Cthulhu fhtagn no more
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    Cthulhu fhtagn no more

    A personal illustration. Its supposed to be finished but Im not satisfied with the result.

    You may tear it down to pieces as you wish.

    I also made a small description of what I meant to illustrate:

    I tried to portray Cthulhu not as a creature, but as the vessel of some awesome cosmic entity.

    I tried to capture the Dunsanian mystic atmosphere of "Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath" mixed with the objective view of "At The Mountains of Madness."

    " ...a gigantic thing "miles high" which walked or lumbered about."

    It cant be merely a creature of flesh and bone, but Something alien that extends to more than one reality, and which draws its power from some distant cosmic source.
    Like what a 2-dimensional creature living in a 2-dimensional world would see if we sticked our 3-dimensional finger into their world.

    " ...the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated, floundering at the edge of the water."
    " ...great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency."

    It seems like a gigantic mass gliding about, like an overgrown Shoggoth.

    I prefer this cosmic horror better than the hairless King Kong with the octupus head.


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    I honestly think this is pretty cool. I love the handeling of the massive vessel/creature and the fish-men on the right hand side. I'm not crazy on the rendering on the fish-men on the left hand side, in particular the fore-ground. the form doesn't read too well and there is a lot of intricate detail and line work visible on the teeth and other areas on the very closest that draws me to them and distract from the rest of the scene imo.

    the lighting looks good but i'm not sure if its correct, the massive thing looks almost back lit yet the fore ground fish men look side lit.

    But saying that i still like it.

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    Chris Sanders, I would have to kill a part of me to remove the foreground fishmen. Haha. But thanks, maybe I should have spent the time improving the rest instead of over-rendering the foreground.

    I also made this small animated gif of the process, maybe it helps somehow to see what could be improved.

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    thats fucking badass!!

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    Velocity Kendall, youre too kind. But thanks, encouragement is good too.

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    This is now a WIP thread!

    Added some waves at the point where the oceans horizon meet with Cthulhus body.

    Added more fish.


    Chris Sanders, you mentioned that the form of the foreground fishmen wasn't reading well and it made me notice that hes totally missing an arm. Ill deal with that.

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    Last edited by Sady; August 7th, 2012 at 06:26 AM.
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    I'm bit confused what the translucent things behind the big thing's arms are? Are they like insect-type of wings or actually part of the arms?
    Also personally I find the ocean/beach area pretty monochrome, it almost looks like it's made of only three shades of purple, as the smaller island on the back is the same colour as the white on the waves (and the whiter parts seem to stay the same value, which takes away the feeling of distance to me) and so on, and considering the sky is so orange/yellow, the light blue island kinda looks weird. I mean I get that you're probably going for a weird feeling but to me it's bit distracting.

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    Actually yeah i agree with TB about the colours. the shadows should be a deep blue/purple and the lights should be picking up those warm colours in the sky, asuming thats sun light causing the lighting?

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    heres some scale help, i always finds this kind of thing helps a lot if you want to give an impression of bigness.
    and Lord Cthulhu definitely needs to be big!














    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; August 7th, 2012 at 06:22 PM.
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    VK - i am tot's putting all of these in a folder somewhere! Your ref gathering skills are profound son!

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    Ha hope it helps. All those things have a sense of terrifying power and menace, its totally cthulhu.
    tornados and volcanos are real monsters, and lets not even start about gamma ray bursters and quasars and big rips!

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    TinyBird, your advice on the colors is awesome. Im not sure I got all of it right, but it seems much better now. Thanks!
    I also modified the form of the furthermost island because it wasn't meant to be an island.

    Velocity Kendall, I think I get what you mean. Ill try some things about that next time.

    zhenagku0, good luck with your sketchbook man.

    I also made two different sketches, which one actually looks like cool wings?

    I wont be starting any other personal projects for a while, so while you nice people keep pointing out my mistakes Ill keep improving this illustration. Thanks.

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    I say hells no to the design on the left and hells yes to the design on the right. I think the right makes the silhouette more interesting personally.

