H.P. Lovecraft art project update

I’ve finished the second piece in a series of charcoal drawings that I’m working on. The theme of the series is: lesser-known scenes or images from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Penguins of Madness Cylinder B-67

In case you are not familiar, H.P. Lovecraft was a writer who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and primarily wrote cross-over “science fiction / horror” short stories. His tone and story-telling style is very much the classic horror-story, complete with vivid descriptions of creepy dark spaces, whistling winds, and elongated grotesque shadows that hint at unknown and undesirable things.

However, his monsters and creatures tended to be aliens from outer space, and he built up a whole mythology around the idea that ancient gods and monsters were space creatures that had visited our planet and caused pain, anguish, and chaos in the past. There are definitely some traditional “occult horror” aspects to his writing, but most often even these are presented with a science fiction edge. For example, in the drawing that I just finished, “Cylinder B-67,” we are told about a set of machines that allow aliens to store the functioning brains of both humans and aliens so that they can shipped from planet to planet, and resurrected on demand.

What I have discovered about H.P. Lovecraft fandom, however, is that they tend to focus on a few of the most spectacular creatures and images that appear over and over again in his stories. He is most famous for Cthulhu, and just searching on the web for images with that name shows you that this fantastic creature has been drawn again and again and is definitely the primary object of fascination for Lovecraft fans.

There are a few other recurring characters–creatures or scenes that tend to be drawn over and over again.

But some of the most haunting and beautiful scenes in Lovecraft’s work are, in my opinion, under-appreciated.

So I decided to make a project out of appreciating them.

I chose charcoal and hand-made rice-paper for this project, because I thought it was appropriate to capture the feeling of antiquity that permeates all of Lovecraft’s story-telling.  It allows me to convey dark and old very well, and I tried to follow-through by using rough strokes in my drawing style, as well.

If you want to know more about the specific drawings and the scenes and stories that they are based on, go ahead and click on the thumbnail images above. You will be able to see a larger version of the image, and a more detailed description of the scene being depicted, as well.

I’m enjoying this project so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will progress.

What should I choose next?

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  1. […] but seriously, though: I’ve been re-reading a number of H.P. Lovecraft stories because of the art project that I’m working on. Lovecraft has a beautiful, elaborate and poetic writing style; but […]