Sunday, 30 December 2012


As promised ... a final post before the years end. I hadn't planned to leave it so late, but I've been a bit busy [grin] though the Christmas period has slowed me down a little.

First, a couple of pieces from my work on the up and coming new album "FALSE WEAVERS" for the group Blackbird Raum and produced by Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club.

First the record cover... [FULL COVER & FRONT COVER]

Plus the map that will accompany it... Sorry this is a bit small, but I believe the original will appear A3.

Look out for it all in the early new year.

Also a piece for a new adventure to come from Goodman Games.

To divide the 'new' from the 'old' a bit of colour.

This is the Mudworm from Mudworm Swamp, book 3 in the series 'The adventures of Goldhawk' by Ian Livingstone. I had to create the beast so the cover artist had something to work from, whereas the original 'pig' was created by Ian McCaig I believe.

Now in the last post Springinsfeld mentioned his son was reading [playing] a couple of the Robin of Sherwood books and further to my reply and pure serendipity I found some of the original artwork and reproduce it here below.

For those who like the information, these were done with a dip rather than my more usual technical pen.

Atom made a comment on facebook about, 'Always lots of interesting things happening in Russ Nicholson street scenes. Middenheim in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is no exception'. Well here it is and below it another street scene. Hope you like it Andy.

For those that want more apparently you can download the whole book for free.

I don't know who gave 'them' permission to use my artwork [I know it wasn't me ...laugh] and although Games Workshop have rights to the original book they do not to my artwork being reproduced by another company, or group, but that is the murky world of copyright I suppose. 

Now a couple of other pieces found on the internet. 

This [above] from 'The Fiend Folio' ... Meazel's.
Below from one of Dave Morris' excellent creations one of my drawings.

Below is a study for a lizard done in the mists of time. Media ... chinagraph pencil [or similar].

Here we have a spot piece for a Fanzine I think.

This picture was never used for 'The Trolltoth Wars'. My final decision was to split the scene into two using it to 'bookend' the text.

Finally a piece for the BFS [I think] for their Bulletins letters page. Remember those days when writing letters was the thing to do? Ah, happy days.

Thanks for being there ... see you in the New Year.

PS: as the record cover and map came out a tad small here they are again.

A Happy New year 2013 to all!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Seasons greetings

I've been very busy these last few weeks on various projects, and feel remiss to not posting anything since my last, especially as I've a lot of old and some new work to post.

Like the old adage 'watch this space in 2013!' 

But I will put up more before the old year is out.

Still, for those who read my blog, here is a reworking of an old piece for the season.

 Have a good time, in what ever fashion you can, and look out for my record cover and new map design that I will be posting soon.

Thanks for 'following', Russ

Sunday, 18 November 2012

So what's new?

Having delved into the distant past in the last two posts it's time to look to what is happening now. Well, simply I'm busy with a range of different projects, all with differing schedules, most of which I cannot mention at the moment except to say they are nicely diverse and include work for new games, a record cover, a map and a book cover. 

Fine and good but what can I post? Well here is a selection from at least one new job as well as a couple of oldies to end with.

I recently completed a few pieces for RuneQuest: Monster Island, which comes out next year. See the site for more details. 

Having trouble 'uploading' so if the next are oldies you've seen before ... my apologies.

This last was a sort of 'redo' of old pieces showing of examples of my work and to act as banner [I believe] for Bambooraven many years ago.  

Sorry for short post but who knows next time...:)

Thanks for being there.

Now ... back to the drawing board. 

Postscript: Forgot [busy, busy, busy] to mention that one of the games is related to the excellent AFF first brought out by Graham Bottley, and will appear in France soon with some additional work by myself. For those interested the link is
and Graham is soon to bring out the second AFF book in the series and will be at Dragonmeet 2012  I had hoped to be there but as I've mentioned; I'm busy, busy, busy ;)!

Also, if you've the time do check out Dave's latest Fabled Lands blogpost about Abraxas.

Now, once more to the draw mobile! 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Even further back ...

Even although the Fantasy Magazine Anduril 6 is dated 1975, I'm well aware, looking at several pieces of my artwork, kindly used by John Martin [editor and publisher], they in fact date much earlier [in some cases].  

My work had appeared on some comic fanzines covers before this, but Anduril 6 was, I believe [but my memory can be suspect], my first Fantasy cover, certainly my first front and back cover. 

And also my last ... [laugh] for a variety of reasons.

One of the characterisatics of these pictures used in the magazine is a slight attempt to do varying styles; I've picked out the 'best' to show you here.

Inside the front cover illustrating a poem about Bilbo in Mirkwood we find a slightly different stylised piece.

The next are two spots, I suspect the latter was originally a rough which I never 'tightened'. As some of you have suspected, even commented upon, on occasion I have, as many artists [if I'm allowed that conceit] have done, reused an idea. This is more apparent in my younger days and less [I hope] as I've aged [grin]. But if you disagree ... don't tell me; I'll just sulk.

It was this type of work that failed miserably with publishers in the 1970's. It was considered to be derivative and not very original ... does wonders for your confidence, and was one of the reasons I decided to become a teacher. 

The next are for a story featured in the magazine.

One of my favourite characters, whose stories I read in the 60's into the early 1970's, were the adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber. Here is one of my pictures I used to illustrate an article about them. 
Lastly, her is an other set of pictures for a fun story which I was allowed to experiment with in terms of layout. 