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    Chris Sanders, thanks! I kept the old silhouette, and just detailed it to look like the hell no wing.

    • New wings!
    • Tried to fix the form of the foremost fishman. Im calling him Marsh.
    • Another layer of distant waves.
    • General color modifications.


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    just another pic

    i think when you put some foam in on the small waves, and some highlights and such its going to start to pop!



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    Velocity Kendall, like this?

    • Highlights!
    • More foam and brighter water overall.
    • Modified the distant clouds to make the scene appear vaster. Did it work?


    EDIT: I think that glow in the sky on the left isn't working now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sady View Post
    EDIT: I think that glow in the sky on the left isn't working now.
    For me, it does. It draws my attention back to the creatures on the left- some of which got lost due to the changes you made.
    I personally disagree with everything Chris Sanders said about the foreground fishermen- however I can just offer my opinion as an amateur.

    I like it a lot!

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    Thats fair enough Louis, it's minor and some people might like the styling of them, and only the two on the left, the right ones are cool.

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    LordLouis, Chris Sanders, disagree as much as you like. Its a discussion forum.

    Anyway...
    Wtf am I doing?

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    • Fixed clouds a bit. Tried to dim the left bright spot a bit, just a bit.
    • Added waterfalls falling off of Cthulhus body. Trying to make him look bigger.
    • Corrected a perspective issue in the water.


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    • Detailed the sand.
    • Detailed the first mountain in the background. Detailing the background like this makes the scene seem vaster, and consequently makes the big Cthulhu seem bigger. Call me clueless but I never noticed this before.
    • Small changes to the highlights.


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    Maybe a little more light on cthulu to make him stand out more? There's so much detail there but it really only reads as a silhouette and it kind of makes me sad. I also recommend this because i feel the foreground fish dude is what initially attracts my attention, and not this massive demi god as the focal

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    i cant paint for shit but heres some ideas

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    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; August 13th, 2012 at 07:51 AM.
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    Velocity Kendall, damn you! Why didn't you do that earlier? Ok, Im going to make some serious changes now, thanks!

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    Im in love with this piece.
    Im afraid i cant give you any advice (this piece is so damn good)
    But as a H.P Lovecraft Fanatic i couldnt ressist to comment.

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    Many changes. Some I like.
    At least the focus seems to be on Cthulhu now.

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    This is epic. Lovecraft stories are definitely a fun thing to illustrate. I really like how you've handled this and it's been interesting to see it progress. In your last image I really like the subtle green on Cthulhu, contrasting with the eerie purple in the rest of the image, well done!

    Just some personal nitpicks;
    If I were painting this image, I would have turn Cthulhu to be three quarter, or at least shift him a bit so he wasn't dead-on to the camera. It doesn't jive well with the angle of the beach, in my opinion. It looks like you've turned him slightly in the last image, though.

    I liked the framing element the fish dude nearest the camera, now that you've pushed him back it's detracting some of the horror aspect in the sense that you can't see so much of his hideous detail and the fact that previously his form made the painting feel much more enclosed and threatening.

    Watch out that the fish guys on the left side of the image don't start to look like they're repeating too much. You had a nice sense of variation going on, and in the last image it's looking dangerously copy-pasty.

    I also just want to gush about how much I love the sand rendering, as it's something I've never managed to fully pin so far, and I love the long shadows, they add such an air of menace.

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    Quick update.

    Ysvyri, thank you man. I was already making some of those changes before you posted. Couldn't agree more.
    Btw, Cthulhu was meant to be 3/4, or at least not completely facing the camera. I changed him a bit, maybe now he looks 3/4 as it should. If not, I will have to do something.

    Next time I begin an illustration I must remember to spend A LOT more time in the sketch and concept!

    EDIT: Im not particularly good at choosing colors, I cant decide what looks better. And I kind of like the b&w.

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    I think I will settle with these colors, probably.

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    BEAST!
    you said you werent so hot with colour but i think this sky on this one is really good, i like the subtle swirls of pure evil above the big guy



    maybe try tilting the image a little, a flat perspective is kind of static

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