Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Horror in Clay

—Part I—

As part of an on-going effort to find an artistic medium I feel comfortable in, I have recently started sculpting, and it occurred to me tonight that it would make a good blog topic to show my progression as I go.


As a frequent browser of DeviantArt, I had come across various sculptures before, and so looking back on some I found that the most common medium was a product called Super Sculpey. My first instinct was to buy some off Amazon, but as it turned out, they cannot ship it to Australia. I'm not sure why, but nevertheless, I had to find another supplier. I found it at my local art supply, though it was $39 ($33US) for 454g (1 lb)—much more than the $25US it would have cost from Amazon!

Anyway, one night after work, with Muse's Absolution playing on my iPhone, I sat down and just started playing with a piece. By the time the album had finished (roughly an hour), I had created this:

Though obviously no masterpiece, I was quite happy with the result of this first ever sculpting attempt, and was inspired to continue.

The Next Step...

Due to my Lovecraftian proclivities, it did not take a mind-reader to know that I would be wanting to create one of his beasties as soon as possible. As shown in my previous post, I have seen many renditions before, yet one I found very few images of was the Haunter of the Dark (aka the Three-lobed Burning Eye). Coincidentally, there had been talk of this very creature on the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast forums only recently, which only fuelled my desire to create its image. So I set about drawing a few sketches...

First was a rough isometric:

Then I did some slightly more detailed plans:

As can (hopefully) be seen, I had the creature simply "perched" on the ground. However, after a few days to stew over the idea, I realised that this pose was really very boring, and even though this is to be my first ever full sculpt, so should be fairly simple, I still felt it needed a bit more... character.

Through most of the related story, the narrator only knows of the creature due to its motions in a small room above his head, so it came to me that I should try and make it kind of low, as if stalking or listening through the floor-boards, and so I came up with this modified front-on sketch:

From this, I then drew the armature "skeleton" pose design:

It might appear slightly confusing, but they are actually the isometric, side, and top-down views of how I wanted the armature wire to look.

Which then brings me to tonight, when I got home from work and actually made the armature:

You can see in this photo that I have made one wing out in front, low to the ground, while the other is upright, supporting the weight. At the back is the arch of the body/tail, that will continue to snake along the ground (the foil is there to bulk out the body a bit as well as hold the wire together a bit tighter).

And so there you have the lead up to what will eventually become a clay sculpture of Nyarlathotep/The Haunter of the Dark/The Three-lobed Burning Eye. I hope someone out there has found this interesting and that you will keep an eye on my progress and the sculpture takes form.

See you in Part 2!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mythos Art

As I've mentioned before, the thing that keeps me hooked on Lovecraft is actually not his stories (as I've read them all now), but their potential for being used in various other media. There are not many Lovecraftian films being made, so when they do sprout up, they are fairly easy to get a hold of and watch. This infrequency means that they do little to quench my thirst. One outlet I've discovered, however, has the regularity to make up for this: Art!

With tools such as Google Images, and sites such as DeviantArt, you can find all sorts of Mythos-related imagery. Every once and a while I do just that, and thought I would share some of my favourites with everyone. In alphabetical order, here they are:

Beings of Ib

Though I do like "The Doom That Came To Sarnath", I wouldn't say it was one of my favourite stories. However, this picture is particularly well-made, so won me over.


These creatures are pretty simplistic—worms with tentacles—but again, the quality of the artwork was enough for me to be impressed.


As you can imagine, being Lovecraft's most famous creation, there are endless pictures of the ol' Cthulhu. Here are a few that I think are particularly noteworthy.

And a few scupltures:

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

These creatures, although not actually Lovecraft's creation, are probably one of my favourites. With their 3 legs, multiple mouths, and mass of tentacles, just are just so creepily cool. I have a few pics of these guys, but only one is of a decent standard. If you're a fan of the Mythos, you've more than likely seen it around.


Much like the Cthonian, there is not much to this beast, but I just think this image really sells it.

Dimensional Shambler

This is another of my favourite creatures, not so much for how they look—wrinkled ape—but what they do. They are described in the Mythos as appearing from another dimension, abducting someone, and then returning back to their dimension, with no known reasons or motives. Creepy!

Flying Polyp

These creatures, from "The Shadow Out of Time", are just plain weird, and I've found that the majority of renditions look much like this one from a well-known book.


The Gugs are from Lovecraft's "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" and are particularly interesting due to their split arms and vertical mouth. I've seen many pictures of them, but most are rather poorly done. This is probably the best of the lot.

There was also a cool 3D model I found I liked due to the pose and thought of it being in a computer game of some sort:

The Haunter of the Dark

Though not an image of the actual "haunter", I believe this image captures the essence of the story more than any I've seen.


The Mi-Go are another favourite, again, due to their strangeness. This is probably the best (and goriest) rendition of one I've found.


One of the "Gods" of the Mythos, Yog-Sothoth is described as "only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness", so is pretty-much open to creative license, but these 2 images are the closest I've found to how I, personally, imagine it.

And so there you have some of my personal favourite Mythos imagery. If anyone has any of their own favourites to share, please feel free to leave a comment!