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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:
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!
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
Great lighting and palette - this really does feel Lovecraftian. Is it for the Fantasy Flight Games game?
this helps so much
Awesome illo, Cyril! Thanks for the process- it shows that hard work pays off big time. You really sell the point!
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!
Excellent work. A truly fitting homage to the man and his work.
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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.
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!
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.
Really great cyril... love em a lot.
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.
this is a really great piece, and being a huge hp fan i am truly impressed. the only thing that gets me, and this will prove me nerdness, is how exactly are Lovecraft and Alhazred together. Alhazred died like 1000 years before lovecraft. unless its a sort of symbolic illustration, which it probably is.
Oh wow. You have surprised me with such an amazing piece tegehel. It is absolutely amazing.
There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
No one complains about life drawing,
so take a photo.
its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
Man, thats really cool, cthulu and H.P. lovecraft is very interesting to me
sweet stuff indeed. Thanks for posting those steps. Always very interesting to see what goes before the final image!
I think the decesion to flip the image was a very right one. Normally when we have left->right eyereading within an image it will transfer to the reader as more dangerous and unknown and right->left conveys a feeling of the secure and known. Chutulu pieces should always read left->right!
This piece is wonderful. And thanks for showing the stages of its conception!
dude, this is excellent, you're showing real progress with this and the cd-cover you posted last. composition and values are right on, and you really hit the HP Lovecraft details right on.
This brings back memories, too, I copied a paperback cover from "Colors Out of Space" on to my bedroom door when I was 15. heheh, i was a gloomy geek of a teenager.
Great stuff Tehegel, this new piece is a lot sharper than others. Great progress.
Love your stuff man.
Thank you all for responding. Since you took the time to write, allow me to answer individually.
BAMartin: you're welcome. Since I've been in Providence, RI, I've learned quite a bit about Lovecraft, and other than being one of the fathers of the Horror genre, I also realized that when I read his stories, I can actually figure out more or less where they happen, since he gives name of streets, places and cities in New England. There is actually a Lovecraft tour you can apparently take here. I've never done it, but maybe one day.
I suggest you start reading the famous stories first, like The Call of Cthulhu, The Cats of Ulthar, etc. because some of the more obscure ones will sound very weird, and perhaps turn people off his writings, which would be ashame.
fukifino: thanks man. Err..poster? well, I didn't think of it, but hey, why not. This one's not copyrighted (by other people.) I'll put it on my TO DO list and I'll give people a heads-up whenever it's available. Probably through cafepress.
Francis: thank you. No, it's for myself. It was a slow period, so I decided to do what *I* like
dragun: I'm glad I could help.
chuckw: thank you my friend, I appreciate. I'm trying, I'm trying...I hope to see you at another con. I don't know if I'm doing ComicCon or GenCon this year. I have to pick one :s
Carnifex: always at night, those Cthulhu things, remember! and check those corners!
Eric Lofgren: thank you very much. I indeed love his art. Distressing to know that he wasn't that successful while alive (a bit towards the end). Genius is seldom recognized but too late. I hope to have the time and/or opportunity to make many more pieces. I find that it's not a subject that is used or painted very often, unfortunately, because there's sooo much potential.
Imagine one second if Peter Jackson were to do a Cthulhu movie? with the quality of King Kong or LOTR? I mean wow! I've seen plenty of Lovecraft adaptations, mostly low budgets stuff. Some are quite cool, but nothing of the scale of what Cthulhu represents (I remind you that Cthulhu is roughly 1 mile high, and much more intelligent than any of us). War of the Worlds comes to mind (Spielberg's working on it now), but W.o.W is not Lovecraft.
Maybe they're not even aware of Lovecraft. Anyone can get it touch with Jackson and sell him the idea?
Vodnik: thank you. Yes, there are only a handful of photographs, mostly portraits of the man. The Chin! As unusual as a face can be, his is actually calm and soothing is a way. His mind is the...real unusual entity.
Gloklund: thank you very much. I think that for the poster, I will boost the saturation a bit indeed, and make the carpet redder, etc...as for the perspective, well, I will only say that Lovecraft spoke of "weird, undescribable angles" and "multi-dimensions", so you can just assume that the room is "not quite right". Now, that's my explanation for my mistake
JeffZNY: thanks! I'll make a bigger piece available later on, if you don't mind, I'm working now on my other piece (you can see the sketch on the frontpage of my website). Aaaand maybe he's a towering giant? oooh! I see your point, though, the bottom of the robe is lost in the dust. I might fix that later. Thanks for pointing it out.
Dan Milligan: Mr Milligan, , thank you, sir.
PhilHolland: Thank you Phil. I must credit that to my friend Lars Grant-West, whom I show the piece and he said "why the boring ratio, and why the straight angle". So I listen and the piece is better thanks to him. Actually, he had it orginally angled the other way, err...inward if that makes any sense. It was interesting too, but I prefer the outward version.
nephilim: Well, ok, so you're right it's not possible, but then again the whole premise is awckward since we don't know, I think, how Lovecraft was made aware of the Necronomicon and its contents. I just made up a story. Maybe it's a dream, maybe Alhazred is a ghost guiding Lovecraft into an abandonned storage room. Who knows? I don't. Maybe you can come up with an explanation that will make any sort of sense...
I.was.ink: I am grateful for these comments
phlem117: I love them too. I suppose it's dangerous to put the words "love" and "Cthulhu" in the same sentence, huh?
deschamps: thank you for looking, and writing!
Boom: now I KNOW that it's always going to have to be left -> right! thanks for that tip, boom
AdamBlack: you're very welcome, thank you.
bwkeough: Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars and Cthulhu. Nothing wrong with that, if you are a nerd Dude, I must have been a nerd too then! oh!
Diego: Thank you for the kind words, Diego.
Living Rope: Ah! merci booooukouuu! pas besoin de te dire que je suis un fan de ton art, hein?
Take care, good night and don't let the ignominious-thousand-heads-goat-monster-with-tentacles bite.
Last edited by tegehel; February 9th, 2005 at 05:17 PM.
break through dude!!!
this is awesome and should be put in the best of conceptart.org section.
cyril i am so pleased and envious of your painting on this piece that i do not know whether to kiss you or kick you.
non the less you should be happy, i am.
Jon, you can kick me when we have coffee later on today.
Valentine's Day is coming, you can kiss me too
Oh man! it made it into
Congrats on the Spectrum acceptance!!
Say, could you share the process you used to add color to the B&W pic? I can never seem to do it with any control, when the pic has been fully rendered in B&W.
Thanks for taking the time to involve us in your process - that's one of the many great things about this forum. Beautiful, beautiful work. You've done a great job capturing the mood.
Peter Jackson + Cthulhu = insanely good idea.
Exelent piece, but here is the crit: First time when I was looked in to it, it seemed to me that they are coming out from some kind of grave.
Maybe you could remove another line paralell with right edge of the door (or you can ligtner more the skull in the wall). Also other edge seems confusing.