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A Bloody Business by Leopreston A Bloody Business by Leopreston
Meh, I started sketching something completely different and it slowly turned into this. In such a situation, you can either love or hate the result. I love the result. :D

I notice that I’ve been lacking in detail with these characters of late, so here’s something with a little more to it. Also, Mrs Lovett’s design needed some development. I’m still not so sure if I like what I see, so I might have to experiment a bit later.

Tobias looking sad, Mrs Lovett looking happy and Sweeney Todd looking… umm… :hmm:

- - -

*Note: The wonderful ^Katmomma suggested that I enter this piece into a competition (that is still accepting entries for the next few days… there’s your hint to enter chaps!), the ‘Famous Anthros Contest’. I must say that it sounds intriguing, so I thought why not? It looks like fun! :)

For the sake of the judges, these anthropomorphic characterizations are based on the descriptions of the ‘historical’ Sweeney Todd ( and more pointedly the figure that features in the early Penny Dreadful titled ‘The String of Pearls – A Romance' ). It has been hotly argued over the years that Sweeney Todd may have been a very real figure, hence my entering this into the competition.

(Artwork © Leona Preston 2008)

Link to the contest - [link]

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
Please remember to respect my Copyrights!
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:iconlayeredlikeanonion:
LayeredLikeAnOnion Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012
Sorry for spamming you with my fav's.......I can't help it!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
No worries, that's actually kind of nice! Thank you. :)
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:iconlayeredlikeanonion:
LayeredLikeAnOnion Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
You're welcome. :D
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
:iconlaplz:
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:iconwolfofsecrets:
wolfofsecrets Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
AW THATS WICKED!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
:) Thank you very much.
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:iconwolfofsecrets:
wolfofsecrets Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
u welcome!
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:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2008   Artisan Crafter
Excellent detail! I like how you made them into anthros

There was actually an episode on the history channel discussing Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, claiming that they were real
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, do you believe Sweeney Todd was real? We all know that Jack the Ripper existed, but the other left no trail whatsoever. :hmm:
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:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008   Artisan Crafter
I believe he was real, they've uncovered more evidence over the years, and he's actually been mentioned quite a few times on the history channel There were a lot of reports and articles, some even that people saw his ghost, this is a pretty long artice about him
[link]
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional General Artist
Ah, that article... yes. Well, real or no, I think we can all agree that it's one of those stories that will garner more questions than answers over the years to come! :) Where would we be without the delightful narration of the razors and pies I wonder? ;)
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:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008   Artisan Crafter
There's also a sign that are in the dungeons about him [link]
There's also a sign in front of 186 Fleet Street. They've uncovered more evidence over the years of his existance.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008  Professional General Artist
Oh, hey! Have you ever read the book by Peter Haining? I think you'd find it a great read if you're interested in this side of the story. :)
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:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008   Artisan Crafter
Oh no, just that article, I'm reading String of Pearls on the internet. I'm at the beginning and I laughed when the guy at the beginning(isn't he Thornhill? I forget) basically called Sweeney ugly XD. But anyways can I read the Haing book on the internet? Or do I have to order it?
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008  Professional General Artist
Ha ha ha, yes, Thornhill... 'he doesn't like your face', or something to that effect. Ha ha ha! If that's not a slap in the face, I don't know what is!

Btw, Oh, I've never come across the Haining book online. Unfortunately, it does seem like it's one of those that you have to buy: [link]
I would say to take everything this guy writes with a pinch of salt, as he seems to drastically lack footnotes for his so-called references and there are many publications that he quotes that actually don't exist, but as a general background to the possible real Todd, it's a jolly good read (even if it's also a jolly good yarn). ;)
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(1 Reply)
:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008   Artisan Crafter
Thats true, but the story did come from somewhere didn't it? :)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008  Professional General Artist
Aye, but where? That's the mystery! :D Let's summon Sherlock! XD
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:iconlightningbeauty9:
LightningBeauty9 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008   Artisan Crafter
Sherlock? Who's he?^^;

But, yeah, I think that the story probably came from the true crime, but the String of Pearls mentioned in the beginning that Sweeney Todd existed, at least I think...
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008  Professional General Artist
Why, Sherlock Holmes of course! The great fictional London detective! Ha ha, if anyone can solve a case, he can. :D

Sadly, my personal opinion is that the Sweeney Todd story may have been based on a real person, but not in the full-blown way that the legend tells us. When I first started researching for my comic project, to get a good grounding, I really did believe he had existed. I made the mistake of reading Mr Haining's book first and believed every word of it. But since then, I have found that certain references don't exist at all, that no records of a Sweeney Todd, Barber exist for Fleet Street other than one Sweeney Todd, Pearl-Stringer, leading off from that area. The sign found by builders under 186 was a fake made by a latter-day barber trying to cash in on the name and also, pouring over prints of the buildings on that street from Todd's time... well, let's just say that the street was very open-plan before St Dunstan's was pushed back from the street, making it hard for someone to get away with committing over 160 murders on the same spot. This is just my opinion and I don't make it a habit to try and make others believe the same thing, but it is plausible.

I think that Sweeney Todd was invented by Lloyd's writers, who just wanted to get paid at the end of the day, and that details were based on both a mystery figure and the work of Charles Dickens (and there are way too many similarities in the String of Pearls... Sweeney Todd might as well be Poll Sweedlepipe in disguise).

