‘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’