Before anyone asks .. I'm not sure where the originals are or even if I still have them. 

So there we have it. What other news?

Finished my first record cover, which was most enjoyable. Still a couple of bits to complete for that project but it progresses well. Finished five pictures for a new Runequest project ... more detail when I can, and about to start some new jobs, including ... [sound of drums] a book cover. It has an open deadline so it may be a while before I can post more about it. 

Thanks for being there.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Back in the mists

There was once, back in the 1970's, a very good British Fanzine called Anduril: Magazine of Fantasy, by John Martin, which twice asked me to contribute art for a variety of projects in issues 6 and 7. It wasn't very prolific really, there was a three year gap between the two, and sad to say I think it passed into Fantasy history after number 7, but it was a beautiful production printed on first class stock and in terms of my early work one of the best to display my work.

I sadly have no access [as far as memory serves] to the original artwork but I do have a copy of each. So let us start with sadly, the last ... No. 7, which within a nice David Lloyd cover front and back, shows several examples of my work. 

Inside the front cover is my drawing for the poem Denethor.

So, let's start there.

 Next up: I was given the opportunity to come up with my interpretation for some illustrations to represent L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. I'd seen the film but was not really familiar [at that time] with the books but relied on the article and other bits of info sent me by Ben Indick, the writer. I wanted to capture a 1930's Art Deco look especially with the motive of the 'Z' symbol and had a lot of fun creating the overall 'look'.

 The next was for an article on Tolkien again by Ben Indick.

Finally, the inside back cover - an oldie but I hope you'll agree a goody dating from 1975.

So that was the work for Anduril 7 originally published in 1979. Amusingly, on eBay, just this past week, it was on offer with a starting price of £22 pounds. But on sale, I see, in the States for over £200 and up. Did anybody bid on the eBay offer? Nope. Makes you laugh. 

Next post, after a few days, and some feedback that you'd like to see the work, will be the work for Anduril 6 most which dates back to 1975.

Thanks for being there.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The horror of it all...

A short quick post today, primarily due to being busy at the moment with some work, the 'tax man', some work, getting my accounts in order, some work, the accounts need doing, sorting out a fee, some work, get on with those bloody accounts!

Bet you can't guess which is both the most pressing, and the least prepared ... sigh. But then on the other hand lets ignore all that and post a couple of pics.

See! I can get my priorities right.

The first relates to the the last piece of work ever commissioned by Games Workshop from me, which through a long and protracted argument about the fee resulted in it all ending with a phone call from the owner [?] managing director [at the time... no idea if that still applies ... it was so long ago] who decided, as I would not agree to what they wanted, I would never work for them again and so it has been.
A piece for White Dwarf magazine
This all made more amusing in a cynical sort of way by two letters from Games Workshop just recently. Apparently, according to the nice letter sent, which was quit complimentary about my work for Games Workshop, they had 'lost' contract copies of my signing over the rights to my work and they'd like me now to re-affirm the rights by completing a draft document sent by separate letter.

I have not replied to either letter, especially as when I originally did the work I never signed over rights to my work in the first place, and this goes back to the 'Warlock' and 'Doctor Who' games they produced.

Anyway here is the piece ... with apologies for the picture quality.

So what was the disagreement about? Well, it was along time ago [over twenty years at least] and I can only put my version of things.

The original brief was basically for a huge complex double page battle scene and the fee was £200. But although the fee was not much I wanted to produce a scene as complex and as large as I could. So I drew the original A2 [approximately] in size and sent it off. A few days later I received a phone call from somebody at Games workshop telling me in effect they loved the piece but felt only the left side was what they wanted, and I said, 'fine, not a problem'.


I was then told, 'But because we want to only use the left side we will only pay you £100.' My reply in effect went as follows. 'That's ok, but you cannot use the right side as well.' To which I was informed that, 'no, they could use the right side as well'. I pointed out that the fee was then being reduced by half and I could not accept that, but I would accept the half fee offered but only for the use of the left side. So, in my opinion, if Games Workshop wanted to use both halves [that is the full picture] then they should pay me the full fee agreed, to which the reply was, 'no, as they only wanted to use the right side of the picture'. Thus the argument started, which resulted in several phone calls from a variety of senior members of staff until it reached, as I've 'said' the 'top'. 


So, there you have my two-pennies worth. I'd put a lot of time into this picture, even trying to match the regiments involved to Game Shop figures offered at the time. But felt, though I did not object to them apparently not liking the left side of the picture I drew, I was not going to allow the to 'use' of any, or all, of that right part without payment. What you all think of the matter I do not know, and I it would not surprise me if GW have a different take on events, but as said, this is my story.  

But what of 'the horror of it all'? 

Well, besides doing fantasy and science fiction work I have lesser known reputation for horror, and although elements crop up my liking for Ghost and Horror stories is rarely allowed to flourish. I'm not really into the slasher work especially of films like 'Saw' et al, but occasionally a story is offered where I can indulge my 'Grand Guignol' ways. Though rare as I do suffer nightmares [laugh ... or should that be cackle!]. 

Anyway Micah Nathan, American author asked me to contribute an illustration for his latest book, 'Jack the Bastard', which I was pleased to do and here it is.
For those interested check out the book, Nathan can be found at:

So there you have it. So what's in the pipeline? Well a record cover [in the planning stage but well under way] and some work for 'Runequest', which is in the thinking stage. Till the next time, keep well you readers of mine.