calling doctor cthulhu

Upon the recommendation of a fellow forumer, I recently purchased a book of the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. (Thanks for the gift card Gary & Karen) I’m not sure why it took me so long to explore his works because they are the exact type of horror that I am such a great fan of. Sure, monsters are scary, but the real thing that we fear is the idea that life is incomprehensible to our puny minds, and that the universe is fundamentally alien. Anyone who dares piece together the puzzle are likely to go completely mad in the process. I flew through the book pretty rapidly, and felt inspired to put together this image, which I have posted below from start to finish.

It’s starts with a quick sketch of just the most basic elements. The looming old one, and a mysterious cult dancing around a fire in a swampy forest.


I wanted the drawing to be simple but the lighter color on top of the green wasn’t enough to make the image pop. I added a darker blue/green so that everything might stand out a bit more. I started to refine some things and added some details, like the cult people. I added scales to the creature but I ended up nixing it later down the line. I also put in some placeholder stars to make a connection to an unseen cosmic force.


For the next step I fixed the hands, and corrected the light source from the fire on the Cthulhu’s arms which didn’t seem quite right before. I added more detail to the human figures and worked on finishing all the elements in the sky. I added a moon which gave me a second point of light to render. I also added a few branches to the trees so that they didn’t look like pillars.


For the last step before adding a texture, I just gave the whole piece a final once over, fixing and tightening up various things.


Finally I took some black construction paper and scribbled over it with a white colored pencil. I scanned in the paper, and then applied it to the final image and called it a day. It’s a little goofy, and it’s definitely not a typical depiction of Lovecraft’s universe, but I did what I could to give my own interpretation of his stories. Done!


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