The Raven King

John Uskglass, the Raven King, Soni Alcorn-Hender

John Uskglass, the Raven King

“Even the Raven King – who was not a fairy, but an Englishman –
had a somewhat regrettable habit of abducting
men and women and taking them to live with him
in his castle in the Other Lands.”

The Raven King, with bird and book. Inspired by the character from exquisite Strange & Norrell by Susanna Clarke. (The audiobook is particularly good.)

Acrylics, pencil, liquid gold and silver, sterling silver leaf, and old English magic on paper 21×30 cms. Prints available here.

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‘To Signify My Claim’

The Gentleman With the Thistle-down Hair, from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
Pencils and digital colouring, 21×29 cms

“I should take something of the lady’s to signify my claim upon her.”

What he takes is a finger. Though just a little one.

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair, Strange & Norrell, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Funeral tree over Moss Oak

The (supposed) funeral of Arabella Strange, attended by her grieving husband, and (unseen) gloating fairy with Thistle-down hair.
The King’s raven watches, the trees spell out the truth, and the magic came from a single tear from a lady’s handkerchief.

From Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
Graphite and acrylics on pastel paper 21×28 cms.

The Funeral of Arabella Strange, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Funeral of Arabella Strange

Funeral tree over Moss Oak, work in progress

Soni Alcorn-Hender

John Uskglass, the Raven King & ivy

John Uskglass, the Raven King with a crown of ivy leaves, for ‘ivy binds English magic’. The magician King raised by faeries, from Susanna Clarke’s book ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’.
Pencil and acrylics on old paper, 8×11.5″, finished digitally.

A detail of the whole (click to see full size) :

John Uskglass, the Raven King crowned in Ivy (detail) by Soni Alcorn-Hender

John Uskglass, the Raven King crowned in Ivy (detail)

And the entire thing.
(If only someone would hire me to illustrate her next book. PleaseOhPleaseOhPlease. )

John Uskglass, the Raven King crowned in Ivy, Soni Alcorn-Hender

John Uskglass, the Raven King crowned in Ivy

The Raven King & Ivy, work in progress

The medieval magician and monarch, the ‘Raven King’ from Susanna Clarke’s ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’.
Pencil and acrylics on very old crunchy paper, 8×11.5″

Raven King (Strange & Norrell) work-in-progress 2, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Raven King, work-in-progress 2

Raven King (Strange & Norrell) work-in-progress, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Raven King work-in-progress 1

Thistle-down Hair & the Venetian Mirror

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair, in the Venetian Mirror.
The dangerous Fairy King from Susanna Clarke’s book: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. (An earlier, uncoloured, work-in-progress version here.)
Pencil, acrylics, and digital.

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair in the Venetian Mirror, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair in the Venetian Mirror

Strange & Norrell: ‘Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair’ wip

Work in progress of that most notorious of the fair folk: ‘The Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair’, from the gorgeous book by Susanna Clarke. (Also now a surprisingly splendid adaptation by the BBC)

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair, from Strange & Norrell, sketch by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Sketch of ‘The Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair’