New Page on Paksworld Website

Posted: December 7th, 2013 under artwork, Website Update.
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So here’s the new page on the website: the Character Gallery.    Here’s where art depicting the characters will be displayed.   First up is Arvid in his earlier days, much as he was when Paks first saw him.    I hope you enjoy this page, as it grows with more artwork related to Paksworld, mostly characters but maybe (depends)  some decorative stuff.

If you prefer to visualize characters yourself, in your own mind, no need to go see what someone else thought a character looked like–but if you enjoy others’  visual imagination, go right ahead.   I’ve commissioned several sketches from Richard Hescox; this is the first up.   Aliam Halveric will probably be next.  As he’s fitting them in between other work, it’ll likely be months between new appearances.


  • Comment by Naomi — December 7, 2013 @ 10:09 am


    sorry to bother you, but are you going to post an updated map soon?

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 7, 2013 @ 10:20 am


    Naomi: No, because I haven’t gotten it done. I will try to get something up by the time CROWN comes out. [edited to add] The existing maps in the books will do for CROWN except in a few places, and those are fairly straightforward: sea voyages (with all relevant coastlines and harbors already shown), river voyage (ditto), and a small section of Aare, which is made clear by the description. There will be a map of it later, but besides the time factor, my neck pain made leaning over the drafting table to work on the map very painful and was not recommended. When the neck improves–and I’ll be back in therapy this coming week, I hope I’ll be able do that kind of work again soon.

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — December 7, 2013 @ 2:14 pm


    Richard Hescox is an awesome artist (says the Art Show Director who bought one of his pencil sketches at Windycon). I will have to keep an eye on this page to see if anything pops up that strikes my fancy.

  • Comment by Linda — December 7, 2013 @ 4:00 pm


    Love it! I assume you wrote the description of the younger Arvid.

    How funny that this should appear the same day there is a story in the Guardian that JK Rowling will have a new fully illustrated edition of the HP books coming from Bloomsbury in the UK.

    I really don’t mind having “author approved” art work at all … in fact it heartens me. Because we know these character folks so well, seeing their personality expressed in their likenesses is very welcome to me . I am trying to figure out what it is about particular expressions etc. that conveys a way of thinking, feeling, etc.

    Thank you, thank you … both Elizabeth and Richard!

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 7, 2013 @ 4:36 pm


    Kerry & Linda: Glad you like the new page. This is the first time in my life that I commissioned any art…and found I could not only do it, but it turned out even better than I was imagining.

  • Comment by GinnyW — December 7, 2013 @ 9:10 pm


    I especially like the curl in the middle of his forehead. Congratulations on a job well done!

    As much as I would like to see an updated map, or a series of more detailed map sections, I would like even more for you to get the neck pain taken care of, so that you can work comfortably.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 7, 2013 @ 10:47 pm


    That curl has been the downfall of many a country girl, alas.

    The neck will continue to be worked on. It was getting much better when I had that bike incident and wrenched everything in the process. That, plus other subsequent lesser but repeated wrenches–and no therapy–have made it worse again. But I know it CAN get better with the right treatment, so I’ll keep working on it.

  • Comment by Richard — December 8, 2013 @ 4:57 am


    Here’s wishing you no more repeats.

  • Comment by Lise — December 8, 2013 @ 6:31 am


    I heard Texas was getting weird weather. I hope you are OK and not affected. If you do have ice and have to walk on it, be very carefull and spread lots of sand or fine gravel. We have just lost our ice and snow and I would gladly take what the Southern US is getting, but it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. I am definately thinking about you.

  • Comment by pjm — December 8, 2013 @ 7:29 am


    I like Arvid’s sketch portrait. It reminds me of somebody, but I can’t work out who.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 8, 2013 @ 10:12 am


    Thank you for your concern. Some freezing weather isn’t unusual here–the past few winters have been unusually warm and dry. I assure you, we are very mindful of the condition of the surfaces we walk on. Right now, the concrete steps connected to the house are just wet; the picnic table top and benches are iced, but thinly. In another hour or two, we expect to be above freezing enough that ice should have melted even on bridges and such.

    I’m sure the people in North Texas (where ice is several inches thick) and Oklahoma (4 inches thick) would be delighted to send theirs to you, if they could. Meanwhile a friend south of San Antonio wrapped his citrus trees against frost yesterday, but it didn’t freeze there.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — December 8, 2013 @ 12:44 pm


    I have to say. It’s not quite how I envisioned him, but then, I’m not exactly sure how I’d had other than I thought he was somewhat older, even back at Brewersbridge.

  • Comment by Linda — December 8, 2013 @ 4:47 pm


    I am reminded of Mark Twain who somehow never looked “old” even with white hair and a serious expression. Perhaps he and Arvid share a way of looking at world. It will be interesting if the commissions some day include “Arvid the Dad and follower of Gird.”

