Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, 1815

Duchess of Richmond's Ball, WIP sketch, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, wip sketch

Part of the preparatory sketches for ‘The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball’, (very rough version of the whole thing on the right, a more finished part of it on the left).
It’s been called ‘the most famous ball in history’ because half the guests had to leave suddenly for war; in many cases marching straight from the ball to the battlefield, literally.

But a few sketches, much research, and several days later I realised trying to draw a room full of people (many of whom in excruciatingly specific military dress) might need more time than ‘a few days’. So it’s been shelved for now, but perhaps every year on the anniversary of Waterloo I’ll work on it a little more.

————–

The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, 15th of June 1815.
Brussels, approximately 8 miles from Waterloo, in present-day Belgium.

It was intended as a merry night of diversion for Brussels’ nobility and the gallant young officers of the Allied army.  
Many of the guests considered war to be a distant thing, like storms on a far horizon; they’d grown accustomed to living with its threat and seizing every pleasure while they could. As they prepared for the evening’s festivities they couldn’t guess that war was only hours away.

But that night, in the middle of the music, laughter and dancing, a dispatch arrived with the impossible news that Napoleon’s army was upon them. Faces that had been flushed with pleasure suddenly became pale or sombre. The music played on but only the heartless could dance.
In the distance, bugles summoned men back to their divisions: they were to march out at three in the morning. Some officers had no time to change their attire, and were obliged to go forth in the odd splendour of their evening dress.
As they prepared to leave that night, some of the men looked grim, and others wildly elated, particularly the dashing boys who’d never entered battle before. But there were tears with the farewells, for many of the sons, husbands and dear friends leaving that night would not be seen again.

Advertisements

Waterloo Bicentenary Wellington sketch

To mark the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, a sketch of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers.
Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington sketch, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Bombshells, artist return cards

'Bombshells' Napoleonic Wars inspired sketch cards by Soni Alcorn-Hender

‘Bombshells’ Napoleonic Wars inspired sketch cards by Soni Alcorn-Hender

For sale via my Facebook Page HERE. :)

The brief for this project was ‘sexy women at war’, so expanding on the Waterloo/Napoleonic theme of my basecard painting for this set, I imagined what it would be like if the British had some Regency-era ‘Amazons’ in their midst during the Napoleonic Wars. These are the final five (and most elaborate):

Sergeant Sarah Stoker's concealed dagger, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

“Sergeant Sarah Stoker’s concealed dagger…”

“Emma Morgan, Lieutenant of HMS Victory”

The gunners at Trafalgar, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

‘It was hot and dirty work for the gunners at Trafalgar who rejoiced when the battle was over.’

“Captain Victoria Hart, Heavy Artillery.”

'Olivia Black and Marianne Dauphin' , by Soni Alcorn-Hender

‘Olivia Black and Marianne Dauphin meet again…’

‘Bombshells, Women of War’ sketch cards

“Has Wellington nothing to offer me but these Amazons?”

I doubt the above quote was ever uttered by Napoleon himself; probably just a good line for a movie (‘Waterloo’, 1970) said while the Emperor was watching the approaching British army. Either way, I liked it.

The brief for this project was ‘sexy women at war’, so expanding on the Waterloo/Napoleonic theme of my basecard painting for this set… (prints available here)

…I imagined what it would be like if the British had some Regency-era ‘Amazons’ in their midst during the Napoleonic Wars.

These are all the sketch cards I did for the ‘Bombshells’ trading cards.

 

‘Andraste of Waterloo’

 

Prints available here.

A painting for the trading card set ‘Bombshells, Women of War’. I went Napoleonic. Or Wellingtonian, rather.
‘Andraste’ is a war goddess of the ancient Britons, said to have been called upon by Boudicca herself before battle. This is how she might look if materialising on the battlefield of Waterloo in 1815.

The inspirations for this include a very famous painting of Napoleon astride his horse (‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’ by Jacques-Louis David), and a lovely photo of Florence Welch for Vogue.
12 x 10 inches on canvas

The Airship Pirate Captain

Painting for a basecard in ‘Treasure Chests and Booty’
Mixed media on treated cartridge paper, 6×9″

Steampunk Airship Pirate Captain by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Airship Pirate Captain

The Submarine Privateer Captain

Painting for a basecard in ‘Treasure Chests and Booty’
Mixed media on treated cartridge paper, 6×9″

Steampunk Submarine Privateer, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Submarine Captain and Privateer, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Steampunk Pirate Captains

Airship Pirate and Submarine Privateer, both 6×9 inches mixed media on paper.
Base-card paintings for the ‘Treasure chests’ trading card set from Axebone Studios.

‘Treasure Chests’ pirates – sketch cards