Still, it's a compelling story, and if the reality were clearer, well, it would probably be boring! :D

(P.S. "String of Pearls mentioned in the beginning that Sweeney Todd existed, at least I think..." The 1850 edition, in which the publishers try to garner more interest in the book). ;)
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(1 Reply)
:iconcalwolfmutt:
CalWolfmutt Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2008
God, I wish I could draw like that.......must favourite this as well!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2008  Professional General Artist
You're too kind. :)
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:iconoashisu:
oashisu Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2008  Student Filmographer
Oh gawsh this is amazing! I love the anthro designs, and also the expressions!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008  Professional General Artist
:) Thank you most kindly.
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:iconoashisu:
oashisu Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008  Student Filmographer
No problem. :)
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:iconfrostfurwolf:
FrostfurWolf Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
Love it!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008  Professional General Artist
:boogie:
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:iconfrauryan:
frauryan Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2008
Run from Mrs. Moony, Nellie! Run! She's gon' bake ya! XD

I'm normally not a fan of anthros... as most people fail at it... but you did a tremendous job on this!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! :)
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:iconpuppeteerz:
Puppeteerz Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008  Student General Artist
She looks just as, if not more sinister then he does. Well.....then again she's the one who stripes the bodies of their meat then makes them into pies so who's to say she isn't more twisted then Mr.Todd? What do you think?
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, actually... it's Sweeney who strips the bodies. Most accounts say that he does everything himself as he has the knowledge of a butcher. Once his victims are dead in his basement, he dresses them like a deer carcass, places the parts used for the pies in boxes and takes them along the route of the vaults to the bakehouse. Mrs Lovett is more or less removed from the process.

Flip! Just the thought would be enough to make me hurl... :lmao:
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:iconpuppeteerz:
Puppeteerz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Student General Artist
Wow! I didn't know that. I just assumed she did it considering she does the cooking with meat. Is there some kind of Sweeney Todd novel that I've never seen, or heard of? *HA* well I don't ever hear of good old gory literature in my school library so really, what are the chances of seeing a novel of the demon barber of fleet street on my shelves? Say? It looks like I shall have to go to the inner city library for this one. What ever becomes of Anthony and Joanna? The movie never specified that. ..........*Mr. Todd's extra meaty hot pockets*
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Professional General Artist
Heh heh, oh, don't get me wrong, she knows full well where the meat comes from and what Sweeney does to get it, but, eh... eww. Lol! XD

Btw, yes, there is a novel, it's called The String of Pearls: A Romance, published by Edward Lloyd in the 19th century and it is the first time Sweeney Todd's name ever appears in print. All other versions derive from this base story. You can read the whole thing online if you wish to save the pennies buying it (heck, I have two copies! lol!) here: [link] or you can get the updated cover from Amazon.

I should mention that the movie is far removed from the plot of the original novel though. The whole 'revenge' motive was added later and I'm sure Johanna and Anthony got away... Anthony is named Mark Ingestrie in the original novel. :)
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:iconpuppeteerz:
Puppeteerz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Student General Artist
OH! I know she is aware of what he is doing, *HE* how could she not know. Thank you so much for the link I really appreciate it.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2008  Professional General Artist
LOL... they're both nuts! XD ha ha, you're welcome. ;)
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:iconamberspike:
AmberSpike Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2008
This looks bloody brillient!
...No pun :lol:
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2008  Professional General Artist
Mudkip icon!!! :D
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:iconamberspike:
AmberSpike Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2008
Yesss! :3
They seemed to annoy loads of people so I decided to keep it as mine :lol:
Congrats o winning a place in that contest btw!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2008  Professional General Artist
LOL! Funny... :D and thank you by the way! Not sure if I deserve it mind.
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:iconamberspike:
AmberSpike Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2008
You're welcome :3 And sure you deserve it! Your art has such character. It's definatly in the eyes ;)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008  Professional General Artist
:hug:
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:iconamberspike:
AmberSpike Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008
:hug: <3 Hey I just checked out your online portfolio! Some bloody amazing stuff, I especially liked the series of Egyption Gods :D What did you use to colour and ink those if you don't mind me asking?
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008  Professional General Artist
:) Ah, the Egyptian pics... if I remember rightly (because it was some time ago now), they were coloured using watercolour paints, colour pencils, gouache and both white and black ink.
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(1 Reply)
:iconrainblossom:
Rainblossom Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
Let me just say it here and now so that I can get the thought behind me and move on to the other great parts of your artwork:

I absolutely ADORE the amount of expression you manage to give a character in their eyebrows. That's usually the first thing I notice about a person IRL, so it's not so amazing that they should stand out in drawings as well, but Leona, your eyebrows just take the friggin' cake. All of it.

I could go on all day about the fact that I can sense more of a story behind the characters just because of their eyebrows, but that would probably make me look like more of a freak than I am. So, yeah. :B

:heart:_:heart:
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008  Professional General Artist
Aww, thank you very much! I must admit that the eyes are the first thing I tend to notice about a person... everything then leads on from there. :D
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:iconjesterseven:
JesterSeven Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
Nice! I love their expressions. It still saddens me that I haven't seen Sweeny Todd yet. I love the hair on Mr. Sweeny, there, and this is a nice change from what I usually bump into in the anthro galleries. :)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! And I'm sure you won't have to wait long before it comes out on DVD... ;)
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:iconjesterseven:
JesterSeven Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008
And I'm sure the day it does someone in the family will have it within the hour :).
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:iconkatmomma:
Katmomma Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008  Professional Artist
hehehe you placed! :boogie: ...But I really didn't expect Austin to win :blushes:
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008  Professional General Artist
Wahey! Austin for teh win! See, I told you! *wags finger in yo face* LOL! :D Seriously though, well done to you! That is indeed well deserved. I've just now asked if I can donate my sub to Vincentwolf. Hopefully they'll let me do it... I buy all my subs anyway, and I really do think that he deserves it more than me. :)
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:iconkatmomma:
Katmomma Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008  Professional Artist
Aww.. that's so nice of you :hug: ....I don't know what I'll do with a jewelry set *katmomma is a tom-boy* But I think it would make a great mothers day gift for my mom. :heart:
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