Several weeks ago I started a small portrait of the author, H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is one of my favorite authors since childhood, as I had taken a copy of ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’ from the library of my middle school, and was well, scared silly. I never finished the book until about 6 months ago, and seeing as though I currently reside in Providence, I thought it would be fitting to do a piece of him.
I started by just working on a small portrait, as I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach this, as I had way to many ideas (as usual). I thought of doing some sort of idle, or votive piece. I have a tendency of not really nailing down an idea when I start random projects like this. Occasionally it can be a good thing, but often times it tends to get me caught in too many directions, and things never get finished.
Here’s the initial portrait!
It’s a fairly simple portrait, and rather thin. I made a mold out of this (after smoothing out details, and adding in sculpted eyes), and it then proceeded to sit on the back burner for about two months. Eventually I got around to checking it out again, and thought about finishing it. Of course, I started to come up with yet more ideas, did a few sketches and mock ups, but nothing really seemed to click for me.
One night however, after picking up some more Lovecraft books from a used bookstore, and thought of a few more ideas. I had wanted to base it on a combination of something from his mythos, as well as using references from Art Nouveau or Art Decor. I did alot of doodles, looked at alot of posters and such, but again, couldn’t quite figure out the look.
Eventually, I decided on just starting to sculpt, and if something comes out from it, then go for it.
So I put on ‘Tucker and Dale VS The Evil’ on Netflix, and got to working.
This, was the end result:
The face was not the clay version shown above, I did a quick cast in resin, and then just sculpted around it. I had done a few quick mock up’s, and eventually decided on basing it around Lovecraft’s main character: Cthulhu. Wings and tentacles seemed the most simplistic way of going about it, and I also wanted to add an ‘Elder Sign’ as well. Now, I’m not entirely versed on lore around Cthulhu, so I could have easily mix mashed two completely different malevolent powers! Hopefully my intestines don’t get infested with bunnies, or my socks all turn into soggy pasta. Or…something bizarre.
Yet another mold, but this time around something better suited to make multiple pulls, and after an initial test case (and failure), I did another cold-metal casting with the nickle powder.
Really, REALLY pleased with the results!
I am INCREDIBLY please with this piece, and the first casting is already mounted on my wall.