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February 6th, 2005 #1
H.P.Lovecraft's Necronomicon / Cthulhu Mythos Origin
H.P. Lovecraft is being introduced to the Necronomicon and the Cthulhu Mythos by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred:
details at roughly 50%:
I don't know about you, but the most intersting aspect of CA.org is, for me at least, the making of/thinking process behind the pieces. I find that fascinating and it's often my favorite part, aside from the final piece. So, for those of you interested, here's what happened...
Below, the different stages:
1) This is the first attempt. It was originally supposed to be more of an Indiana Jones kind of painting, set in the XIX C. or so. you can see that the 2nd character wears a tricorn and holds a long curved sword. The primary character holds a double-barred gun, which he will lose later. At this point, I apparently already decided that it would be a Lovecraft piece and I painted his face in. I just started getting some feeling for the cave. experimenting with texture a bit:
2) In this 2nd attempt, the tricorn guy became an early XX C. sea captain of some type. More things in the basement. Lovecraft is now properly attired. The statue of Cthulhu is making its first appearance on the wall, as well as very bizarre shapes and gizmos in the capharnaum (works with the mythos, I think):
3) The boring rectangular design has been slanted, giving a more dynamic aspect to the piece. Some more weird objects representative of the Elder Ones are appearing. The Captain is now the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, and the doorframe has been turned into an Arabic design: no more square angles on frames. More textures on the wall. None of the participants are now holding weapons:
4) This represents the first approach at color: at this point, it's mainly monochromatic in the beige spectrum, sort of like an old photograph. I also changed the format, which was 8.5 x 11 to a more interesting one: the golden number, basically 1:1.618 (roughly.) I also added cats everywhere, based on "the cats of Ulthar". They're not very visible, which is the point, but there are there (4 or 5, I think):
5) First attempt at colors. I decided to keep the colors quite desaturated to leave a feeling of old, dusty, dark chamber. I also experiment with object textures here, making some quite shiny. I decided against that later. The foreground statue is too human for me still, even though she has a skull-type face. Overall, I think there are too many details, though I keep the violin, for the "Erich Zann" story. The Newport poster is for connaisseurs only
6) I decided to tone everything down, making it darker, more like a really, really dark place that even a lantern can't do justice to. More mysterious, the place is. The shiny object are now not-so-shiny since they're full of dust, and therefore aren't reflecting light as much, I decided. All this made the Necronomicon more obvious. The statue is now a monstruous thing. Though I like the idea, I think it's too now dark:
7) Previous to last: Hey! let's make this even dustier, like it hasn't been entered for ages, perhaps more Now, the two protagonists are creating clouds of dust at their feet and at the top of the door. I work on adding more emphasis around the Necronomicon. I fix the clothing, add details to the piece overall, but not enough that it distract from the points of interest. I also experiment with flipping the piece 180 degrees, and found out that most people like it better flipped. It does change the dynamism of the piece quite a lot. Arguably, both are intersting pieces in and of themselves:
Cyril Van Der Haegen - www.tegehel.org
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First, I agree with you, I really love seeing the process!
(and thank you!)
Second, I really love this piece, although I've never looked into
the lovecraft stuff (one of these days...), I do know a LITTLE bit about it,
and this really captures that feel.
(I was surprised at myself on how much better I liked the piece once you used a golden format! )
Thanx for sharing!
February 7th, 2005 #3Registered User
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I'm with you and Mr. Martin...I think the thought process behind a piece is almost as interesting, and sometimes even more interesting and educational, than the final image. I found it of particular interest that you rotated it after the initial composition to get a more dynamic look...I think that worked a lot in the images favor. Especially considering the crazy, topsy turvy world of Lovecrafts stories.
I love how if you really get close and look, there are so many tiny details (like the cats) that come out...and I like how you incorporated different aspects of his stories into the picture.
Are you gonna make some prints of this? I'd love to buy one.
"Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
February 7th, 2005 #4
Great lighting and palette - this really does feel Lovecraftian. Is it for the Fantasy Flight Games game?
February 7th, 2005 #5
this helps so much
February 7th, 2005 #6Registered User
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Awesome illo, Cyril! Thanks for the process- it shows that hard work pays off big time. You really sell the point!
February 7th, 2005 #7
hot damn...i'm just listening to some rock music and seeing your piece and it's scaring me shitless. i'm expecting anything to move any second. great work!
February 7th, 2005 #8
Excellent work. A truly fitting homage to the man and his work.
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February 7th, 2005 #9Registered User
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Fantastic! You captured HPL's likness pretty well. Not many good pictures of the man, and he has unusual features ( that damn chin of his!) Thanks for posting this.
February 7th, 2005 #10
Wonderful work here Cyril! I love the details you have all around the image, all the little "Lovecraftian" icons are a real treat. There is so much to look at. I only see some minor issues with perspective, namely where the back walls meet as well as the view of the chandelier. I love the 5th image most I think, to me I still get the sense that its a dark and dusty chamber, without covering up all the details with the dust effect as in the last image. I also think that the saturation of the rug is spot on in #5, I think you need to be able to see the reds in the rug, psychologically it provides that tension of threat and danger. I hope this helps. Beautiful job!
February 7th, 2005 #11
I love this piece, it's beyond kick ass. I wish we could see a larger version of the whole piece, not just that small detail.
My only crit is that when you added dust around their feet, you lost the stairs that the figures are coming down, and as a result it's not clear that the man behind Lovecraft is standing on a higher step and not in fact a towering giant.
February 7th, 2005 #12
Really great cyril... love em a lot.
February 7th, 2005 #13
Cyril. Excellent job. By changing the angle of that horizon line it really makes the viewer feel off about the whole scene. That's a good thing. Where as the straight horizon seemed to feel like a mild discovery - this new angle feels like a fear inducing discovery.