Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Vampifan's Illustrations 03

This is my third and final post about my illustrations that I drew for the Vampire:the Masquerade role-playing game and I've kept the best till last in my very biased opinion. The common denominator in all of these illustrations is my Toreador vampire player character, Pamela Andrews. I am sure that many of you have been wondering, "what does Vampifan look like in real life?" The 28mm scale figure that I use for Vampifan in my ATZ campaign is a fairly accurate representation of me but this picture is much closer to reality, even if it was drawn in 1994. I still look pretty much the same today, still far too fat, but I have a lot less hair nowadays. This illustration was my answer to the question I'm sure many role-players have thought about - "what if my player character was real?" I saw myself as being a thrall to the all powerful Pamela, one of her minions who look out for her during the hours of daylight. She wouldn't have to use vampiric charm to make me fall in love with her because if she was real I'd be besotted as soon as I saw her. My NASA baseball cap came from when I first visited Cape Canaveral in Florida in 1990. I still own the V:tM T-shirt I'm pictured in and because I rarely wear it, it's still in excellent condition. This picture is very personal to me. A wish fulfilment? Absolutley!
Next up, is this three-quarter length portrait of Pamela and this was the first portrait that I drew of her. It is based on photo of Page Three model Linda Lusardi from the neck down. For those not familiar with the term "Page Three model" it refers to a young lady who poses topless in English tabloid newspapers like The Sun or Daily Star. They almost always appear on page three of the newspaper, hence the name. In the Linda Lusardi picture that I liked, Linda was wearing a white leather jacket, and her cleavage was not as pronounced as Pamela's. Both changes were easy enough to do (well they were for me!) but I did give myself a lot more work to do by making the leather jacket black.
From the neck up it is my imagination at play.
So, who is Pamela? Pamela was sired in 1970, so she is a very young vampire. She is extremely self-confident, happy-go-lucky and seemingly carefree. She has an unshakeable estimation of her own worth and she revels in her vampiric abilities. When she does fail in some task, she is quick to find someone or something to blame other than herself. She tolerates the Camarilla, but only because it suits her. She is very loyal to Clan Toreador but because she has a bit of a rebellious streak, she has a certain amount of sympathy for the Anarchs. She has no desire to be a leader but neither will she be a subservient follower of others.
This illustration shows Pamela wearing a costume that is so brazenly sexy and revealing that I'm sure she'd turn the head of almost any red-blooded male with a pulse. Once again, my inspiration for this illustration came from Linda Lusardi. Yes, it is true that I had a huge crush on Linda during the 1980's until she retired from the glamour scene. I have a photo of her wearing this very costume but not in this pose. My pose for Pamela is far more in-your-face than Linda's... and far more revealing! Pamela is a very extroverted person and she enjoys dancing, particularly disco dancing. This is just the sort of costume she would wear to visit a night club. It is not the kind of outfit to wear if you want to blend into the background and not be the centre of attraction. Pamela, however, has fantastic Presence. I spell Presence with a capital "P" as it is one of the three vampiric clan disciplines available to all Toreador vampires. Pamela is extremely well-versed in this powerful discipline.What makes this discipline so powerful is that it can affect many people at once. She became very adept at affecting people's emotions. It is fair to say that she has a great affect on my emotions - lust being the primary one!
I'll sum up this illustration in three words - Pamela does demure. Doesn't she look so cute and innocent here? This is not the look of a monstrous killer who could rip your throat out in the blink of an eye. However, you should remember the word "Masquerade" in the title of the role-playing game. The most important rule of any vampire's life (or should that be unlife?) is to hide the fact that vampires exist from humans. So the fact that Pamela looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth is all part of the Masquerade and perfectly acceptable vampire behaviour.
This illustration was not inspired by the lovely Linda. I can't remember exactly where I first saw the photo my drawing was based on. It could have been in the fashion section of my daily newspaper. I have no idea who the model was but I liked her pose and as soon as I saw her I thought of Pamela. The model in question was much more flat chested, as a lot of fashion models are, so I have enlarged her breasts so that they are Pamela sized. A 38D I believe! The face is all my own work and I love her expression in this picture.
I mentioned the Camarilla fan club last time and I showed you four of my illustrations that appeared on the front cover of the fan club's newsletter, Nightlife. I also mentioned that each clan produced their own newsletter for their particular members. When I first joined the fan club, the Toreador newsletter was expertly produced by another graphic designer, Debra, whom I became very friendly with. She lived in Norwich but resigned after a fallout with a bunch of London-based players. So I was eventually put in charge of the newsletter. After just one issue I learnt what a thankless task it was. For a clan noted for its artists, writers and poets I got very little feedback or contributions. I don't know how Debra put up with it for so long. After three issues I, too, resigned, utterly fed up with the apathy displayed by so many people.
This picture represents a scene from my first V:tM campaign. You may remember last time when I was talking about the gamer in my group who played a Tremere vampire. He called her Arian and he was the worst kind of power gamer imaginable. The term Min/Max was so apt for him as he tried to gain every advantage possible. Once he learnt that vampires could gain power by draining the blood of a lower generation vampire he was on the rocky road to Hell. In V:tM such an act of depravity is called Diablerie and it is severely frowned upon by all clans of the Camarilla. When I began my campaign every player chose to begin with an 8th Generation vampire, the best that was available to starting characters. After quite a while of gaming (this was a long campaign) Arian had reached 6th Generation through Diablerie and was looking round for a 5th Generation vampire to drain. I was getting fed up with his lust for power so set a trap for his player character. Pamela contacted the Toreador Justicar Madame Guil about Arian and they set a trap for her. Not surprisingly, he fell for it hook, line and sinker. Arian and Pamela travelled to the highlands of Scotland where a dormant 5th Generation vampire was supposedly buried. Arian skillfully overcame all of the traps placed in the underground tomb and found what she thought was a vampire Elder. She drained him of blood and calmly walked out of the tomb. Pamela wisely held back as Madame Guil had brought along a group of human special forces soldiers. Arian went down in a hail of gunfire. Being a powerful vampire, the bullets didn't kill her but they immobilised her long enough for Madame Guil to stake her. My illustration shows Pamela with Madame Guil drinking a glass of Arian's blood as she hangs above them, staked through the heart. Suffice to say, that incident ended that particular campaign.
By now, you're probably wondering if all of my illustrations are black and white? Clearly not, as this picture shows. I began a new V:tM campaign when Steve Jackson Games brought out a GURPS version of V:tM. GURPS has always been my favourite role-playing game, so when White Wolf allowed SJG to produce a version of their best selling RPG I was delighted. Here was a chance to start afresh and learn from the mistakes of the past. I still kept Pamela as my PC but now she started play as a 7th Generation vampire. White Wolf had brought out the Elder's Handbook so starting with a more powerful vampire was an option. The GURPS campaign did not last as long as the White Wolf campaign. Converting characters over to the GURPS system took far longer than creating a character with the White Wolf system. But at least it ended on a happier note with no in-fighting.
This illustration was done to use as a portrait on my GURPS character record sheet. It is not based on a photo but comes entirely from my imagination and I am immensely proud of it. The original illustration was drawn in pencil, than coloured in with coloured pencils. Finally, I went over the drawing in pen and ink. When I became more competent with desk top publishing I was able to scan it into my computer and add airbrush effects with a program like Paintshop or Photoshop. The portrait also served a second purpose. It gave me a pose to work on for when I sculpted my own 28mm scale figure of Pamela to use in my GURPS campaign. The result of my sculpting can be seen in the photo below. I've sculpted a lot of figures in my time. Some are good, some are dire, but this sculpt of Pamela ranks as one of my best ever. If I was to be brutally honest, I'd have to admit that the head is just a tad too big for the body, but hey, I'm only an amateur sculptor. Sculpting Pamela was as much a labour of love for me as drawing her was.


