Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nodens


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.

Cheers!

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