Fresh Poison

Drawings, ink, Stippling
Fresh Poison, 2021, Staedtler Pigment Liner on Fabriano Bristol Vellum, 12 x 9 inches

Here’s a drawing I finished toward the end of 2021. The title was taken from a song by Hozier. You might have heard it. The phrase struck me as quite apt in this age of misinformation, menace and, frankly, misery. Anyhow, it ain’t all bad and this drawing was intended to be fun, or at least a little bit tongue cheek, so I hope it makes you smile.

Richard

The Corner Book

Drawings, ink, Stippling, Technique
The Corner Book, 2021, ink on Fabriano Bristol Vellum, 10″ x 7″

My next couple of posts will centre on some drawings I created at the end of 2021. I am a little in love with this Bristol Vellum from Fabriano. It’s a nice paper for stippled pen work—just the right amount of tooth to add some sparkle to the finished drawing, but not so much that it interferes with technique. Even in the dense areas there is no bleeding of ink. I’m going to see what larger tablet sizes they have. The inking was done with Staedtler Pigment Liners, which I’ve been using for convenience for the last few weeks. They are lightfast and feel good in the hand. I think I prefer them to the Micron fine liners.

When I was a kid, being sent to “the corner” as a punishment was seldom the dire consequence intended by those in authority. It was usually an opportunity to read, which was like being tossed in jail and discovering the someone had left open a back door to a more interesting place. So The Corner Book imagines a creature that delivers special books into the hands of “naughty” kids everywhere. May we ever be forever united in the richness of our imaginations.

Richard

Vanishing Act

Books, Drawings, ink, Stippling, Technique

This is a new drawing called “Vanishing Act.” I created it with Staedtler Pigment Liners (0.1 & .005) on 140lb Arches hot press paper over much of December, finishing it New Years Day (today). The turbulent composition reflects the times and the message, I assume, is clear enough.

Vanishing Act, 2022, ink on paper, 13 x 9 inches

Most of the past week was spent reading (Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen and Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr—both excellent) and recharging for the year ahead. In the coming weeks I’ll be working on a few illustration projects, initiating some personal art projects I have in mind, and doing some new writing. Sometime in January, my novel, TAILOR OF ECHOES, will arrive at the publisher from the printer. It was briefly delayed by supply chain issues. It is currently available for pre-order.

Happy New Years!

Richard

Falling Star

Drawings, ink, Stippling, Works for Sale

This week I am sharing a new drawing called “Falling Star.” It was one of those images that came from nowhere while I was busy with other things.

Falling Star, 2021, ink on Fabriano White Drawing Paper, 8 x 8 inches.

Falling Star is an ancient Queen who strikes against the powerful navies of an oceanic world from within a hidden gyre.

She is available in my shop.

Little Summer

Books, Details, Drawings, Fiction, Illustration, ink, Natural History, Process, Stippling, Technique, Work in Progress, writing

This past week was filled with drawing, writing, reading, torrential rain, flooded libraries—not mine—and patches of sun. Some of these things are related. I’m calling this post Little Summer, because so many small wonders seem to come our way during Ontario’s short pause in what can seem like an endless winter. Here’s one.

A tiny egg that appeared intact on our sidewalk.

While I was admiring the pattern on the shell, a cicada landed beside my foot at interstellar velocity—though she seemed no worse for it. Here she is.

Spacefaring Cicada

Earlier in the week, I was standing under one of my crab apple trees when I happened to notice one of the branches was acting strangely. It turned out to be a stick caterpillar. I’ve been in this house for 30 years and have never seen one before. It’s nice the place still has a few surprises. Can you see it?

Stick Caterpillar

But, other than bothering the denizens of the micro-kingdom, I have been pouring it on to get my illustrations done for my novel TAILOR OF ECHOES. Here is one that is currently on the table. As you can see, it’s pretty on brand. I can’t wait to share the finished book, to be published by PS Publications.

