Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lovecraft characters

Some semi-random HP Lovecraft characters; from top: Randolph Carter; Nyarlethotep; Ammi Pierce.

Randolph Carter, along with Kuranes (who I'll be illustrating soon) is the only reoccurring protagonist, namely because most of his good guys either go crazy or die horrible deaths. Carter is most notably the lead character in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.

Nyarlethotep is another reoccurring character of Lovecraft's universe, though of the antagonist type, being that he is both a powerful wizard and dark servant of the other gods, and who also has a small role in The Dream Quest.

Ammi Pierce is one of the primary characters in The Colour out of Space.

Venusian wildlife

Creatures from HP Lovecraft's scifi short story, In the Walls of Eryx.

The farnoth fly and ugrat were actually named by Lovecraft after personal adversaries of his.

This is part of a series of illustrations and concept work I plan to pursue about the short story, which has interesting similarities to Cameron's Avatar; namely that of mining groups going to a tropical alien planet (in this case Venus) where you'll die after breathing the air for a few minutes and the mining group's trying to mine for stones that power earth cities but are continually thwarted by pesky tribal natives. The main difference is these natives aren't sexy nine-foot tall humanoids but giant, tentacular lizard-like things.

Here's an earlier study of the lizardmen, with a slightly deviated skull morphology:

The Forests of Venus

This is the first painting in the first blog posting for an ongoing project to illustrate people, places and things from the universes of HP Lovecraft for a free art-ebook. Along with showing completed illustrations for the ebook, I hope to render at least one portrait of his characters weekly along with showing process-work of how I both conceptualize the creatures, objects, scenery, ect. and how I actually render every painting.

Most people think of Lovecraft as writing exclusively in the unique genre of tentacular horror, but also wrote pretty straightforward fantasy and scifi, such as In the Walls of Eryx, which this painting is directly inspired by. Eryx isn't his best story, but I think it has fascinating concepts (leather spacesuits has a uniquely retro quality) as well as unique and far-sighted aspects that belie many of Lovecraft's own archaic prejudices.

I plan on doing an about-face and painting the front of the mining explorer as he traverses deep into a forest, being less about the environment and more about the character.