Dreamers of Darkness, Vampire Squid

Original painting for a basecard in the ‘Dreamers of Darkness’ trading card set depicting a ‘Vampire Squid’.
If a mermaid is half woman half fish, then this is half woman and half ‘vampyroteuthis infernalis’ which translates as literally: ‘vampire squid from hell’.  How could I resist? :)
(I should point out the ‘vampyroteuthis infernalis’ is a real and fabulous creature.)

21×29 cms, mixed media.

Vampire Squid by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Vampire Squid

Victorian Gothic on the Silver Screen

Sadlittles ‘Essence of Fairyland’ – Absinthe

I was asked to make a painting which would be a printed card for the set ‘Essence of Fairyland’, and I could do whichever fairy I liked, so I chose ‘La Fée Verte’, the Green Fairy of Absinthe.

‘The Green Fairy in the Absinthe wants your soul…’
(Bram Stoker’s Dracula).

La Fée Verte by Soni Alcorn-Hender

La Fée Verte

The Art of Fear

I was asked to paint fear. Or at least some of the deep-seated things that cause it. After a long and dark contemplation I chose themes that I thought may be common to most people, and admittedly which lent themselves to being portrayed with some ghoulish delight: The apocalyptic end of the world, the inescapable creatures in nightmares, and the crawling horrors of plague.

And now what’s needed is some sleeping fluffy bunnies, because something has to make it all alright again.

There there now. All better.

There there now. All better.

When the wolfbane blooms

Many of us have beasties that make us shiver, remnants of creatures that haunted childhood dreams. For me it was werewolves. I don’t know why, I like wolves and love dogs; but if something menacing with teeth and claws was due to make a nocturnal appearance it would invariably be werewolves.

However movie lycanthropes don’t bother me at all. For all their slobbery snarliness they don’t have the key ingredient that scared the bejeezus out of me as a tiny weasel: patience. Terrible, inescapable, awful patience. The nightmare beasts never ran because they never needed to. They would merely loom in front of you, waiting for you to realise you had nowhere left to run.

So when I was asked to draw something new and scary I remembered those lupine buggers, and decided to try and capture the combined qualities of stillness and menace. No snarling, clawing, or rabid leaping; just patience. These are some of the work in progress concept sketches for the eventual wolfies. I ended up referencing all sorts of odd animals (as well as wolves) including baboons, goats, fossas (the fossa is a scary thing), Tasmanian Tigers and lots and lots of dog skulls (with and without.. substance on them).

The Dark Nights are here

Halloween is a splendid time of year: the perfect excuse to eat your bodyweight in chocolate and wear your superhero costume in public. But any truly sinister creature knows that Halloween isn’t the best time to venture forth, precisely because the streets are full of chocolate-buzzed nutjobs dressed as superheroes. No, these chaps prefer a time that’s quieter and darker than Halloween: the night when the clocks go backward; the 13-hour night that ushers in Winter and heralds the dying of the light. Things are about to get very dark, and (as it’s me) that also means Victorian! (Apparently modern culture has monsters as well, but really, phoo, who cares?) These precious little monsters are all sketch-card sized paintings (2.5 x 3.5 inches) adorned with gory little treasures for a 3-dimensional touch.  The sale of each of these contributed a little something to an array of apt charities; for example Dracula helped an organisation in Africa get clean blood, Sweeney Todd’s donation went to Locks of Love; you get the idea. So swoon gracefully into the nearest velvet chaise, and enjoy!