Art: Lovecraft Bestiary Project
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  1. #1
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    Lovecraft Bestiary Project

    I'm creating an illustrated bestiary of creatures from H.P. Lovecraft's fictional works. I've finished the first two creatures this week; hopefully the rest will go as quickly. I'm keeping them compiled at http://lovecraftbestiary.blogspot.com/

    Here are the first two:

    The Gug
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    "It was a paw, fully two feet and a half across, and equipped with formidable talons. After it came another paw, and after that a great black-furred arm to which both of the paws were attached by short forearms. Then two pink eyes shone, and the head of the awakened gug sentry, large as a barrel, wabbled into view. The eyes jutted two inches from each side, shaded by bony protuberances overgrown with coarse hairs. But the head was chiefly terrible because of the mouth. That mouth had great yellow fangs and ran from the top to the bottom of the head, opening vertically instead of horizontally."
    —H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

    Nightgaunt
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    “Shocking and uncouth black beings with smooth, oily, whale-like surfaces, unpleasant horns that curved inward toward each other, bat-wings whose beating made no sound, ugly prehensile paws, and barbed tails that lashed needlessly and disquietingly. And worst of all, they never spoke or laughed, and never smiled because they had no faces at all to smile with, but only a suggestive blankness where a face ought to be. All they ever did was clutch and fly and tickle; that was the way of night-gaunts.”
    —H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath


    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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    For freelance and commission work: h.manzee (a) gmail dot com
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  3. #2
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    I can't wait to see the rest of the bestiary--these are outstanding.

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    I have a few more for this collection.

    This is my interpretation of a flying polyp:
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    [The flying polyps were a] horrible elder race of half polypous, utterly alien entities... They were only partly material and had the power of aerial motion, despite the absence of wings... [They exhibited] a monstrous plasticity and ... temporary lapses of visibility... [S]ingular whistling noises and colossal footprints made up of five circular toe marks seemed also to be associated with them.
    —H. P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow Out of Time"

    The Flying Polyps were banished to their underground cities and trapped there by the Great Race of Yith.

    Next is a creature called a ghast:
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    "After a moment something about the size of a small horse hopped out into the grey twilight, and Carter turned sick at the aspect of that scabrous and unwholesome beast, whose face is so curiously human despite the absence of a nose, a forehead, and other important particulars." "...the ghasts, those repulsive beings which die in the light, and which live in the vaults of Zin and leap on long hind legs like kangaroos."
    H.P. Lovecraft, Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath

    And my latest piece, a shoggoth (in the background is the city of the Elder Things on the Plateau of Leng in Antarctica)
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    "“We were on the track ahead as the nightmare plastic column of foetid black iridescence oozed tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus; gathering unholy speed and driving before it a spiral, re-thickening cloud of the pallid abyss-vapour. It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us," -H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

    Shoggoths are large, amorphous and amoeba-like. They can form mouths, eyes, and various appendages at will. They were genetically designed by an ancient race of alien life on Earth. Originally aquatic in nature, the shoggoths learned to live on land and eventually destroyed their ancient masters.


    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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    These are really nice ( if that's the right term for Lovecraftian Horrors) Spookily enough I've done exactly the same thing and it's fascinating to see how the same descriptions are interpreted in a such a different way. Can't wait to see more.
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=193022

    'Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends' Francis Bacon
    Sketchbook-
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=179977
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  9. #5
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    Thanks, Village Idiot; I especially like your portrayal of the Great Race of Yith. It's one the best I've seen.

    I just finished a Star Spawn; these are Cthulhu's octopus-like kindred which descended from the stars millions of years ago:

    Name:  Star Spawn of Cthulhu 900p.jpg
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    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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    Wild designs, very cool!
    Jeff

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    A "Deep One"

    Name:  deepone 900p.jpg
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    "I think their predominant color was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked ... They were the blasphemous fish-frogs of the nameless design - living and horrible."
    -H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth

    http://lovecraftbestiary.blogspot.com/


    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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    Nice beasts! My favorite one is the ghast, because it's creepy, bizarre and disgusting

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    In general, I think Lovecraft's monsters lose something when you try to visually represent them... the stories are so much about the psychologically-breaking aspect of seeing something so wholly wrong... it's kind of like trying to draw Medusa.... unless your viewer turns to stone, it's not scary enough

    That said, I do like a lot of these... I might not be going insane, but you're doing a good job of translating the words. I especially like the shoggoth and the ghast. The Deep One, though... I always pictured their skin as being more rubbery and frog-like, and your gug really lacks a sense of scale.

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  20. #11
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    I really love your take on some of these. They're all horrifically beautiful and gorgeously terrifying.

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    Have you sold any of these to Chaosium?

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  24. #13
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    EtherealDC; I know exactly what you mean. Part of the horror of Lovecraft's descriptions is that they can not be visualized well, so the mental impressions are vague and this makes them more disturbing. For instance, he frequently describes them by telling the reader what they do NOT look like instead of what they do (neither ant nor mole nor crow nor decomposing human was his description of a Byakhee, for instance) which causes the reader to get the impression that there are hints which call to mind features of these things but that it does not, actually, look like any of these things. But, by the same token, I wouldn't expect someone to go insane even from a photograph of a scene which might, in real life, rend one's mind asunder. I merely use his descriptions as a platform to create my own vision, because visual art is my medium. Also, as they are going to be portrayed by others anyway (and they frequently are) then I may as well do my part to try and contribute visions which are, to my mind at least, as accurate and horrifying as possible.

    DaleC; no, I haven't sold any of these. I'm doing this as a personal project. I've always been a big fan of Lovecraft's creatures and wanted to create my own vision of them. This is not to say that I wouldn't be happy to create for Chaosium if they were interested, but that's not what these are for.

    Oh, and I forgot to add the latest, a Hound of Tindalos:

    "The nature of the Doels was plainly revealed, and I was told the essence (though not the source) of the Hounds of Tindalos."
    H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer In Darkness

    "Beyond life there are'—his face grew ashen with terror—'things that I cannot distinguish. They move slowly through angles.'"
    "'All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies."
    "'God, they are breaking through! They are breaking through! Smoke is pouring in from the corners of the wall. Their tongues—ahhh—"'
    Frank Belknap Long, The Hounds Of Tindalos

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    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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  25. #14
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    I've been busy lately so it's been hard to find time to work on this project. Anyway, here is the latest; a Dimensional Shambler.

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    "Shuffling toward him in the darkness was the gigantic, blasphemous form of a black thing not wholly ape and not wholly insect. Its hide hung loosely upon its frame, and its rugose, dead-eyed rudiment of a head swayed drunkenly from side to side. Its fore paws were extended, with talons spread wide, and its whole body was taut with murderous malignity despite its utter lack of facial expression."

    -H.P. Lovecraft & Hazel Heald, The Horror In the Museum


    My Illustrated Lovecraft Bestiary project
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