Clare London (clarelondon) wrote,
Clare London


Today's guest is essayel, writer and artist, who has very kindly offered to share some work with us. The drawings are fabulous :).

The pictures all open in a personal album, so be prepared for some that are large.
I've created thumbnails for the pictures, so you can open each one either from clicking the pictures - as they occur in the text - or from the links in the text itself.

PS: And I must thank essayal personally, because as a result of this post I finally mastered creating thumbnails that open in a new window LOL.


Bio: I'm more than average old for LJ, but hold to the idea that 'you' - the bit that thinks - stays at an optimum age and all the rest crumbles around it.

I've drawn, painted and written for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I've wasted my time, perhaps not. I've had fun with it anyway. I was in my late 40s before I showed anyone anything I had written and she liked it! Since then I've posted stuff, usually fan fiction, where other people can read it. Reviews, as they say, are mixed. Occasionally I flirt with the idea of trying to start the long agonising process of getting something published, but usually manage to talk myself out of it.

I love my cats, dog, kids and husband and love my online friends just as much, though in slightly different way.

I work in a museum. I have worn chain mail [it sucks] and a lorica segmentata [sucks too but not as much as chain mail], and used to ride, fence and shoot a longbow before my joints gave up on me.


Here's a question for the proper authors out there. When you're writing your stories how do you visualise your characters? Do you pick actors to 'play' them or put them together like an Identikit? Do you have a strong visual image to go by or describe them meticulously and let the words do the work? Are you inspired by visual images or do you make your own?

Ever since I started writing stories, and that was over half a century ago, I've been making drawings to go with them. They aren't very good drawings, but I enjoy doing them so thought I'd put some out here for you to look at.

This is a little bit of my 2010 Nanowrimo attempt about a naval lieutenant who falls in with pirates. Two of the pirates, Lewis and Protheroe, are 'mess mates'.

Kit hadn’t been prepared for Tortuga to be so beautiful. Also it appeared that the utter lawlessness of the town was either an exaggeration or a report of time past, because the harbour was in good order and business seemed to be going on calmly. But there were differences. For instance, there was no line of tarred corpses swinging on gibbets to warn potential wrong doers.

“Oh, bless his dear heart,” Lewis said when he asked about this. “Did you hear that, Protheroe? Kit wants to know if pirates have any capital crimes.”

“Plundering,” Protheroe said, not even looking up from the knife with which he was trimming a thumbnail. “Arson is capital fun too.”

“That – um – wasn’t quite what I meant,” Kit said.

Once he had explained both pirates gave the matter some thought. Both were dressed in their best. Lewis was sporting a satin coat in the Spanish style cut for a much smaller man, so somewhat the worse for wear around the shoulder seams. Protheroe’s shirt must have come from the same source and bore a year’s worth of naval lieutenant’s wages in Brussells lace. They were each wearing one of the same pair of earrings, which made Kit feel uncomfortable at the same time as he was amused.

“He’s looking at our earbobs, Lew,” Protheroe said with a grin. “Do you want to tell him or shall I?”

Lewis chuckled and flicked the pendant. It sparkled. Kit couldn't quite bring himself to believe they were diamonds.

“We’re going ashore, see. If there’s – an accident – the earbob covers the cost of the burial and, more importantly, the wake. Otherwise they just heave your corpus into the jungle. At sea there’s no way to bury you,” Lewis smiled, “so your mates slip a round shot into your breeches and send you down to rot in peace. Nice and tidy and out of the way. On shore – well you can’t leave corpuses just lying about, can you? It gets messy.”

“Yes, it would,” Kit agreed. “That's a remarkably sensible idea.”

“Isn't it, but I’ve thought of a capital crime,” Protheroe said. “It's keeping honest pirates talking during their hard earned drinking times. But,” he surged to his feet, chest hair bristling through the open front of his lace trimmed shirt, and reached up to pat Kit’s cheek with a broad tar-stained paw, “I’ll let you off because it’s a first offence.”

“You behave now,” Lewis suggested, slipping his arm through Protheroe's, “and we'll bring you back an earbob of your own.”

“Aye, we'll make a pirate of you yet, Lieutenant Penrose bach,” Protheroe promised and they laughed as they headed for the boats.

1 2 3 4 5 6

I know exactly what Lewis and Protheroe look like (!). They are both Welsh from the southern valleys, stocky, dark, strong as the little Dexter cattle they bred round there then. I see them in the streets every market day. This isn't them, but gives an idea.

