Sunday, March 30, 2014

William Channing Webb and The Strange High House in the Mist

This was the first "serious" painting I did on my new Ipad 3, as I had to spend the better part of two days tweaking the brushes on the Ipad app, Procreate, to replicate the same brushe I use normally in Photoshop. As think, with this painting an example, that my tweaking has paid off, though I'm not entirely satisfied, though the primary difference between brushes is that Procreate uses somewhat different brush dynamics than Photoshop.

I knew, before I'd really even fully compiled my list of Lovecraftian paintings to create, that this would be the easiest painting to render, which turned out in the process of painting it to be absolutely correct, as it only took about an hour to paint!

William Channing Webb. Part of a series of illustrations of the four character threads from The Call of Cthulhu, which both the late Professor Angell and his equally late nephew uncover. This was the second serious painting I did on the Ipad in Procreate and took under two hours to paint from start to finish. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sketches: Ulthar-architecture and Brown Jenkin

I'm really digging doing sketches on my new (used) ipad 3 using the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, which is greatly freeing me to sketch digitally and to make artwork beyond my PC--both this blog post and these sketches were all created and posted without my PC, which is a first for me. I'm going to try to complete a finished painting (the high house in the mist) on my ipad for the first time before the week's out. 

I love the idea of quaint Ulthar and plan to do more than a few renditions of it in the future. Though the majority of the Dreamland world is based primary on Greco-Arabian stylings, from Lovecraft's description from Dream-quest I got the sense that he was writing more from the perspective of an English homely village. On the other hand, if this were entirely the case then why didn't Kuranes try to live there? Maybe Lovecraft was maybe thinking of it being more bizarre than I'm thinking--or perhaps he just wrote the story as a first draft and didn't think it through all the way...

Brown Jenkin. 

This is definitely one I'm going to have to work on more in the future. As much as the character/creature from Witch House certainly comes off as creepy, trying to translate that visually is certainly a big challenge for me. I don't think Lovecraft gave a detailed description if his facial features (may need to go back and listen to the audio version to make sure...) so I've been thinking that maybe he somehow took the face of a victim, shrunk it down and then somehow magically affixed it to his own face. It's creepy but I'm not entirely sold so I thought I'd work on some other versions, though I'm not satisfied with any of those either. If all else fails I'm sure I can do better than Gordon's version of the creature for his adaptation of the story. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sketches: The Unaussprechlichen Kulten, High House in the Mist and Night Gaunts

Some loose sketches of the Unaussprechlichen Kulten for my illustration of it, mainly thinking about how I want the light play off it. I have three different books I have to paint for the Lovecraftian artbook--The Unaussprechlichen Kulten, The Book of Eibon and the Necronomicon--and need to find unique ways to tell them apart from each other without resorting to cheap gags like silly skin-covers and eye-balls staring out at the viewer. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, and ones mind-you that still reside within the context of what Lovecraft described, let me know. 

A very loose sketch of The High House in the Mist. Frankly I knew going in, even before I formed my complete list of works to paint, that this one would actually be the easiest of the environments to render; it's basically a distant house on the edge of a cliff with fog and clouds and shrubbery around it, which is not what I'd define as a challenging image to create. I always start the concepts for my paintings as crappy looking as possible--just the simplest of shapes and the laying out of light and dark--and this is obviously no exception (as are the above sketches) though I am going to go back to the drawing board (ie ipad) and think of something a bit stronger I think... 

And another cruddy sketch for the eventual rendering of the night-gaunts. I'll come back to these crazy devils before I do the actual finished piece to work on the designs of their physical features and such. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bokrug painting and sketches

Bokrug, the great water-lizard god that the dwellers of Ib worshiped before their destruction at the hands of the warriors of Sarnath. This is supposed to be the point when the men of Mnar discover it on the shores of the the lake after Sarnath's complete destruction. Here's a series of design sketch iterations for the sculpture:

I probably would've gotten this guy done yesterday but I just got my new Ipad3 and Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and was playing with it, playing with brushes and such on the wonderful ipad art app, Procreate. Here's a couple sketches from yesterday:

Ammi Pierce

And some random sketches while I tested brushes...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dunwich sketches

My good buddy Transformer6 over at Reddit wanted to know what I had on good ol' Wilbur Whateley. Since I didn't actually have anything recent, I sketched these on my junky ipad2 (my Ipad 3 is literally at the post office for me to pick up monday, which will, for several different reasons, make my sketches a lot more common and of a lot higher caliber, which I finished in about 30 minutes. You can see the video process >here<. 

