Of Leaves and Wishes

Leaves and Wishes, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Leaves and Wishes

“There is a bower between the rowan and the hawthorn, the elder and the oak.
Wait for him there.”

Original character from a story in progress.
Acrylics, watercolour, pastel, pencil, and a distinct feeling of something in the forest, on 300gsm paper.

Prints and nice things available here.

The Forest’s Daughter

‘For long years the forest sung to her as she slept. It sung of black earth, clean airs, deep water, and the endurance of trees. But then it sang of iron teeth, fuming machines, and flesh that bleeds red. And she awoke.’
(part of my story in progress)

Acrylics, watercolour, pastel, colour pencil, and gold paste on 300gsm watercolour paper; approx. 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Prints and nice things available here.

A (very abbreviated) making of:

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:


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 Fair Folk

Some of the illustrations for the perfume collection: ‘Fair Folk‘, by CocoaPink Bath & Body, Autumn/Winter 2019, and some of the story snippets the artwork inspired.

The Fairy King by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Fairy King by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Fairy King

“The entire Faerie Court was known to be a sinuous knot of depravity, but the worst in all of this – or perhaps by their standards, the best – was their King. It was said he could lead an entire village into voluptuous disarray simply by walking through it on a May morning.
Casanova himself chronicled some of the King’s exploits, but his unfinished book was rudely seized and, ‘for the good of humanity’, it was supposedly burned. Though many believe the manuscript still exists to this day, and is kept in the vaults of a shockingly famous building where it quietly causes the air to sparkle and the stones to blush.”

Pastel pencils on A3 toned paper.
Shiny things of the shiny king can be found here.

‘Fairy King’ scent:
Their noble lord. He is the most gracious, most generous, and most wicked of them all.
A crown of ivy and lavender, a staff of oak; green mosses, softest leather, bewitching elf musk.


The Proud Queen by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Proud Queen by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Proud Queen of Faerie.

“Those who met her, and survived, couldn’t agree if the Queen was fantastically evil or just exquisitely insane. Some said both. Yet amid the tales of carnage and curious horror are accounts of a few mortals upon whom she lavished gifts and affection – though whether they were her lovers or just favoured pets we may never know. But it’s recorded that the Queen gave them lands and fine houses, though nothing remains of them now, and that with easy violence she destroyed their enemies and rivals, and anyone else her chosen ones pointed a finger at. In the fairy-haunted lands of medieval England, it was well known one must not upset those who are loved by fairies.”

Pastel pencils on A3 toned paper.
Prints available here.

The ‘Proud Queen’ scent:
She rules all that is strange and dangerous, poisonous and beautiful.
Foxgloves, opium poppies, bitter nightshade, green roses of hellebore, oleander’s apricot notes, and innocent orange blossom, with a breath of raspberries, white chocolate, marshmallow, and warm white musk.


The Changeling by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Changeling by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Changeling

‘The Changeling looked like any human, except perhaps for her eyes which were those of a wild thing. She was known also for her constant companionship of animals: sleek, dark creatures with silver eyes.’

Pastel pencils and acrylic on A3 painted paper.
Prints and dark delicious things

Dark Changeling scent:
Oh beautiful monsterling, to which world do you belong?
Sugary dark cherries surrounded by night forests, incense, dragon’s blood, and wolf’s musk.


The Black Prince by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Black Prince by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Black Prince:

“One of the farthest, darkest edges of Faerie was the Rose Kingdom where velvet blooms filled starlit gardens.
Their king was a sombre tyrant who grew even harsher after his wife’s death, and took to leaving his lands for months at a time. To the amazement of his court he suddenly returned one midwinter’s night with an infant son held in his arms, and would speak no word of the boy’s mother.
The court whispered she must have been a demon or vampire countess, which was why the Prince grew so wicked, cold and strong, even for a fairy. (For fairies are, as I’ve noted before, a largely cruel and despicable race).
They said that under his touch red roses became black, which was how he got his title.
But the Queen from the court of the Death’s Head Moth was delighted with him, and took him into her personal service as Master of Information, for he was exquisitely talented in gaining both secrets and silence, and here was permitted to perfect his dreadful arts.”

Pastel pencils and acrylic on A3 painted paper.
Prints and dark delicious things can be found here.

The ‘Black Prince’ scent:

Roses, leather, love and sin,
to wrap a fairy princeling in.
~Black roses, Black amber, black vanilla, black leather.

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