The Gelft, (characters from a work in progress)

“I bring news from the Underground City: We’ve been betrayed. And so have you.”
(From my work-in-progress story. MUCH bigger snippet under the artwork…)

Acrylics, coloured pencil, chalk pastels, Mylar flakes, green iridescent enamel paint, the glowing hauteur of an underground kingdom who cares not for your petty achievements, and gouache paint, on paper. 21×29 cms.

Original illustration by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Original character from a story in progress: A Gelft

For those who want story time, click on ‘Read the full post’ below:

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A Raven, (characters from a work in progress)

“The soft-winged shepherds of the dead. To see one is an honour, for it means a gentle end and a safe journey.
They’re known for their patience and sombre bearing, yet those who’ve seen them (and lived to tell of it) have glimpsed hard, black armour under their shadowy robes. But I only ever met one woman brave or mad enough to detain a Crow in their duty and actually ask.
She told me even she couldn’t believe the question came out of her mouth, and it was with a mingled feeling of surprised triumph and utter horror that she saw the robed figure pause in his task and then turn to face her.
In a voice as soft and dark as the dreaming sea, he said, ‘A freshly severed soul is a powerful and precious thing. The hinterland is full of claws and hunger. When we take a soul, we protect it.’ “

(From my work-in-progress story.)

Acrylic, watercolours, pastels, an ominous sense of foreboding, and pencils on paper, 21×29 cms.

Original illustration by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Original character from a story in progress: Raven shepherd of the dead.

Charlotte & Yogg (characters from a work in progress)

Original Characters: Charlotte & Yogg by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Original Characters: Charlotte & Yogg

‘Yogg was a Himalayan Rock Shepherd. People who’d never seen him assumed this meant he was some kind of dog. He wasn’t a dog. His skin was scalier, his teeth longer, his bite quite fantastically more venomous, and he was even more loyal.
Like many good dogs however he was the proud and careful owner of a Person, and his person was Charlotte. Yogg knew his person needed constant exercise and distraction to keep her happy and healthy, so he dutifully stole her shoes, chewed her pillows, made strange noises in the night, and brought her things from the garden that he thought she might enjoy, (recently including various rocks, half a toad, a whole palm tree, and the chewed hubcaps of a new BMW.)

Yogg also knew his person would need protecting from other people, especially stray or vicious ones. And that sometimes there’d be worse things than people – nameless things that haunted Charlotte’s nightmares, and he’d need to chase them back into the dimension they’d crawled from until he’d pinned them down and torn off their tentacles. He was very good at it. (This was another trait he shared with actual dogs, though apparently most humans are unaware of this vital service that their companions do for them, the ingrates.)

But there were times when his person was besieged by an enemy Yogg couldn’t see; some shapeless, grey weight that he couldn’t sink his teeth into. At these times (no matter how many shoes he stole, or interesting things he dragged in from the garden) he couldn’t seem to make his person happy again. He feared she’d sink into that dismal place where he couldn’t follow. All Yogg could do was hold on, and hope that if he held on tightly enough she wouldn’t disappear. ‘

(From my work-in-progress story.)

Acrylics, pencils, and pastels on paper, 21 x 29 cms

Samuel (characters from a work in progress)

Original character: Samuel by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Original character: Samuel

“When they spoke about Samuel they only said how charming he was, how generous and beautifully-mannered; how he never raised his voice, or denied a request, and was always nice to cats. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how his house is guarded by gargoyles bigger than Stonehenge, how his right-hand-woman is an actual harpy, and how his mother set fire to a desert – and I don’t mean ‘dessert’, I mean ‘an endless horizon of sand haunted by dung beetles and the memory of camels’, actual desert. It burned with a blue flame for nine days straight.
But what I’d like to know now is: what’s he doing in London? Samuel with his harpy, his secrets, and his flames, what’s he after? Because I reckon he’s looking for someone. And I wouldn’t want to be the poor bugger he’s looking for.”

(From my work-in-progress story.)

Pastel, pencils, acrylics, and gold paint on paper, 21×29 cms

The Harpy, Marta

The harpy, Marta, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

“On the roof, what did you see?”
“I thought I saw a woman, but all dark and sharp and hunched over the roof tiles like a vulture. …I thought she had wings.”
He sighed. “You won’t always see the wings, but her face remains the same: ageless, vicious; eyes like a mad hawk and a temper to match.” He cast a nervous glance at the rooftops and shivered. “Avoid her. Are you listening? Avoid her, and avoid her eyes. If she looks into your eyes, she’ll know.”

The harpy Marta. Finished sketch of an original character from my own story. :3
Derwent pastels and pencils on recyled paper. 8.6×12 inches.

Prints available, in case you want to scare yourself or your nearest and dearest, Here.

Quick sketch ‘Gabriel’

Warm up sketch for a bit of exercise, and a sudden craving for magenta.

Warm-up sketch 'Gabriel' by Soni Alcorn-Hender

‘Gabriel’