    I wish illustrators didn’t make book characters look like actors and models. The one illustrator I know pretty well, who does some popular series for kids, uses locals, so friends, fellow teachers, and kids I’ve taught have ended up portraying some pretty odd characters over the years. Makes me think of Norman Rockwell, another illustrator who used his neighbors as models.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 8, 2013 @ 8:19 pm


    Daniel: Your impression of Arvid’s age in Brewersbridge may result from seeing him through Paks’s eyes–she being the POV character and thus coloring what was shown. To Paks, he was definitely older. She was still in her early 20s; he was in his 30s. Remembering myself at the age she was (now there’s a sentence to follow!) thirty-somethings looked much older…I was of the generation told to ‘Never trust anyone over thirty.’

    Linda: I actually like artists to use real-life models (more than photographs of actors) because life drawing is where the skill of making faces particular comes from. But that’s a matter of personal taste, and I can see where finding faces of people you actually know as characters that may not agree with your understanding of them could be upsetting. Hescox does not want visual prompts from clients, but verbal descriptions. If he goes out and finds someone he thinks fits the verbal description, that’s fine with me–if he uses his store of experience, that’s fine too. I can draw a generalized human face (you know it’s human; you know what the emotion is–I can do the simple ones, not the complex or subtle ones) but whether I make it narrow or broad, I can’t make it look like an individual. It’s always “a face” not “that face.” For illustrations, the client usually wants something that conveys a particular individual.

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — December 8, 2013 @ 11:43 pm


    @pjm. Lord of the Rings movies, half-elf lord of Rivendell–Elrond? The shape of Arvid’s face resonates “elven” with me. I actually checked the ears to see if they were pointy.

  • Comment by Richard — December 9, 2013 @ 3:57 am


    I think what Linda meant was that she likes book characters to be portrayed as not all TV-presenter/fashion-magazine perfect in face and figure.

  • Comment by pjm — December 9, 2013 @ 6:19 am


    Nadine, I see what you mean. Perhaps elfin rather than Elven

  • Comment by Iphinome — December 9, 2013 @ 6:37 am


    @Nadine Barter Bowlus now I’m imagining Arvid saying ‘Hello Mr. Anderson.’ I blame you.

  • Comment by GinnyW — December 9, 2013 @ 10:04 am


    I think the picture captures quite well the tension between attractive and not-quite-safe quality that Arvid is supposed to convey. In Brewersbridge, he did not tell anyone about his occupation, but most people knew anyway. Certainly Jos Hebbinford did, since he warned Paks. It would be quite beyond me to put that into a sketch, and I am quite thrilled that someone else has done it. I keep looking to see what exactly conveys that for me.

  • Comment by Leo — December 9, 2013 @ 11:41 am


    are you going to utilize/post/host any of the artwork from the books?

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 9, 2013 @ 12:33 pm


    Nadine: Hmmm…I don’t see the elven in him at all, but I do see some magelord influence, and suspect his genes came more from Aarenis than from the Old Humans of the north. But then, I’m not entirely sure his biological parents were the people he grew up with as parents.

    Leo: I have no right to use any of the artwork from the books (except the maps, which I personally drew, so they’re mine) other than posting images of the covers as part of the bibliography. Usually the artist retains copyright of the original art (without the book title, etc, superimposed), and the publisher has the license to reproduce cover art to advertise the book. I would have to sublicense the right to use the books’ commissioned artwork.

  • Comment by Linda — December 9, 2013 @ 6:44 pm


    Richard’s right about what I was trying to express …

    My immediate reaction to Arvid was “Puck” (from Midsummer’s Night Dream) … a sense of mischief, but not nasty.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 9, 2013 @ 9:44 pm


    Yes…when I saw the first sketch, it was more toward menacing and nasty, and I asked the artist for more mischief and humor. And he delivered it perfectly, I thought.

  • Comment by Jenn — December 10, 2013 @ 12:57 pm


    The picture is great. Personally, tall, dark and handsome is Cary Grant and always has been since I was 12.
    I am looking forward to the next character.

  • Comment by patrick — December 15, 2013 @ 5:52 pm


    My wife had an immediate negative reaction to the Arvid sketch as not someone she would like, but then she does not like ‘bad boy’ types, whether they are inclined to mischief or nastiness. I think he exudes an aura of being a bit too friendly to be trusted (like a door to door salesman). Just confirming that the Arvid sketch captures the nature you wanted.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 15, 2013 @ 10:36 pm


    Patrick: As the text by the sketch makes clear, this is Arvid as Paks first meets him…and he’s not to be trusted then. He’s a Thieves Guild enforcer–not a nice person. But with good inside him which he does not recognize or (at that stage) want. So yes, the artist captured the precise period in Arvid’s life I was after.

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