I also did a quick (10 minutes?) sketch of Dunwich itself:
And its video process is >here<.

These aren't final examples of what either Wilbur or Dunwich will look like for my artbook, but it's a step in the right direction. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Nodens, Lovecraft's only deity that comes close to approaching beneficence.
Originally in mythology Nodens was a Celto-Gallic deity, attributed to the Roman gods, Mars, Silvanus, Neptune and Mercury. 

With all these gods and their requisite iconography to work from, and a very loose description of Nodens from Lovecraft, I had a great amount of imagery to use at my disposal. I mixed and matched different iconography, both Romano-Greek and Celtic, such as the war fork/trident, which is an amalgam of Neptune's triton, but also is shaped after Silvanus' cypress branch, and the many forks on the trident/spear were inspired by Angus Mcbride's amazing rendition of Cuchulainn, and his nastily-unique war-spear. 

The laurels were actually going to go on the trident/spear, echoing the mythology that when Mars approached with laurels or other plants wreathed on his spear it meant he came in peace, but I felt that it made the balance of the character a bit lop-sided, so I had him bringing them in his other hand instead. 

Also, his head is disembodied as I thought of a line from Lovecraft's commonplace book, which you can find here by the superlative Rick Sardinha, and thought what if Nodens did the same, but contorting his new bodily host to his liking. 

I should say that it's not as if these concepts were extraneously written down in bullet-point format beforehand, only that I did a bit of research and then worked it out along the way, seeing what would turn up; this is especially evident with the disembodied head concept, as I had his head unfinished on a separate layer and then while refining his body recalled the line from Lovecraft's commonplace book and integrated that into the illustration.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gnophkehs finished painting and Nodens illustration studies.

The Gnophkehs. Found in the stories, Polaris, The Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath and At the Mountains of Madness, these primate-like creatures were the inveterate foes of the noble men of Lomar in ages immemorial our time, in either the world we know or The Dreamlands. 

In Polaris it's said that the Lomarians destroyed the Gnophkehii when they marched south from encroaching glaciation before, much like the consecutively iterate nomad migrations into the late Classical Roman Empire, they themselves were displaced/destroyed by the encroaching Inutos coming from the same northern direction. However, Lovecraft seems to have changed his mind later on, as in Dream-quest and Mountains, he described that it was the Gnophkehs who invaded and destroyed the Lomarians, cutting out the Inutos altogether. This painting is based on the latter conception of the story, though frankly the former iteration to me echoes the most of actual history and so I'm thinking of doing a rendering of the Inutos, as well as one of the Lomarians, all which will be framed at the same ratio and in roughly the same poses, like a great fantasy diptych! You can find my other Polaris-related painting here

I also enjoyed painting this because it reminded me of all the Frazetta paintings I've adored and loved, as well as cheesy sword and sorcery movies like Fire and Ice, which I always love watching while painting. 

Here's some Nodens concepts for an upcoming illustration of the venerable old Lovecraft god. I based the staff/trident on the fact he was historically interchangeable, among others, with the gods Silvanus and Neptune, so I thought it would be interesting to combine Silvanus' cypress trunk, which he's depicted carrying in iconography, with the trident of Neptune. He's also arguably attributed to king Nuada of Ireland, though there's no absolute certainty in that regard. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nodens sketch and gnophkehs thumbnails

Lovecraft was pretty scant on describing this most venerated of deities, so I added traits from his disciples, namely the night-gaunts. I'll be doing a full illustration of Nodens soon, though I'm not certain I'll be using this exact design... 
You can find the video process here.