  1. These are excellent and I mean all of them but my favourite is the second one and the figure is cool especially because you sculpted it yourself.

  2. Very nice again Vampifan, drawings are excellent, I wish some of the girls that I go out with would wear what pamela wears ;), it would make for an easy night...

  3. @The Angry Lurker. I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite because I like them all but for different reasons.

    @The Extraordinarii. Your comment that some of the girls you go out with should wear what Pamela wears made me laugh. Yeah, I imagine it would make for an easy night! Just pray she isn't a vampire, otherwise she could break you in two if your hands wandered where they weren't invited!

  4. Bryan, Yet more excellent work. As the page loaded, the second illustration immediately brought Linda Lusardi to mind ... which was a surprise I can tell you! She was never far from my mind in the 80s, but hasn't been that close for a while!

    Once again, I like them all, but especiialy the demure pose and the 3/4 length portrait. The demure pose looks convincing until you see her eyes which have a calculating look as she discreetly observes something to the side - great work! And with the portrait, you seem to have a captured Pamela at a more unguarded moment - she seems reoalxed.

    As for the sculpt! - I wish I could do that ...

    [engage gollum mode] we hates you forever!!

  5. Hey, Colin, another Linda Lusardi fan! Great minds think alike! In my gaming club in the 1980's the big debate was who was best - Linda or Samantha Fox? Both were at the height of their popularity. The verdict was unanimous in Linda's favour. To be honest, I didn't dislike Sam as much as my fellow gamers. I certainly wouldn't have kicked her out of bed! It just so happened that I prefered Linda. I have to say that she still looks tasty today. She's aged well. I wish I could say the same!

    Your Gollum quote made me smile. I'll tell you what's really sad - I rarely sculpt or draw these days. I wish I could find the time to do either or both. So much to do, so little time to do it!

  6. Love Pamela Byran, well done. I can't stop giggling at everyone's comments on Linda and Sam which links humourously back to some of my earliest hobby memories...when I dared not even mention to a sole what I did 'those little toy soldiers'. Anyone for a packet of Pacers? :)

  7. Those are really cool pics!

  8. @Adam. Yeah, I'll have a packet of Pacers, please. Ah, happy days! In those days I could name every Page Three model but today I couldn't name one. It seems like the 1980's was a totally different era and I guess, in many ways, it was.

    @P. Thanks. You win the prize for having the shortest user name of anyone I know!

  9. Excellent article Bryan, great art, great miniature and great story. I loved world of darkness and this was very entertaining for me.
    I read the books but regret never getting to play the game. Hopefully the movie "Let Me In" will bring back real dangerous vampires :)

  10. Thanks, Roger. It's interesting that you mention the film, "Let Me In." I haven't seen that film but I have seen the original Swedish film that it's based on, "Let the Right One In" and I have read the novelby John Ajvide Lindqvist. The film was very good and the book even better. It'll be interesting to see what Hollywood does with the film as they do have a reputation for dumbing down foreign language films for American audiences. Even so, I'll still buy the DVD just to see how the two compare. One thing is for sure, this story is about as far removed from the world of "Twilight" as you can get.

  11. Man, I can't believe you can draw like this. We gotta find something to put you to work on Bryan.

  12. If you could find some way to clone me, I'd love to do more artwork. As it is, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. I appreciate the sentiment, though, Willy.