom I've always loved as a character. I bought 'Sandman' from almost day one and it's still a real treat to read over again.

"It's the only card you need..."

Saturday 28 July 2012

"Wheat and Wine"

I was trying to remember how I approached the method of 'The Absinthe Fairy' and did this, sort of a sketch I worked up a bit. The text is the last verse of a favourite poem: 'Wheat and Wine' by Aleister Crowley. I have a habit - not a good one - of doing these experiments at quite a low resolution. The next I'll do at a much higher one, and go a bit more overboard on the detail.

Friday 20 July 2012

Manchester MCM Expo

Tomorrow, being the 21 first day of July in the year of our lord Twenty twelve, I am of a disposition most pleased to be able to impart details of attendance at The Manchester MCM Expo, by myself. I shall be endeavouring to impart wares and fineries of artistic achievement to the general populace, whilst enunciating most emphatically above the noise and hubbub of what is commonly known as 'Robot Wars'!

In other words pop along and say hello, if you can hear yourself over Craig Charles (I assume) warbling away.

EDIT: Thank you to EVERYONE who turned up yesterday for an event that exceeded all expectations! And thank you to all who bought a print or tarot deck or just chatted with me! As they say: props to you all!

Thursday 5 July 2012

Anima Sola

I did a doodle yesterday morning for something else altogether and it turned into this. Didn't want to spend too long on it so no ref for the awful hands but it was fun to do quickly. I'll probably look at it tomorrow and see the mistakes..! 'Anima Sola'... purgatory isn't all bad!

Edit: did a small tweak...

Wednesday 6 June 2012


A close up of a full figure I did a little while ago. The reason I'm posting this is, A. To keep the blog alive, (I've been very quiet here because of commission work), and B. Because I'm having a go at doing this face in oils. I keep banging on about having another go at them, and always end up having to procrastinate for some reason. Well this time I printed it out as a tonal drawing and mounted it on hard-board (US - Masonite), a la Donato Giancola's method using Acrylic Matte Medium to coat it and glue it. I decided to do it this way, as still struggling with oils as a medium, having a tonal 'sketch' to work on might be a help for a novice. It's also a method I used at the Illustration Master Class in Massachusetts last year. Hopefully it'll end up completely different or at least 'changed' in some way. I'll post my 'attempts' in stages as I do them for you point and laugh at... :P

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Bristol Comic Expo

A little heads-up for an event I'll have a stall at this coming weekend, of the 12th - 13th May, the Bristol Comic Expo. If you're in the area please pop along! Last year they had Stormtroopers directing traffic...


I shall have prints, The Steampunk Tarot, and a couple of other goodies for sale!

Thursday 3 May 2012

The Steampunk Tarot

Over a year in the works, through some pretty traumatic personal times in my life, and The Steampunk Tarot is now in boxes! 78 cards, plus a reverse image, and not counting the 'redos'! It includes some images already familiar to some, plus lots of new ones.

The text is written by the lovely Barbara Moore and the images by me, with her guidance and supervision throughout. The 'steampunk world' in the cards is mine and Barbara's, and has our own personal 'take' on things. I've kept it pretty Victorian, but it blurs occasionally.

Credits to some Steampunk Photoshop brushes a friend gave me, which were named 'hannarb'. Inspiration from John Singer Sargent (believe it or not), most images were drawn from scratch, apart from a couple for which I used my own reference or occasionally a pose from fashion sites or my huge folder of random imagery.

Anyway, a snapshot photo of the box and some of the cards, and suffice it to say, I never want to see another cog as long as I live!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

She Wolf Reads

An interview with me on the rather excellent blog, She Wolf Reads.

I really do babble on at times!!

Thank you Lee.


Sunday 15 April 2012

Gráinne Ní Mháille

Gráinne Ní Mháille, or Grace O'Malley. Just a personal piece of 'Tudorpunk' shennanigans, women in doublet and hose, swords, cigars and flintlocks! ;) I've taken a few liberties with the costume, mixing up appropriate Elizabethan with a bit of Napoleonic, and she was supposed to have trimmed her hair short, so you could see this as her a little older perhaps...