A few thumbnail sketches for an illustration of the hairy, long-armed gnophkehs that I'm working on: 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

HP Lovecraft's Henry Armitage

The venerable head librarian of Miskatonic University and the primary protagonist of The Dunwich Horror. Perhaps accidentally Armitage, a frail and ailing man, as well as his adversary, a near-invincible unseen monstrosity from another world, are the perfect archetypes of Lovecraft's view of humanity versus the horrors of the universe at large.

Also, here's the list of what I've completed for my artbook and how much is left to go--yikes!:

Also a study I on the ipad of hairy, long-armed gnophkehs for an illustration I'll be starting tomorrow:


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lovecraft's The Picture of Joseph Curwen

Whenever I originally considered creating an artbook illustrating Lovecraft's world, I always thought it would be cool to paint Joseph Curwen for the book as the painting of himself that was rendered by Cosmo Alexander in that archaic style of his. Now it's so great to finally see this idea come to fruition, though I didn't actually relish the idea of executing it.

"It was meanwhile seen that the subject was a spare, well-shaped man with dark-blue coat, embroidered waistcoat, black satin small-clothes, and white silk stockings, seated in a carved chair against the background of a window with wharves and ships beyond. When the head came out it was observed to bear a neat Albemarle wig, and to possess a thin, calm, undistinguished face which seemed somehow familiar to both Ward and the artist." - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

I couldn't find anything on the internet as to what exactly an "Albermarle" wig was, so I rendered him with something I thought suitable.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

HP Lovecraft's Daniel Green from Charles Dexter Ward

From The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, a creature stumbles through the outskirts of moonlit colonial Providence, coming seemingly from the farm of the infamous Joseph Curwen. I always loved the image from the story, and I thought today it would be fun to paint it. Like my Ghouls painting, which you can see here, this one took about four hours from start to finish to paint. Enjoy! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lovecraft's Ghast doodle + rambing explanation and a Randolph Carter speedpaint.

This is rather long but bear with me...
So I wasn't actually going to post this, as I finished it a couple weeks ago, but because of certain interesting intervening circumstances I thought maybe it was worth it.

You see, I painted this on my old Ipad 2 in the genuinely wonderful art program, Procreate. I was just doodling with this one while hanging out with friends, as because of the Ipad 2's lack of pressure sensitivity (very bad for art!) and low resolution(equally bad!), and in spite of its superlative art programs, I don't usually render anything on it, primarily painting all my stuff on my main Windows computer and leaving the Ipad for my collection of ebooks and Lovecraft/Tolkien/Dunsany/Howard audiobooks, but more on this later...

So aside from being a doodle, I realized after drawing this that the Ghast's, from Lovecraft's The Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath, actually have eyes, red eyes to be exact, and so I didn't think it was worth posting it for being a doodle, and in fact an inaccurate doodle at that.

But then....I discovered today that Procreate, without giving you the option beforehand and without my knowledge, recorded my entire drawing process of creating this half-formed fiend! You can get a higher-def version of the video by clicking the youtube link or clicking here.

I've actually never made a video of my art process before, and considering I was just drawing this while talking with friends I find it extremely ironic, and quite humorous, that the process in the video looks as smooth as it does. Also, the red landscape sketch at the beginning was me exploring color keys for this painting I did. 

So back to the Ipad...I recently learned I was getting back way more on my taxes than I thought and so when I get my return I'll be purchasing an Ipad 3, along with a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus for the Ipad. What's cool is that the 3rd Ipad iteration has four times(!) the resolution of the Ipad 2--more than enough pixels to create a completed illustration--and the Intuos Creative Stylus has as much pressure sensitivity as the one I use on my main computer to paint all my 'serious' digital artwork. This not only means I'll be painting and posting more while I do the menial tasks that go about during my day, but also in lieu of Procreate's easy-to-use video tech I'll be posting more videos of my process in the future. 

TL;DR: Art program secretly video-tapes my art process and so get ready to see more art process videos in the future. 

After all that babbling here's a Randolph Carter/Kadath speedpaint I did last night:

I tried to make this one a bit looser, and looked for ways to speed up my process a bit more. Cheers!