Here's a bit of 4 century BC "historical", set on the north coast of the Black Sea where Greek colonists were trying to bring a little civilisation to the Scythian nomads, not all of whom wanted any. Scythian warlord on his way up takes on a second best Theban sculptor as PR.

Atei looked at Anatolios again.

“Come here,” he said, and Anatolios stepped to the shoulder of the red horse and looked up at him.

Atei looked at the mallet in Anatolios' hand and frowned. “Just what did you intend to do with that?”

Anatolios shut his mouth and looked at the mallet in embarrassment. “Nothing, probably,” he admitted, after a moment. “It just made me feel braver.”

Atei grunted then put out a hand and cuffed Anatolios lightly on the back of the head. “Don’t pick up a weapon unless you intend to use it,” he said, gruffly and his hand lingered on Anatolios head for a moment, the calloused fingers catching in the fine black curls of his hair.

Anatolios laughed, not sure whether he was actually being punished or not, and looked up to see if Atei’s expression would give him a clue. The man looked impatient, obviously making time to deal with a minor matter, but his eyes were amused and kind – and something more. As Anatolios met his gaze he felt his colour rise so he looked away and smoothed the shoulder of the red stallion.

“I won’t,” he promised. “I’ll leave fighting to people who know what they are doing.”

Atei nodded. “Good,” he said. “Take care of Lydia and yourself.”

Again there was the feather-light brush of fingers, this time on the sun browned skin of Anatolios’ shoulder, then the red horse sprang away.

This whole story came from a photograph (2) I spotted in an archaeological book, with these two bods (3) as a centrepiece. I've drawn the protagonists many times – the Eastern Scythians were big guys, blond and blue or green eyed according to Herodotus and scared the north Pontic Greek colonists silly.

I've even drawn a comic strip (4).

Atei [aka Ateas or Ataia] (5) was an actual historical personage about whom very little is known apart from a few bizarre references by classical authors so :D I made a load of stuff up. Anatolios here (6) is out of breath due to running, though I must admit that his expression is open to other interpretations.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Nor do I let that characters belong to other people stop me. Fan art seems to be more acceptable than fan fiction for some reason. Most authors will put up with a poor drawing of a character even if fan fic makes their flesh crawl. I don't expect my drawings to look anything like the characters they portray, but - well - it's fun, the materials are cheap, and it keeps me out of the pub.

So here's a couple of pages of Harry Potter graphic novel (7) and (8), story by copperbadge, and a sketch of Remus J Lupin (9) for no better reason than I like him.

Here's Bagoas (10) from The Persian Boy by Mary Renault. The poor lad's gone a bit 'manga' but luckily she'll never know.

I watched the very first ever episode of Dr Who the first time it was ever shown, and spent a lot of my childhood hiding behind the sofa. I loved ALL the Doctors but Matt Smith (11) is the only one I've ever drawn. I love the manic hair and bow tie.

To come more up to date, with apologies to charliecochrane, here are Messrs Stewart and Coppersmith (12), the Cambridge Fellows.

And finally for erastes, Rafe from Standish (13), on a horse with legs all over the place.

I wouldn't normally let people see the doodles I make when on the phone or watching TV, [let alone the stick figure flow charts I do when trying to work out a tricky action sequence], but I have today because it's as well that people be warned that the characters they create take on a whole new appearance in other people's imaginations, especially when filtered through limited artistic skills.

You have power, ladies and gents, so use it wisely and, please, go easy on the bits with tricky perspective.



Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Take the prompt "A NEW RESOLUTION" and write something for the visitors this month. It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.

Depending on how many (if any!) contributions we get, I'll post them during the month or all in the last week. Just send them in to me at clarelondon11 AT and we'll go from there :).


Follow this month with Clare - and the goodies so far:

JAN 08: A great new novel and sequel from mickieashling.

JAN 01: A FREE short from me, revisiting Nic and Aidan from Sparks Fly.
JAN 01: Delicious m/m icons from luscious_words.
JAN 02: Why I want to be a Bond villain! by chrissymunder.
JAN 03: The world of inspiration between 'historical' and 'contemporary' with stevie_carroll.
JAN 04: Some fascinating Swedish proverbs from 1more_sickpuppy.
JAN 05: A round-up of a great year just gone from angelasstone.
JAN 06: The countryside and history that inspires author sandra_lindsey.
JAN 07: The challenge of trying to balance edits, with diannefox and anahcrow.


Check up on the original post and the Guest Schedule for January HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.
Tags: art, blog month

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