Gráinne Ní Mháille was a really interesting 'pirate', clan chief and real life heroine of Ireland, who met Elizabeth 1st and generally kicked a lot of bottom in the 16th century! (And if you're wondering how her name was pronounced: GRAWN-ya nee WALL-ya, apparently!)

Photoshop CS2, drawn from scratch based on an old sketch I did for a Character of the Week challenge that I never finished. Painting a chest of coins could be described as either therapeutic or madness inducing...

And a close up. I edited this recently, sometimes looking at something again lets you see what's 'wrong' with it...


Friday 13 April 2012

'Discount Armageddon': Seanan McGuire

Last year I was asked to produce a cover for Seanan McGuire's new novel 'Discount Armageddon', almost unable to fit it in because of previous commitments, we juggled and managed it. It was lovely to work for Seanan and DAW books, and I had fun with the image!

All in Photoshop CS2, using my two favourite personal brushes, with some help from a custom cloud brush, and one of Charfade's leaf brushes, that I adapted to suit.


Friday 30 March 2012

Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore

There was a nice surprise in the post a couple of days ago! Last year Christopher Moore, the author approached me wondering if he might be able to use 'The Absinthe Fairy' on an upcoming book. The thing is it would have to be 'blue' for reasons, self evident! So I made the changes and this is the result! Enormously happy and grateful to Christopher for wanting to use the image! Thank you! Funny how a character design for an on-line challenge has such a journey!

Chris's website is HERE

And you can see the original HERE

Please excuse the awful photographs! :)

Wednesday 28 March 2012


She sings her song, a waltz to death,
On ravens wings and spiders breath.

'Ligeia'. I was starting to tweak too much. I was going to go mad on the detail, but sometimes you realise that wont do it any favours...

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Rosie Lugosi

A promotional image for the wonderful Rosie Lugosi, cabaret and burlesque host. Her facebook page is HERE!

Sunday 18 March 2012


Edited, rather than a new post: Some more 'burlesque' sketches. The third one had a doodle of a poster in the background, so I did it as an image on its own, and all the performers too! :o)

Wednesday 14 March 2012

More Showgirls

Some more sketch burlesque/showgirls. These are just warm-up exercises I do in the morning when I should be doing other things...


Mr Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka: Lemmy of Motorhead and Hawkwind. A sort of caricature of him for an on-line challenge. I did this whilst my internet router was busy dying at the weekend! (Why do they make these things so complicated!!?)

Friday 9 March 2012

Back Stage Burlesque

Yesterday's sketchiness. A burlesque girl back stage... These are fun so there's more to come...

Rather than make a new post, here's today's as well... Very quick just to loosen up a bit... :)

Monday 5 March 2012


Two events in almost as many weeks! Well, I'll be at the Steampunk Market in Leeds UK this coming Saturday 10th March selling prints etc.

Cardigan Road

There'll be lots of stalls and stuff, and a some tea and a scone too!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Alternative and Burlesque Fair

I shall have a small stall at the Alternative and Burlesque Fair in Manchester this coming Saturday 25th February. Please come along and say hi if you're in the area! There will be plenty of alternative clothing stalls, art and general lovliness, alongside burlesque performers.


Just next to The Salisbury and Oxford Road Station.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Dr Sketchy's

I went to my first Anti Art Class the other day, Dr Sketchy's in Chester. It was fantastic, alongside the excellent Jonny Duddle, we scribbled away at one minute, five minute and fifteen minute poses. Here are three of my attempts, the top two five mins each and the bottom one minute. I can't wait till I'm able to go to another one. Thanks to Heather and the organisers of Dr Sketchy's North Wales.

BTW, I have an 'Art' Facebook page so if you're on there pop along and 'like' if you feel like it.

Tuesday 17 January 2012


Small update... This was originally a character for a Tarot deck I've recently worked on (more of that some other day), although at the time it wasn't working for me. I came back to it the other day and tweaked it into something at least presentable. Er... Isabelle Kingdom Brunel, as a sort of portrait... ahem...