Interior illustration in progress for the forthcoming Tailor of Echoes

Finally, this weekend I had cause to dig through some old photographs and came across this promotional image for the Russian translation of my novel Necessary Monsters.

Russian Translation of Necessary Monsters (Eksmo, 2018)

Okay, enough show and tell for this week. Check back next Sunday for another post. In the meantime, don’t forget to look down. You just might find some treasure.

Richard

Lander 1

Cross Hatching, Details, Drawings, ink, Natural History, Stippling, Works for Sale
Lander 1, 2021, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress, 18 x 24 inches
Lander 1 detail

Lander 1 detail

The inspiration for Lander 1—and yes, expect a Lander 2 and 3—came from watching the Perseverance rover descend on Mars in February. I started thinking about humans being sole explorers/ representatives from earth. This piece imagines a true lander, with organic rather than mechanical senses, a spirit of earth lander, if you will.

I wish there was some way to better embed the music I was listening to when I was working on this piece, Coil’s Time Machines and Soliloquy for Lilith by Nurse with a Wound. These seem like the perfect soundtracks to meditate on the idea of vast unknown spaces.

Richard.

Harbinger

Cross Hatching, Details, Drawings, Incentives, ink, Natural History, Prints, Stippling, Technique, webstore, Works for Sale

This week, I am showing my latest completed drawing called Harbinger. I started this piece on October 2 and finished it on December 6. I hope you enjoy checking out the detail shots below. I will be making a limited giclee print of Harbinger in the New Year. The best way to stay on top of my print drops and other new is to subscribe to my monthly newsletter through my website. It just takes a second. There will be some fun extras for newsletter subscribers in 2021 (special offers, sketch giveaways etc.). This work is available for sale. Please use the contact form below to inquire.

A reminder that my 20% off studio sale is active until the end of December.

Thanks for dropping by. Moving forward, I will be updating this blog every Sunday. That seems to work well with my routine and will remove the guesswork for regular readers.

Now, without further ado — Harbinger

Harbinger, 2020, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress, 22 x 16 inches
Harbinger, detail 1
Harbinger, detail 2
Harbinger, detail 3
Harbinger, detail 4
Harbinger, detail 5

Harbinger – Work in Progress

Books, Cross Hatching, Drawings, ink, Prints, Process, Stippling, Technique, Work in Progress

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on this large drawing called Harbinger (24″ x 18″). Check out the images below. I’m rendering with Pigma Micron 005 pens on 140lb Arches hotpress. I haven’t done a lot of finished work with Microns, so I wanted to give them a real workout to see what they could do. I still have a way to go, but generally speaking I really like these markers on the smooth Arches paper. I don’t think they could replace my trusty Rapidograph pens, but they do permit things the Rapidographs will not, like brushing the pigment onto the paper as the tips deplete, which is kind of interesting, so I’ll definitely use them again. My plan is to offer this piece as a giclee print, in the new year.

In other updates, I am just starting work on the illustrations for Tailor of Echoes, my forthcoming fantasy novel, from PS Publications in the new year. Really excited to start on this project. The novel is currently being copy edited. I also have another book illustration project, a “big” book, but I can’t talk about that yet, so I’ll just vaguepost for now. I’m also making good daily progress on the first draft of a new novel. 28K words in. It’s a healthy start and I hope to get a first draft over the winter.

Finally, Atropa (below) is still available from Copro Gallery. I think the show Roadside Attractions IV (curated by Cris Velasco) is probably over now, but if you are interested in this piece, please reach out to the gallery. I’d also like to thank Erica from that gallery and Cris, who rescued this piece when it went astray on route. You guys are the best!

Atropa

And it’s snowing, while the Jack O’ Lanterns are still rotting on my porch.

All for now!

  • Richard
Harbinger, a work in progress (iPhone snap).
Harbinger on my drawing table (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger detail (iphone snap).